There were three small turtles that lived in the Pacific. Their names were Hana, Mariam and Abdulla. They were siblings. One day they came on land to eat plants. They found a few men and a top spinning. The top was black and huge. It was bigger than them. It looked like one of the inverted Chinese caps.

“I wonder how they spin it?” said Mariam. “I’ll check it out,” said Hana. “I’ll also participate,” said Abdulla. “And, what about you, Mariam?” said Abdulla. So, they all waited till sunset. The men stopped using the top. But, one man was still there. He tried spinning it again. He saw the turtles looking. He put his hand in the centre of the top to spin it.

Abdulla looked with his sharp eye at the centre of the top. He saw that the thumb was on the side and the finger was on the centre and the man would push his hand this way and turn. It worked! He took the top and went home. He left the top near his door.

The turtles went to the top. Abdulla went to the centre and the girls climbed up to the side to spin it. Abdulla used his flippers and turned the top up left. Immediately, Hana and Mariam made it go right. And then they had fun.

Rollercoaster

On Monday, the men were surprised to see three turtles on their top. The men started spinning the top again while Hana, Mariam and Abdulla were on the top. It was like a roller coaster ride. On Tuesday, the men waited for Abdulla and the girls to come on the ride. The turtles were having so much fun. Finally, another turtle came out. His name was Saad. He was their brother.

The men were delighted because they liked the turtles. The turtles were delighted because they saw their brother. “Saad, come here,” shouted Abdulla. Saad said, “No!” He didn’t know if it was a trap. The turtles told him it was not a trap. But, Saad saw a rock and told them that there was a rock nearby and they could be flung off. Abdulla, Hana and Mariam got off the top. The men stopped spinning the top.

On Wednesday, Saad told his siblings another fun thing they could do. Just as they crossed the beach, there was a desert. “How can we have fun?” asked Abdulla. Saad said they could look for camels and take a ride. They found a caravan of 16 camels.

The turtles got onto the hooves of one camel. When the camel started feeling very itchy, it scratched itself with its hoof. The turtles scrambled onto the hump of the camel. “This is great,” said Saad. “I feel we are on a mountain.”

“We do too,” said Hana and Mariam.

But suddenly there was a "BOOM"! The turtles looked at the sky and saw big molten rocks falling from the sky and a big mountain throwing out fire. The camels started running away from the ash. Only a second after that, there was another "BOOM"! The volcano spewed more lava. The turtles hung onto the camel by holding on with their teeth. They were feeling the heat. “What can we do about this?” Saad screamed through his teeth. Abdulla used sign language to say they should stay on the camel till the volcano stopped. “We’ll stay on the camel till it reaches the sea,” Hana gestured.

The camel ran fast leaving the volcano behind. Finally, in three minutes they saw the sea. The camel stopped. It changed its mind and turned back. The turtles jumped off. The next second, they were in the sea! Their mother and father found them. Once Abdulla narrated what had happened, the parents were unhappy with Saad.

“You could have been killed!” said their father. “Plus you can’t live in the desert — there is very little water,” said their mother. After that they learned their lesson and only spent time on the top!

The writer is a student of Al Qamar Academy, International School