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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life in the slow lane (part 1)

It was accidental. Amphibians are too much like reptiles to be attractive. They're not cuddly, and how do you take them for a walk?

So it was only friendship speaking when I agreed to care for those turtles. Mississippi Red-eared sliders. You know, the cute little things not much bigger than a dollar coin. You could find them in any Woolworth's pet department a few decades ago. And those little plastic 'ponds' with the green plastic palm tree they lived in. I bought a pair of them with my allowance when I was 8 or 10. Sadly, I had no idea how to care for them, and got no parental guidance, so their lives were short and miserable.

But this tale is about some other turtles. These  particular turtles- the ones friendship compelled me to foster - were no tiny scrabbling hatchlings. These were 10 or 15.... Maybe even 20 years old. They'd been the fortunate infants to go to a home with some knowledge and expertise. They were about the size of a soup bowl, and, I was told, house trained. That's right. Not only that, they were free range turtles.


susan said...

You've described exactly my experience with the two little turtles I had as my first pets all those years ago - right down to the plastic pond with its plastic palm. Poor things. I still feel guilt about my ignorance.

I've been looking forward to hearing more about your friends Sweetie, Hunka and Speedy. House trained? Free range? This all sounds very promising.

Cicero Sings said...

Waiting for the story to unfold!

Years ago, when we lived in the States, we had a turtle wander into our yard so we claimed it as our own. A few days later, we found the owwners of this "free range" spirit and it had to go back to its rightful owners. I was heart broken but I'm sure me Mither was glad. What would we have done with the poor thing as we moved regularly and not always to warm places?

gfid said...

Susan - I still feel terrible about my poor baby turtles too. Somehow it wouldn't seem so bad if they were, say, piranas or leeches or rattlesnakes.

Cicero - what is it about turtles that we get so attached to them? Mither was probably right; moving a lot would have been hard on them. they like familiar surroundings.

linda said...

oh my yes.... poor wee turts I had too... ah well... they used to love swimming in the bathroom sink! ugh....

gfid said...

I tried that with my turtle babes. Stepmother had a royal fit. She'd heard they carried horrible diseases.