Adolph the tortoise was found in 1942 in a suburb of London called Muswell Hill, crawling around in a hole left by a German bomb. No one knows how he got there. But given the rest of the story, it’s clear to us that he probably had the bomb dropped directly on him and survived. In fact, he probably threw himself on the bomb to save London.
The tortoise was adopted by a family and named William, and when that family moved, another family, the Millers, adopted him and named him Adolph, which is just weird. Couldn’t they have called him Winston? Anyway, this winter the Millers went to New York and came home to find the tortoise inert, lifeless, a victim of a snowstorm unusual for that area. Except he WASN’T dead. Last Sunday, after Adolph had been apparently dead for a full month, his owners Carey and David Miller took him outside in the sunshine and Adolph began to move around.
The thing about Adolph is that the German bombings and the snowstorms have not been his only brushes with death. He also almost burned up once when someone (OK, Mr. Miller, his dad, basically) built a bonfire on top of him. He lost a piece of his shell in that encounter, but he didn’t die. And altogether, he has escaped from the Miller’s garden four or five times. This is clearly a turtle who wants to live, despite the world’s attempts to bring him down.
Muswell Hill family shell-shocked as tortoise who defied Hitler comes back from the dead, Broadway Ham & High.