The tale of the turtle rescue. Box turtle in the road.
Most days, Peter and I take the mondo, 4 wheeling, all-terrain Golf Cart over to the see the construction progress on the house. Today was no different. The wind had blown off some of the roof's tar paper and that's a bummer. But that's not what I wanted to tell you.
On the way back, we found a box turtle in the road. Dead center just sitting there as if he were lost. He was a big one with a mossy back. An older gent, I'd have to say. Of course, we stopped with the intent to move the fine fellow. No one with any decency leaves a turtle in the road.
I was driving, so Peter hopped out to do the deed.
Now, Peter is quite a fine gent himself. A fine Italian man. Among other things, this can be interpreted to mean that he likes good shoes. He's also a little OCD, which makes him a great designer and a man with a plan. Turtles in the road, however, weren't written in the plan and require a bit of emergency planning.
Of course, there was a towel in the dash compartment of the cart since you never know when you might have to wipe mud off your shoes. Peter didn't want mossy, old wet turtle all over him or his clothes. (especially since I'd just washed them and he's a very wise man.) So, he picked up the towel and tossed it over the turtle's back. This part of the arrest didn't upset the wise turtle and the towel blocked his vision so he couldn't see the hulking human grab him. Then, Peter hefted the old boy and it was another story. This turtle, in all his born days, had clearly never taken to the air. He was flummoxed. And scared.
It was immediately apparent that flying wasn't his thing. He starting snapping at the air for all the world like a tough ol' snapping turtle. He still had no idea that a human was carrying him, which might have been worse until you consider it from the turtle’s point of view. Sudden flight must be terrifying. The poor turtle lapsed into hysteria and, being a turtle, he couldn't scream. So he peed. He peed a lot.
Peter is not a lack-wit and quickly realized that this flood of moisture wasn't a bit of pond water but a flood of old turtle pee. He began a rapid sort of hoping-dance-walk maneuver to avoid the flow. He aimed for the other side of the road... except there wasn't a place to put the (still peeing and still snapping) turtle down.
As the flood continued, I watched Peter break into a strange sort of gallop, kicking his legs out to the side, heading down the edge of the road urgently looking for a safe spot to divest himself of the hysterical peeing turtle.
I was now slowly following the dancing rescue in the golf cart and the procession moved down the side of the road. (Please visualize this picture.)
Fortunately, a spot was found and Peter put Old Moss-Back safely down. The turtle seemed glad to have his feet on the ground and stopped snapping. By then, he was also all peed out. The terror flight of the moss back turtle was over.
The funny thing is that I'm not sure he ever noticed Peter. If that turtle has grandchildren, he's got a great story of the uncanny to tell them.
That’s when I realized that, despite the desperation of his bouncing dance, Peter was now squishing when he walked. All through this misadventure, I’d maintained a degree of concern for the poor turtle and successfully avoided giggling at Peter’s hop-walk-dance. But right then, I realized he had a fine Italian shoe… full of old turtle pee.
I don’t think I’ve ever "chortled" before but it’s the only word to describe my response.
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