Tuesday, March 9, 2010

About 25 years ago, I got a call from our back door neighbor. Barb was out of breath and a little on the hysterical side. "OH MY GOD, there is some kind of animal or thing on my side yard. Please Linda, come and help me get rid of it". And she slammed down the phone before I had a chance to ask fur, feather, or crawling thingie. Most folks, after they have known me for awhile realize that I am not afraid of much, in the way of beasties, thingie and stufff that goes bump in the night.

So off I went around the block (we both live in the middle of the block) to see how I could help my highly excited neighbor. I met her at the sideway in front of her house. I asked her to show me where it was and she stood there and pointed back towards the house. I asked if she was sure it was still there and her answer was.........hell no, that's your job. Okay then, what does it look like. I thought that was a pretty reasonable question at the moment. Her response...."I don't know it just moved." Well is it big, little? Barb's response, hell Linda, if I had known you wanted to play a quiz game I would have asked someone else to help me.

So I just walked away.

Nah, what kinda story would that be. Thinking it might be a snake, I asked her for the rake, which she did hand me. And asked her to call my husband, just in case I needed some back up. I had no idea what I was gonna be bringing out of the rose bushes on the side of her house.

So off this intrepid hunter went, armed with a leaf rake and no good sense, into the wilds of the rose garden. I poked around every bush, along the fence line, and back up to see if it had climbed up onto the brick. Now remember, I don't know what I am looking for.

this darling and handsome boy is Big Guy

this charming miss is Momma

As I am staring up, something bumps into my foot. I look down and there he is. The fearsome beast of Los Arboles Street...a box turtle. He's looking up at me like....hey how's it going? I picked him up and started back towards Barb and when she saw what I was holding, I swear to the gods of the underworld, she let out this blood curdling scream that was heard in Cleveland, Ohio, ran inside her house and yelled for me to take it away.

Tee Hee. By this time the neighborhood is out seeing how and why I had killed a neighbor lady. Cuz it sure sounded like that's what had happened. As the crowd gathered, there were lots of remarks about the turtle and most of them were negative. Like get that thing outta here, don't let it touch me it'll give me warts (wrong animal species and a myth dum dum). Then Barb's next door neighbor tells me there is one of those horrible things in a bucket in her garage too. Would I kill it? Ugh, no. But I will take it with me.

So for the price of admission to the freak show, I got my very first box turtles, Big Guy and Momma and it has been love, love, love at first sight and ever since. These two turtles started the "herd of turtles" I loved. Turtles are quite trainable, semi intellegent and lots of fun to watch.....much like birds without the feathers, birdseed and pooplets. I, at one point in time (until three years ago), had 30 plus turtles in the back yard of our other house. 3 different kinds and a thriving consultant business on turtles, tortoises and terrapins. 

I'll continue this tale of a short reptile tail tomorrow but thought I'd leave you with the turtle axiom on life......you never make any progress unless you're willing to stick your neck out.


  1. What a great story! Waiting rather impatiently for the next installment. I so love animal tales.

  2. Funny, Turtles are cool. We had those tiny ones with the painted flower on their back when I was a kid. Guess they didn't know back then (and it was far back) that it hurt the turtle to be painted.

  3. Aw, what crazy people your neighborhood had. Kill the turtles?? Why? Turtles are fantastic! I've yet to encounter box turtles in the wilds of New Jersey, just painted turtles and snappers. And I'll admit, I don't *love* the snappers and their ornery dispositions, but I do enjoy looking at them. ;)

  4. OMG!!! This story is hysterical!!! I just love how you write girl...i can see the whole thing just like I was standing there with you. hahahahahah

    I looooooooove turtles and have had a few myself. Somehow they always end of crawling away. That is so cool they stayed in your hard and had babies...wow I want one!! :)

    And....thank you so very very much for taking the time to give me advice yesterday on my dad. You are soooo right...I think my dad is depressed. He was always so social, head of the rotary, president of this and that...very loved in town. I think he hates this resort but doesn't want to lose control and is afraid he is going to end of sitting in a chair infront of the tv and dying. Ooooo this is such a hard situation...

    Have a fabulous day darling lol
    Lots of hugs!!!

  5. I knew you meant, "Chingon!" Anyway, I can't believe that these desert dwellers didn't know about toitles!!! We used to have lots of them in our backyard as a kid. When it rained, they would float on down the street from the hillsides and we'd adopt them. My ex f-i-l had one called Joe. He trained Joe to come out for his hamburger and peach dinner every evening by turning on the sprinklers...was really cute. I had a couple of them in my solarium in my old house...they kept the cat company!!! At night those big nasty black roaches would come out and it was feast time. I'd get my "roach" gloves and slap them off the wall to the turtles direction...they always knew that it was treat time when mommy came out with her gloves.

    After my divorce, I took the turtles and gave them to a couple of friends who had a herd of them at their house...I know my daughter would forget about them and they would starve.

    Have a great day and will call as soon as I can...what a week I've had and it's not over!! oey vey!!!

    Love ya and B&G,


    Vert word of the day: uroffies.

    Commercial: Let us take you from Paris to London, Uroffies to all great cities in Europe.


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