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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Life in the Slow Lane (part 3)

As the days grew longer and the sun stronger, in quiet moments Chili and Somethingorother could be found basking in the spill of sunshine on the wood floor  of the living room.  There was a large, south facing window there.  The spring sunshine was warm and glorious. The first time I encountered this, I thought they were having some desperately horrible fit.  There they were, side by side in the centre of a pool of sunlight, with necks stretched out longer than seemed possible, front legs stretched equally impossibly long, with claws pointing towards their tails, and hind legs dangling straight behind.  

I'd never seen so much turtle outside of a shell. Those long, limp, skinny limbs looked unnatural, and their eyes were shut. They looked like they were unconscious. How, I wondered in mortal anguish, do you resuscitate a turtle? But they spared me that - they heard me coming, in my panicked rush to save them from whatever horrors they were suffering, peeled sleepy eyelids back and lazily lifted their heads off the floor to turn stupified gazes on me.  By  now I had some experience with turtle body language. The closest description of the expressions on their faces is 'drunken stupor'. They looked totally stoned, man.  And that's how they spent sunny afternoons, if the house was quiet and there were no human obstacles to avoid. Stoned on sunlight. 

On one afternoon, after a sleepless night, I lay down on the couch in the living room, which faced the sunny south window and had free access from all sides.  I dozed off comfortably in the warm sunshine. Some time later I was awakened by a strange shuffling and thumping.  As I looked about me, gathering my wits, Chili came into view around the foot of the couch, at a brisk turtle trot.  He hurried along the length of it, and took the corner by my head, around to the back of the couch, where the sounds continued until he came around the corner at my feet again.  He was doing laps around the couch!  Meanwhile Somethingorother lay with his chin on the floor marinating in the heat of the sunbeam, grinning stupidly, ignoring the action.  I didn't count the laps, but this went on for 15 or 20 minutes before Chili joined his partner in the sun.  Chili did this periodically, when he thought no one was watching, but his buddy had no interest in marathon training. Who'da thunk a turtle would be into fitness?

They both had a fondness for books and magazines.  As I shared their biblio love, there were a good many bookshelves holding a good many books about the place.  When the mood took one of them, he would amble over to a shelf of choice, and proceed to check a few books out of the library.  He'd do this by wedging himself between one edge of the shelf and the book nearest it, sometimes sideways, almost as if he were inserting himself in there like a book.  Then he'd work himself between the book and the shelf until he had his head between the back of the bookshelf and the open-able end of the book. He'd turn a corner in there somehow, working his head behind all of the books all along the bottom shelf, moving sideways with one set of legs down, and the other up, until he'd checked them all out and had them displayed for his reading convenience on the floor.  When there was no longer resistance from any books, he'd wobble down onto his belly and sit on the bottom shelf of the book case, surveying the literary selection spread out before him.  It was pretty amazing how much the two of them could read in an afternoon. 


linda said...

your. writing always makes me grin if that's your intention :D

the image of the turtles doing laps and enjoying puddles of sunlight evokes the sounds of those little claws scraping across the floor..

you wouldn't believe what I just did, speaking of indoor pets...wish I could drop my giant white yeti in the, scratch that, HER tub every other day for her 'doing her duty ' but... it's raining and big girl was alone out there in great room when nature called.

soon I began to think we must have another septic tank issue because the odor began to waft, no, assault is a better word, my unsuspecting nose. the hunt was on and sure enough, a pile from an elephant awaited me next to the door... thank you, dear Bella. why not come and get me,?

I forget I don't speak her language tho she seems to speak mine. but she REALLY HATES RAIN.,!!! not only is it raining, it's thundering and hailing too.... I guess she did what felt best on all levels and dear husband is left to find the big shovel whilst I turn on every fan in the house.............

turtles, my dear, are methinks, less messy. I crawl back into bed carrying the yard on the bottom of my feet and consider the cleaning lady make an extra visit this month. even tho I do adore my big yeti, she needs a bath I MMEDIATELY!

k. that's all for today... off to see susan. have a feeling I'm late to her party too. much love!

sorry, this is too long but my typing is improving ! xoxo

susan said...

Your story of first finding them basking in the sunshine was great as the descriptions of turtles straining as far out of their shells as they can get is close to my heart at this time of drawing Anthony's big adventure. Have you twigged to the hints I've been giving that he's a turtle not yet shelled?

The best part was reading about waking up to find Chili doing laps around the couch. I never would have guessed a turtle would do that (in reality) in a million years. I don't often read blog post stories to Jer but just had to this time and after he finished laughing he agreed that you're a very talented writer.

The part about them both being bibliophiles in their spare time was very cool. I've never seen the smartest dog or cat ever take a book off the shelf.

I'm so glad you decided to tell these stories and you know I'm looking forward to more.

gfid said...

Linda - so glad you enjoy the turtles. A grin is never a bad thing. I watched a lady clean up after her Great Dane at the dog park once... I can only imagine what a great white yeti produces.... Funny that she hates rain.... But I guess I'm comparing to my PWD, who loves anything wet. I hope the typing fluency means overall improvement.

Susan - Anthony crossed my mind as I ruminated about these two. Have you noticed how patient about getting to know him I'm being? Chili was one of a kind. I'm not certain he knew he was a turtle. I'm pleased that Jer enjoyed hearing about the lads. Thank you for you kind words. I love telling stories, especially really good true ones.

Chintan Brahmbhatt said...

Nice Post...!!

nice Blogger....!!

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