"you are dust!" said the tortoise,
chewing a leaf, the one it chewed for a couple centuries.
and i twisted my head and scratched my dandruff-littered scalp,
"why?" i said, my pondering genuine, as it tends not to be.
"because!" it said, clearly annoyed, "death is something you can't avoid,
and someday you shall rot, and be a feast for fungus,
and then your bones will wither away, eroded by time's merciless decay."
i was not impressed (though slightly scared), "i realize that," i replied.
"but how are you seeing me at this time as anything other than flesh?
i know that i will pass, and that my body will be deep underground,
worms will mate in my eye sockets, and the less said about maggots
the better. but here, in this moment, time has not run out for me, so why are you using the present tense when cursing entropy upon me?"
it stopped and slowed down chewing, eyes gazing back and forth.
"do you think my sense of time only lies in one direction? mistaken.
it can go backwards, yes, but it may go forwards too, and
some other directions you will not comprehend. divination is no delusion,
it's only logical."
the tortoise turned around and crawled away. this took a few decades.