Monday, February 14, 2011

Shell Games

When I was growing up it was not unusual for my dad the traveling salesman to bring home a surprise in a box. A turtle. He'd stop to pick up box turtles and present them to us in the same way other dads bring home t-shirts. We didn't think it strange. We were too busy getting lettuce or raw hamburger from the fridge to feed those poor turtles that had endured a long drive home after a hard day's work selling sandpaper with my dad.

So naturally I pick up turtles to take to my grandchildren. There are lots of them on Reunion Boulevard that I imagine are running a marathon of sorts from the lake on the north side of the boulevard to the pond on the south side. The problem is that some people think it's strange to rescue turtles from their perilous existence on four lane traffic.

Like my son-in-law who considered putting himself up for adoption when I showed up with the first box turtle. Just look at him now. I've had others stop when they see me bent over the yellow line on the pavement picking up "Shelly." Need help, lady? No, thanks. Just gettin' a turtle. Some men see a turtle and ask why? I see a turtle and ask why not?

It was difficult to choose just a few from my many favorite turtle photos but this has to be at the top of my list. Meg, Charlie and Benjamin trying to coax the terrified creature from its shell. Notice that Charlie's packin' some heat. "Come on out little turtle. We won't hurt you. Pay no attention to the fact that our grandmother is wearing an apron and has a huge pot of water boiling on the stove. She won't hurt you. Much." Oh right. That time. The time that I found Shelly the Turtle on Highway 463, carefully placed her in the back of my SUV and then promptly answered my cell phone, went to Mary Kelly's, probably the grocery and service station after that, followed by a couple hundred loads of laundry, and a trip to Timbuktu. Forgot all about that little critter wandering around the back of my car. In the middle of summer. When the temperature is at an average of 483 degrees. In the shade.

Before you call PETA on me look at the outcome. Just like a pack of M&M's that hard outer shell works every time. If that turtle didn't melt in my car, believe me it isn't going to melt anywhere. But if Shelly won't come out for that cute Benjiheimer she isn't ever coming out. Never.