Bigger turtles

Waldo Peirce, a American painter and bohemian (1884-1970), may be most celebrated for playing one of the all-time great practical jokes. This took place in the 1920s when he was living in Paris. I learned about it from Bob Dylan’s XM Radio show last year about April Fool’s Day.

Here’s how Wikipedia tells the tale:

“Peirce … made a spontaneous gift of a very small turtle to the lady who was the concierge of his building. The lady doted on the turtle and lavished it with care and affection.

“A few days later Peirce substituted a somewhat larger turtle for the original one. This continued for some time, with larger and larger turtles being surreptitiously introduced into the lady’s apartment.

“The concierge was beside herself with happiness and displayed her miraculous turtle to the entire neighborhood.

“Peirce then began to sneak in and replace the turtle with smaller and smaller ones, to her bewildered distress.”

As Dylan ended his version: “Waldo Peirce, a man after my own heart.”

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  • “Hal and Hadla Linker”

    “Self Portrait” was definitely a deliberate and much smaller turtle.