…wherein animals talk and do…stuff…
He approached the pride of lions with well-founded apprehension at first. Upon realizing they did not plan on being hostile to him, he walked more confidently and joined them as one would his own family.
They took him in. He reinvented his life around their endless pilgrimage through the Savannah. He learned how to spring upon the slow-witted wildebeest. He tossed himself in the scorching sand playing with the cubs. He howled and roared into the night sky as the ground below melted under their might.
Until one day he left, to seek less rowdy company.
He passed by a hyena, and measured the size and look of her. He found her features dismaying, the shorter hindquarters, the arching back, the dirty spotted brown coat, the perpetually damp nose.
“Ugly, ugly creature.” He beheld. To his surprise, the hyena reciprocated the remark and leaped off, laughing and wagging her tail.
He came upon a cheetah, and was taken in by her grace and beauty, her cunning and movements, her graceful silence. She put too much stock in her own company, however, and soon he was unable to keep up with her because she was too fast for him.
The hyena came back, taunting him with the same words and the same laughter.
Hurt and confused, he crawled back to his house, as all tortoises tend to do from time to time, and vowed never to come out again.