We imagine that you are expecting a learned lecture on the taxonomy (not to be confused with taxidermy) of the tortoise.
So here goes then: – may we refer you to our last illustration below – dated 1869
The railway porter is saying to the old lady travelling with a menagerie of pets:
“STATION MASTER SAY, MUM, AS CATS IS ‘DOGS,’ AND RABBITS IS ‘DOGS,’ AND SO’S PARROTS; BUT THIS ERE ‘TORTIS’ IS A INSECT, SO THERE AIN’T NO CHARGE FOR IT!”
We are happy to report that this not entirely Linnaean view was still alive and kicking in 1982. A visitor to Florida wanted to mail a baby turtle to his son at camp. The clerk in the Post Office read the regulations aloud: "Well", he said "Dogs is dogs and cats is dogs, squirrels in cages is birds - - and baby turtles is insects"
What more evidence do you want?
This dear little tortoise recently popped out from under a pile of papers in our office - where it came from – who knows? Nicely made from some sort of china/porcelain stuff it has a mark on its underside that indicates an origin of some class. Sadly we have failed to identify said mark. We have however given you evidence that a tortoise is an insect – what more do you want for goodness sake?
Measures 3½ inches nose to tail.
The condition is well nigh perfect although we have spotted one blemish in the glaze – which we think occurred in the firing.