Why did the turtle walk down the road?

No, the snapping turtle was not crossing to the other side. It was headed toward our office, but in the wrong lane, so I didn't notice until I left the office. Had to retrieve some flyers for the community clean-up/fix-up event, and some buckets for the litter bags and give-aways. With lots of mud washed onto the road, I almost didn't realize it was a turtle until too late. I stopped, hopped out of the car, and looked underneath. Yep, that clod of mud was a turtle. Fortunately not was was! Drove ahead carefully so as not to squash it.

The turtle was a long, slow walk from the creek where the snapping turtles rule. Was it running away from home? Off to lay eggs? It seemed kind of small for that, but what do I know? Its shell was six inches long.

We have red-eared sliders in the creek, and they generally stay on one side of the cross-over walkway. The snapping turtles are big, reputed to be mean, and stay on the other side mostly.

On Thursday I told about ninety third-graders about Peanut, the turtle in Missouri that got stuck in a six-pack ring. You can look it up, but Peanut is the poster child for animals harmed by litter. Third-graders eat this stuff up, and remember it, too. I always have to explain that turtles cannot crawl out of their shell.

Among the things I learned is school kids freak out if I use a shiny wrapper from an Easter Reese's peanut butter cup as litter in my presentations, because they are so hyper-freaked about peanut allergies. So, I have to eat some different candy for wrapper litter. It's a bad job, but someone's got to do it.

And so, the snapping turtle was lucky not to be a peanut:

A peanut sat on the railroad track.
Its heart was all a-flutter.
Round the bend came Number Ten.
Choo-choo peanut butter.

Instead the snapper has a tale to tell the grandkids about the time a crazy lady scooped it up between two red buckets and took it back to the creek in her car. Turtles do not often ride in cars. Perhaps it will be a legendary cautionary tale about not running away from home.

Good news. The Geeks fixed my camera, and it is headed back to me. For phone photos, these aren't awful.

Go West, young turtle.

© 2013-2015 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

seana graham said...

I rescued a spider out of the bathtub today, but that's nothing on you.