Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Turtle Time

Okay, this is way late, I admit it. I found these photos in my iphoto and realized that I had never posted them. I still like them though, even if they are a bit tardy. A lot tardy.

Last summer, back when the sun was shining and I was wearing just a tee shirt, I walked out of the kitchen, down the sidewalk and nearly stepped on this turtle. Scared the hell out of me actually. There it was on the sidewalk in front of my house. A turtle.

Oddly, I had just walked by this little patch of concrete moments before and had no seen any sign of such a beast. It just appeared. I picked it up, sheepishly, looking around for fear that someone might notice me plucking said turtle up. It just seemed so damn exotic that I was convinced that it was a fantasy of mine; that I couldn't truly have such a lovely animal here in my front yard.

And then I had a very active, strong willed turtle trying to get away. I grabbed a cardboard box and placed it gently in the bottom, convinced that this would hold him until I could come up with a plan. My only thought at this point was that it was a pet, brought to the island from a tropical country, to live out its life in an aquarium in one of my suburban neighbors' homes. I have a few kids around so I went from fence line to fence line, alerting my neighbors that I had indeed found their young child's pet and that they could retrieve it from me now.

I found no one who would claim this beast. He was now my charge. Thankfully, the internet has made it an easy option to find out that in fact he -- I was at this point convinced that he was a he by his strong resolve -- was in fact an inhabitant of this corner of the world. I felt that his shell was far too flashy to be of this region. Our natives tend to be more drab and dull, then this bright orange and black striped turtle.

I determined that the only thing to do was to walk him over to the lower pond and lead him to the brush that surrounds it, and let him free. He quickly scurried into the thickets and I never have seen him since. I like to think that he had emerged from that pond and simply lost his way, that he has a rich, full life just feet from my house and that from my sheer ignorance I never noticed his existence. I may never know for sure, but come spring in a few weeks, I will look into the reeds, confident that a clutch of small baby turtles will emerge and I can welcome them to the farm.

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