The animal within me is a turtle. Although my gait may appear to be slow, I steadily get to where I want. My shell is a protective covering that many think is dead, but is very much alive. The markings on my shell indicate my history but do not determine that path I will take. The tough exterior is most obvious to most people, but for those willing to take a closer look, I have much softness, kindness and empathy to share with others. My appearance is nonthreatening, but I have obtained survival skils, which have enabled me to continue life amongst many stronger appearing predators.