1. "But I stayed in school.ï¿½
I was not the smartest or even particularly outstanding but I was there and
staying out of trouble and I intended to finish."
Taylor explains how she got through school.
2. "Turtle's main goal in
life, other than hanging on to things, seemed to be to pass unnoticed."
Taylor describes Turtle before she begins to thrive
3. "I feel like the only
reason I have any friends at all is because I'm always careful not to say
something totally dumb, and if I blow it just one time, then that's it."
Lou Ann lacks
4. "I could just imagine a
conversation between these two: 'Sciatica, hives, roseola, meningomalacia,'
Mrs. Ruiz would say in her accented English.ï¿½ 'Corns, 'tato, bean,' Turtle
Taylor imagines a conversation between a woman whose only
English vocabulary is diseases, and Turtle, who only says the names of
5. "You can go and visit
heaven.ï¿½ What?ï¿½ You see a room just like the first one, the same table, the
same pot of stew, the same spoons as long as a sponge mop.ï¿½ But these people
are all happy and fat."
Estevan explains that in
hell people do not help one another, but in heaven they do.
6. "Her favorite book was a
Burpee's catalogue from Mattie's, which was now required reading every night
before she would go to bed. The plot got old, in my opinion, but she was crazy
about all the characters."
Turtle is very interested in
7. "There was a cactus with
bushy arms and a coat of yellow spines as thick as fur.ï¿½ A bird had built her
nest in it.ï¿½ In and out she flew among the horrible spiny branches, never once
hesitating.ï¿½ You just couldn't imagine how she'd made a home in there."
Taylor compares the bird to Turtle, who has managed to
thrive despite her inhospitable environment.
8. "There seemed to be no
end of to the things that could be hiding, waiting it out, right where you
thought you could see it all."
Taylor is amazed at the life in the desert.
9. "Starting right now,
you've only got one Ma in the whole world.ï¿½ You know who that is?"
Taylor explains to Turtle that she has been adopted.
10. "And me.ï¿½ I was the main
Turtle sings a song about
vegetables and the people she loves, especially Taylor.