Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pumpkin Feast

Image source.

This tortoise reminded me of a family pet we had when I was young. An eastern box turtle. He lived in our yard all year long. Dug down into a hole in the winter and hibernated until the first thaw of spring. Then he came up and slipped into his watering hole (a black plastic paint roller tray) for hours to rehydrate. He was like a dog. A small, leathery, slow-moving, dinosaur dog. He'd hunt for worms during rain storms and eat my mother's strawberries before she could pick them. If you were out in the yard, he'd saunter over (in his own way) and sit by your toes.

Then one very cold spring morning, during a heavy rain storm, my father mentioned "I gave the turtle a hand this morning with the shovel. I helped him out." I don't know much about turtle engineering, but they dig their holes in a way that will prevent them from drowning during heavy rains. My father had created some kind of mini-crater around our turtle's hole and it promptly filled up with icy cold water. We tried to return it to the way it was, but the hole just stayed that way - filled to the brim with muddy brown water. A week later, when the real spring thaw arrived, our turtle was a no-show. And my father was a murderer.


Cabrina said...

that is the greatest ending line of a story I have EVER read! Sad for the turtle mind you, but awesome line.

Sara said...

:( dude, that is harsh. Poor little turtle. :(

Rot said...

i'd like to think it was like dying in hyperspace. you'd never know what hit you.

that said, we've never forgiven him.

~Scout~ said...

That reminds me of once my Dad went hunting and brought home a huge jack rabbit for dinner. I was amazed by the size of it and he told me it was the Easter Bunny, thinking I would know he was kidding and would laugh along. Well... since I was only 5 years old, I didn't know he was kidding and burst into uncontrollable sobbing.

We ate at the A&W drive-up that night.

NoahFentz said...

Father's Knows best...

My sister had a Hermit Crab. She had it for about a year. It was actually kinda kewl. It went in its shell when people entered her room but came out when she entered. It grew bigger and she got a bigger shell for it.

One day she screamed and ran out of her room crying. The crab was hanging partially out of the shell without movement. My father took the bowl out of her room and told her that he will take care of it. She said she wanted to keep the shell. My father came back and told us that he thinks he got it all out of the shell and that it was deep inside.

About a month later my sister read that Hermit crabs shed their skin.

Grim said...

I still feel bad about the time I was holding a box turtle and it slipped out of my hands. It landed on its back on the sidewalk, which cracked its shell and killed it. That was about 28 years ago.

I still try to make up for it today by stopping (if it's safe) whenever I see a turtle in the road and helping it to the other side.