This is Not One of Aesop’s Fables

Once upon a time there lived a pretty Arabian princess named Umm Suqeim.  She was known for her beauty and gracefulness.  Mothers would use her as an example to their daughters, “Observe carefully and try to walk like her!”  She was so slow that every female would stop and wonder in awe.

“But what’s with the Umm Suqeim name?”  I hear someone inquire, “Isn’t umm an Arabic word for mother?”  I’ll get to that later;  I’ve just started the story, for tortoise’s sake.  Anyway, so Umm Suqeim became the talk of the town, the idol for teenagers, an epitome of slowness, the most desired female of her species.  Men began noticing her.  Some followed her wherever she went …

Although most men were too fast and furious for her type, there was one that stood out from the rest.   She noticed that he was attractively sluggish, heavy-looking, and had the most gorgeously-dry shell she ever laid eyes on!  And while everyone else gave up, he remained steadfast in his pursuit of her …

He followed her tirelessly across the deserts of Arabia.  Eventually, fifteen years later, he caught up with her.  His name was Al Karama, the prince of … um … Persia.  “Baa man ezdevaaj mikoni?” he proposed in Farsi.  “Aiwa!”, she  replied excitedly, accepting his proposal in Arabic.  They were married under the shade of a tree, the only tree which they could both walk to and reach before they develop arthritis due to old age.

Not long after, news spread that the queen has laid the royal egg.  Days later, the whole kingdom rejoiced and went into festive mode when the new prince hatched and peeked out of his shell for the first time.  He was just as adorably dry and slow as his parents.  They named him Suqeim.

And they lived happily ever after in Al Ain.


  1. Superb!!!

    I never knew that this adorable story will come up with such a boring species. Hats off to your wonderful way of presentation, you can make infinite amount of beautiful stories with your ecstatic writing, MashaAllah

    I am proud of you 🙂

  2. Wow! Interesting story there! Where have you been? To the zoo? That’s the only place I could think of where you could easily find tortoises. The pictures are stunning!

    1. Thanks, Indian Pundit.

      I couldn’t come up with decent captions to go with the pictures, so ended up with this fairy tale sort of story 😀

  3. What an interesting tortise fairy-tale! Loved it! It’s slow but steady! 😀 Wished Suqiem had other siblings too! Well mama and papa just have to work extra hard even if they had arthritis! The arthritis bit is a pretty good one,Nadia! 😀 It made me laugh!

    Now I’m thinking what other shots you took 🙂

    1. Lat, but usually in fairy tales there’s almost always one prince, right? Because if Suqeim had siblings, then they’d probably end up killing each other for the throne – and that will ruin the happily ever after ending 😀

      Oh, I have an idea: next time I’ll try to photograph tortoise that are fighting – that will be the part 2 of this story. Maybe Suqeim will have siblings afterall! But do tortoise fight with each other?

      I didn’t take a lot of pictures, Lat. I didn’t have a zoom lens with me that day. But I intend to visit the zoo again sometime soon.

      I do have a few more pictures to share in the next post 🙂

  4. *referring to the third last picture* – Chichora hai Al karama… look at him in relentless hot pursuit of this chic with head straight and looking at her..

    Lage Raho Karama Bhai… 🙂

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