Story Quest! – How Tortoises Saved the World

How Tortoises Saved the World, a Story Quest suggested by Delilah!

Welcome to Story Quest, a weekly podcast where we bring your stories to life!

In this episode we bring Delilah’s story – How Tortoises Saved the World – to life.

It’s all about tortoises with some amazing super powers – and there’s lots of explosions too! Delilah sent in the idea because she wanted a pet tortoise. Unfortunately we can’t make her dream of owning a pet tortoise happen but we can help with a story about them.

If you have a story idea, you could be like Delilah and have it turned into a Story Quest. All you have to do is send us your story idea here. We know you have the best imaginations and together we can create the most brilliant stories!

That’s just what Delilah did. You can watch the story she suggested come to life below, plus she tells us all about the inspiration behind the story at the end.

Listen out for brand new Story Quest episodes every Thursday!

Stories for kids and families from Fun Kids – the UK’s children’s radio station. Perfect for all ages – listen in the car, when chilling at home and before bedtimes.

Get Story Quest in Your Podcast App

MOBILE: Story Quest - Stories for Kids

Stories for kids and families, perfect for all ages! New episodes every week.

Read along to How Tortoises Saved the World

You can read along to the story while you listen. Just follow the text below. Don’t worry if you find a word tricky – you can pause the video whenever to give yourself more time.

Now – you have probably seen a cartoon or a movie about some turtles that fight crime and have some pretty cool ninja moves.  They’re sort of mutant (not sure how that happened to be honest) and if I had to put an age on them I’d say they were… teenagers?  I can’t remember what the cartoon was called though… I wonder if you can!

ANYWAY the reason I mention it is because you might think animals like that with superpowers are quite rare but this couldn’t be any further from the truth because… EVERY TORTOISE ON EARTH HAS SUPERPOWERS!  Yep!  I know.  It seems almost impossible to believe but I promise you it’s true.  They can only use them when there is danger around, and to be honest they try to avoid things like that anyway (tortoises are kind of lazy). But this is an important thing for you to know.

A group of tortoises is called a CREEP, (for obvious reasons) and the creep of tortoises in our story today live on a tiny tropical island, close to the warm waters around the Coral Triangle.  Their names were Speedy, Arial, Crash, Laser, Radar and Chomp. Brimming with reefs and clear waters the island was a very nice place for anyone to be, and the tortoises were happy there.  They would bask in the heat, nibble on the foilage and generally kept themselves to themselves.

Now one of the reasons it was such a peaceful place to be is that boats were not allowed to sail near to the reef, to protect the reef itself and the sea life that lived on it – no humans had visited the island in decades.  But this was about to change. One day the biggest of the gang, Speedy, made an extraordinary discovery.

A plane had gone over making a gentle rumbling sound and he looked up to see a tiny black dot had appeared in the sky.  And then another and another.  Soon there were hundreds and they were getting BIGGER.  Black crates on parachutes were floating down to the grassy plain – he had to quickly move out of the way as they becan to land around him with a BASH and a CRASH.

He rushed back to tell the others.

“Perhaps they’re doing a wildlife survey” said Arial, who was only a youngster and very small compared to the others.  She tried to think the best of people.

But soon it became clear that this was NOT a wildlife survey.  More planes landed. Men with machinery, and guns appeared and work started on building something – but what?  

“Radar – can you go and listen?”  Radar’s skill was that she could understand humans although with no humans on the islands she didn’t get the chance usually – so, excitedly she crept towards the men.  She was more alarmed than excited when she saw that there was now a large rocket seated on the base that the men had been building.  It stretched into the air, menacingly black and pointy.  She heard the men talking, and tried not to gasp, lest she was heard.

The rocket is in place.  Enigma Dread will finally take control.  Raze earth to the ground and build a new empire. The target is set” – the soldier pointed up into the sky – a perfect china blue.

She crept back and reported what she’d heard.  

“Enigma Dread is an evil dictator” said Crash – a large and elderly tortoise who had lived longer than any other tortoise on the island – everyone thought he was dead!”

“Well he’s not dead – and if there’s a rocket… what’s he planning to fire at?” said Laser, worriedly.

“The men pointed into the air – what’s up there to shoot at I wonder?”

They all looked up into the sky.  The moon was now visible – pale and glowing directly in the early dusk.

“THE MOON!” exclaimed Speedy!  “He’s going to fire at the moon and the moon will plummet to earth destroying the entire planet! He said he plans to raze the earth to the ground.”

“We have to help!” said Radar.  They agreed and crept back to the launch site.  They got there and hid in the bushes to see a very large man in a black leather coat stride from the control room to inspect the site.  He had a long grizzled beard and an unpleasantly evil expression on a face thick with scars.

“It’s Enigma Dread!  I must say he may be alive but he looks half dead to me.” whispered Crash.

“Half dead?  Dead DANGEROUS more like!” squeaked Radar.

“Right.  Crash – try to smash the launch pad.  I’d distract the men.” ordered Speedy.

Crash was getting on a bit and wasn’t as fast as the others and so balancing on Speedy’s shell he got a ride to the base rocket launcher.  Taking a run up (well not exactly a run up) he bashed his head against the launcher.

BOOM! – a supersonic sound rattled over the plains. 

Enigma Dread and his soldiers ran from their posts, frankly astonished to see a tortoise headbutting the base with such force that cracks were already appearing.

Before they could reach him, Speedy began to run at hyperspeed round and around the soldiers in a tornado – a vortex of sand sprung up, blinding them and preventing them from moving at all.

“Hurry up Crash!!” he yelled. 

BOOM!  BOOM!   Crashes work was creating cracks in the launcher – pieces of plastic and metal fell away as he kept up his attack.  The rocket wobbled but stayed up.

Radar noticed that Enigma Dread had made it to the control tower.


Laser who had been dozing, blearily yawned.  “What’s my superpower again?” he mumbled sleepily.


“Oh yes.  Of course.  How silly of me.  Ahem.”  He rubbed his eyes slowly and then fixing the control tower with a steely gaze shot lasers from his eyes straight onto the control tower.


There was an explosion, sending Enigma Dread tumbling to the ground.  The launch pad was a maze of cracks now, and still Crash kept up his work – then an alarm sounded and an awful booming voice declared…


Speedy was still swirling around the soldiers – Laser provided the back up as Crash continued to pound at the base.

“Should I shoot the missile?” Laser yelled over the din.

“I don’t think that would be a very good idea!  If it can explode the moon we’d be a piece of cake…”

“Quick – someone go after Enigma Dread!” yelled Radar.

Enigma had managed to get to his feet and was clambering over the wreckage to get back into the control room.

Laser (now fully awake) burned through the door and sent firey beams into the control panels but nothing seemed to stop the countdown.  A particularly large beam set the panels on fire and Enigma ran away, with Laser in pursuit.

40… 39… 38…

 “After him!” yelled Speedy.  “He’s getting away!”

He had run to a small dronecraft and clambered inside.  It was taking off.

“Let me handle this!” said ARIAL – coming to the fore.  “I’ve always wanted to see how my powers would work out!”  And concentrating, she was excited to see that wings were sprouting from her shell – big beautiful wings – she launched herself into the air and swooped and swished higher and higher in chase with the escape pod.  

10… 9… 8…

Reaching it she broke the window with her shell and landed on the console – alarm sirens sounded as the craft began to sag and sway and lurch back towards the ground.

It landed with a CRUNCH and Enigma Dread staggered out. ARIAL kept up the chase flying around him and bashing him with her shell. But still the countdown continued.  It seemed that all was lost.

7… 6… 5…

“Brace Yourselves Tortoises!” yelled Speedy, still keeping the soldiers at bay.

3.. 2… 1

and then…

NOTHING HAPPENED.  It was silent.

Speedy came to rest and the soldiers staggered out – like Enigma, who had been run in circles by Arial they were too dizzy to give chase…. the tortoises crawled away as quickly as they could.  Well most of them did.  

“Where’s Chomp?”

She was nowhere to be seen.  But then they heard a quiet chomping sound. Following it they found Chomp contentely crunching on something.  Something huge long, thick and made of metal and wires.  It was the power supply to the missile.  or rather it WAS.  Now it had a clean break all the way through although if you looked more closely youd see what looked like little bite marks.

“You bit through the power cable?”  The cable was as wide as a bus!

“Is that what it was?  It was rather tasty.” she said, seemingly oblivious to the chaos around them.  I suppose that must be my special power! Fancy that!” and then she returned to her chomping.

“You did it!  You saved the day!” said Speedy, rushing in small hyperspeed circles in delight.

“WE saved the day!  More than that – we saved the world!” said ARIAL, coming to land, whereupon her wings disappeared.

They whooped and cheered and then helicopters appeared overhead, and as they landed the tortoises crept back to their nest, to hide out and see what happened next.  The BOOMS from Crash pounding the base had resonated to the mainland and the army had been dispatched – and they were very surprised to see not only a rocket launcher but also Enigma Dread, who everyone thought was dead, and his men in a daze looking at the wreckage.

They were quickly rounded up and in handcuffs led away – Enigma Dread shrieking something about “INFERNAL TORTOISES!”

The wreckage was cleaned up and life returned to normal for the gang.  Their powers had disappeared for the moment, until they were needed again, and if anyone had seen them, well – they’d just look like regular tortoises, and all the tortoises were fine with that.  After all, like I said, tortoises ARE rather lazy.

“Will Enigma Dread give the game away?” said Radar anxiously on a lazy sunny afternoon a little while later.

“I don’t think anyone will believe him.  After all – who would believe a gang of little tortoises could save the world?” said Speedy.  And who would?  Maybe now YOU do!

And that’s the end of the story!

Do you have a story you want to hear made into a Story Quest?

We’d love to hear from you, submit your idea here and maybe we’ll be hearing you on Story Quest soon.

And you can listen to more Story Quest stories here.

Add a comment