The Ninja Turtle and the Highly Sensitive Blonde, Part 1
My intentions were honorable. Let’s get that straight from the start.
I saw a creature in obvious distress and I had the time and willingness to help it.
What I didn’t have was:
1. sufficient understanding of how wild a wild turtle can get when it confuses a “rescue” mission with a “kidnapping.”
2. the proper
bullet-proof container humane carrier and protective gear to keep both me and the turtle from scaring each other out of our shells.
3. nearly enough sedatives for anyone involved in this particular
Lord Have Mercy Mission.
Let me explain what happened.
Philip and I were taking Scrappy for a walk around our neighborhood a few days ago. It was very hot and sunny.
Both Philip and Scrappy spotted a freakishly huge, hopefully non-snapping turtle parked near the curb adjacent to our driveway. I thought it was a
Smart Car boulder.
No really. Its shell was about 12 inches long and 10 inches wide. This critter did not come from some kid’s hobby aquarium. Since there are no ponds, swamps, rivers, lakes, or oceans within turtle-walking distance, it must have been plotting the annihilation of humans in the sewers with its brother and sister freakishly enormous turtles and just got stuck on a recon mission. Other than that totally plausible theory, I have no idea where this gargantuan thing came from or where it was headed.
Since it wasn’t a cat, Scrappy wasn’t that interested in chasing it. Plus it wasn’t moving when it sensed us near it, so he just sniffed it and thankfully didn’t pee on it.
Phil picked it up and moved it from the road onto the grass, hoping it would head for our neighbor’s garden. Our neighbors aren’t all that friendly and could use a little–or big–company.
But it was stiflingly hot and, even though turtles and I have never been mutually attracted to each other–especially turtles that could overthrow the world–this critter needed help. I know enough about reptiles that they need moisturizers to keep them looking and feeling their best. I wanted to help it. It’s the Buddhist in me.
As we finished up Scrappy’s walk, we noticed the turtle was back on the pavement. That was a turtle with a definite plan. There is a sewer grate not far from our drive way.
Aha! Either my Turtle World Domination theory was accurate or the innocent (but stunningly large) turtle was looking for water. In either case, I needed to get that thing away from the pavement/sewer grate and into a more natural and safer-for-the-world environment.
Philip began referring to it as “my turtle,” as in, “When we get back, get a box and take your turtle to a marsh.”
That’s what I did.
I felt confident that I could handle this responsibility.
1. I am something of an animal whisperer. When I whisper, they notice. They may not always do what I whisper, but I have pretty good luck with animals. Turtles are animals, too. Sort of. Right?
2. Even if the turtle didn’t understand my soothing assurances that I was really helping it by putting it a cardboard box and carting it around in my car, I was confident it would do what turtles do when they are scared: hide in their shells. “My turtle” would be a quiet passenger. I was sure of it.
3. I had golly gee whiz super-duper good intentions. With that much good will on my side, what could go wrong?
So I set off in my Prius, with Ginormous Turtle in a large box in the back of my car. The trip, I estimated, would take about 20 minutes. I had the perfect wet-lands destination in mind where I would set “my turtle” free and it would swim or plod off into its new, moist and welcoming habitat. I only wish someone from Animal Planet were there to film my act of Turtle salvation.
I was all smiles. Until I wasn’t.
Stay tuned to see what happened…or didn’t as the case my be. HINT: Turtles and Blondes with the Best of Intentions are not as predictable as you might think.