Wednesday, December 17, 2014



E.B. White (1899-1985), "Turtle Blood Bank," Writings from the New Yorker 1927-1976 (New York: HarperPerennial, 1991), pp. 12-13:
Medical men, it seems, are interested in turtle blood, because turtles don't suffer from arteriosclerosis in old age. The doctors are wondering whether there is some special property of turtle blood that prevents the arteries from hardening. It could be, of course. But there is also the possibility that a turtle's blood vessels stay in nice shape because of the way turtles conduct their lives. Turtles rarely pass up a chance to lay in the sun on a partly submerged log. No two turtles ever lunched together with the idea of promoting anything. No turtle ever went around complaining that there is no profit in book publishing except from the subsidiary rights. Turtles do not work day and night to perfect explosive devices that wipe out Pacific islands and eventually render turtles sterile. Turtles never use the word "implementation" or the phrases "hard core" and "in the last analysis." No turtle ever rang another turtle back on the phone. In the last analysis, a turtle, although lacking knowledge, knows how to live. A turtle, by its admirable habits, gets to the hard core of life. That may be why its arteries are so soft.
Related post: Lessons from Animals.

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