Fortuitous Testudines

On my way home from the gym about an hour ago, I spotted a familiar silhouette on the side of the road… I saw it after my headlights had passed over, but some primal part of my brain recognized the dark shape and screamed POSSIBLE FOOD SOURCE. I stopped and backed up a bit, and got out of the car.
The rear running lights on my car shine through 38 year old lenses, so they aren’t that bright. But they were bright enough to show that I had found a pretty big turtle with pretty yellow stripes running up and down his legs and neck; his shell was about 9 inches long and he weighed around four pounds. When I picked him up, he tried to pee on me but my daddy reflexes are too well-tuned to get caught with such clumsy reptilian attempts (in contrast, Max has successfully barfed, peed, and crapped on me all in one day).
I decided to take him home instead of leaving him to get run over so far from a water source. I wondered how he had gotten there… Was he an escaped pet? On a walkabout? Or was he the ghost of my dead pink chicken, Pinky, come to say goodbye to daddy once again? (I miss that chicken, godammit!)
I put him on the hood of the Kuj (and he of course peed all over it), then drove home. I showed him to Max, who was kind of impressed, and Nam said I should let it go in the pond in front of our house. So we walked it down to the water’s edge, mumbled some quasi-religious well wishes common to those who don’t really care about religion but sometimes like to acknowledge there are greater forces than ourselves out there somewhere, and I tossed it into the water.
Then I washed off my hood with a half-empty bottle of water from my gym bag.
If that turtle makes it through the winter, avoids being eaten by the workers who net fish in our pond, and doesn’t get run over anytime soon, I’ll be really happy.

One thought on “Fortuitous Testudines”

  1. This is one of those Kodak moments…..a photo of a live turtle instead of dead roasted/boiled/sashimi turtle.
    Regarding poor Pinky, I know how much you miss your little mascot because I’ve had two pet chicken, both laying hens, who were as affectionate as puppies….and gave us eggs, too!

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