SPOILIN’ THE BROTH
G randsons Esten, 10, Will,
8, and Augie, 6, were playing on the drive-way at our house the other day when they spotted a turtle (terrapin?) moving ever so slowly onto the drive from the grass, apparently having come out of turtle habitat in the woods.
“Will,” I said to the ever adventurous one, “go pick up that turtle and put him back in the woods.”
Will started to do just that, circled it a couple of times, and reasoned out loud, “PawPaw, what if it’s a snapping turtle?”
“It’s not,” I said, and picked it up by its shell to prove my point. I sat it on the lawn where the boys spent some time admiring it, and then went back to their scooter, bicycle and skateboard course on our long, sloping drive.
By this time Esten and Will were not bashful about picking it up. When I came in from the office Will informed me that they had rescued the turtle and put it in the kitchen sink in nice cool water.
And they had. The turtle was treading water like crazy. “I don’t think that’s the kind of turtle that has to live in the water,” I explained. “He’ll be much happier out in the yard, or in the woods.”
So we carried him back to the front sidewalk so he could continue his journey. Esten and Will, with Augie ever in tow, put a bowl of water out for him. I don’t know how they thought the turtle would climb into the bowl, but we didn’t get into that.
“I’m going to really miss Larry,” Esten, ever the drama king of our bunch, said with a solemn expression.
“ You mean you’ve a lready named the turtle?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Esten said. “I’m really going to miss him.”
I assured him Larry would fend for himself just fine in his great outdoors.
About that time, the trio decided it was time to watch Cartoon Network or to play computer games so I figured the turtle would soon be a distant memory.
Esten and Will left that afternoon with parents Ken and Christine to return home to Victoria.
Next morning Noelia brought Augie by the house and a little bit later I spotted Augie sitting on the front sidewalk looking in the bushes.
“ What’cha doin, Augie? ” I asked.
“Waiting on Larry to come out,” he said.
“Have you seen him?” I asked.
“Nope. He’s probably in these bushes.”
Augie gave it a good half hour and then came in the house. I thought he’d fired up the Cartoon Network again, and he had.
But not before he’d taken a plastic plate of potato chips and tiny bites of a red hotdog wiener and sat it on the sidewalk, in case Larry got hungry. He also put out some water.
By nightfall they hadn’t been touched (even by the neighborhood cats or Aggie Dawg) and Larry had probably long since made the woods. But by golly the vittles were there for him if he’d wanted.
Shoot, Esten, I guess Augie and I miss Larry a little too.