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An interview with Yertle, Former King of all Sala-ma-Sond 

Updated: Nov 22, 2022


In an attempt to make sense of the events that followed the regime change, I contacted Yertle the Turtle, former King of all Sala-ma-Sond, who agreed to set the record straight.

Me: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Your Highness.

Former King Yertle: *winces* Please, just ‘Yertle’ is fine.  I am a private citizen now earning an honest living providing much-needed mud products to my fellow turtles.

Me: Of course, thank you, Yertle.  It’s just that this is my first interview with royalty and I’m a bit nervous.

Yertle: Understandable.  I was quite the imposing figure in my day, but again, I’m merely another turtle in the pond now.  Not that there are many left after the mess Mack made of things.

Me: Yes, about that… What happened?

Yertle: Honestly, it all transpired so quickly, I’m still a bit fuzzy.  One moment I was King of all Sala-ma-Sond, exalted higher than any turtle has ever been, adored and respected by my subjects and wielding power rivaled only by the Great A’Tuin, and then, suddenly, I was nothing, coated in the most amazing restorative mud–available online at–and Mack was perched on my throne, belching like a cretin.  It was frankly the most disgusting display I had ever seen.

Me: That must have been hard for you.  Did you anticipate what would happen next?

Yertle: Of course I did! I caught a glimpse of the creature as the moon rose over my head.  I’m still slightly peeved about that, I must say. The nerve! In any case, I saw the huge shape approaching but there was nothing I could do.  Mack wouldn’t allow my beautiful throne to be rebuilt and there was no other way to verify what I had seen.

Me: How did the pond-dom react to your news and specifically, what did King Mack do to prepare?

Yertle: Nothing.  *sniffs*  They didn’t believe me. They actually thought that all I cared about was power. As if I hadn’t given my entire existence to serving my pond-dom as king for the majority of my life.

Me: Did King Mack make any preparations at all?

Yertle: *laughs* Of course not.  The only talent the usurper had was belching the alphabet and writing his name in the snow with his own urine. *pauses* That last bit is kind of impressive for a turtle, but still, he’s nothing but a fool.

Me: Wait… I thought that King Mack–

Yertle: *interrupts* Please stop calling him that.  He is no more King than I am a parrot. Sure, he sits on my throne and wears a cat-tail circlet that his mother made for him, but he’s no King.  

Me: Uh, okay, so didn’t… didn’t Mack’s greed destroy the pond?

Yertle: Greed?  That simpleton doesn’t have a greedy spot on his shell.  Oh, and speaking of shell spots, Yertle’s Miracle Mud–patent-pending–fades imperfections and restores your shell to its original youthful appearance.  Only $59.99 for a year supply!

Me: So, how did the pond come to ruin?  What happened?

Yertle:  What happened? Why, nothing.  Except that a kaiju arose from the depths and destroyed the entirety of Sala-ma-Sond while Mack lit his own farts on fire.

Me: …

Yertle: Oh, don’t look so surprised.  Kaiju are nothing new to Sala-ma-Sond.  They normally leave us in peace–we are, after all, only turtles–but this time was different.  It seems that the creature was in a foul mood because all of Mack’s idiotic admirers had begun imitating his disgusting displays of flatulence. The stench alone drove the creature to seek out our pond-dom specifically and destroy it. Only the restorative powers of my therapeutic aromatherapy calming mud were able to sway the creature from annihilating us in our entirety.  It seems kaiju don’t have access to the internet for shopping. You could say that I saved us.

Me: You saved the pond?

Yertle: Well, admittedly not the whole pond.  I mean, it did take me some time to discern what would be the best product to help the kaiju get a good night’s sleep for a change.  The poor thing had only gotten a few centuries and was frightfully grumpy.

Me:  Well that’s… that’s a story we hadn’t yet heard.  Do you have any designs on reclaiming the throne?

Yertle: *laughs* No, I’m done with all that.  I have found a modicum of joy in mud and plan to climb to heights never before seen as a purveyor of these quality products. Be sure to visit for our complete listing.

Me: Thank you for speaking with me and I’ll be sure to check out your website.

Yertle: I have a sample of the restorative mud used to calm the kaiju.  Would you care to try it?

Me: Oh, yes!  Thank you.

This has been Tawn Krakowski reporting to you from Sala-ma-Sond.  Thank you for reading.

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