Friday, February 22, 2013

slow going


Some years (well, decades) ago my young son and I found a huge snapping turtle sitting on the road that circled Roger Williams Park in Providence. The serpentine lake that defines that park wasn't far but the turtle was very slow. In fact, he (or possibly she) was taking a breather, solemnly unaware in its reptilian fashion of the great danger it was facing from the cars that often hurtled along that byway. As it probably weighed 40-50lb there was no way I was going to try to pick it up. My son was eight and I wasn't going to let him try. You see I also knew they call them snapping turtles for a very good reason. They're known to be quite bad tempered when they're out of water and they can reach all the way around their bodies with their sharp beaks if you get too close - or, heaven forbid, try to pick one up by grabbing its shell.

So we stood and watched as it got back on the move - down the middle of the pavement. At least standing nearby we could wave cars around the thing. I didn't want to keep walking while waiting for the inevitable crash and crunch. Thankfully, it wasn't long before a couple of guys in a pickup truck stopped, guys with shovels as well as a lot of other landscaping tools. It took both of them working in unison with a shovel on either side to carry it from the middle of the road and down the slope to the water. They left. We left. If it climbed back out again it was none of our business.

Turtle stories aren't the most exciting ones but this one was good enough for the moment. Have you had a close encounter you'd like to share?

Meanwhile, another movie that made me smile that hopefully will do the same for you:

Jungle Brawl - Episode 1 from Lee Daniels on Vimeo.


12 comments:

  1. Hah, that hits it on the nail! Some days are indeed slow going, a struggle to achieve what needs be. I'll think of that turtle from now on when I get those kinds of days. And thanks for the smiles!

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  2. Yes, Marja-Leena, that's exactly what I've been involved with lately too. Unlike us, the turtle didn't seem bothered in the least.

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  3. I feel a turtle story coming on.....soon. Perhaps some turtles are boring... Mine were certainly not. I enjoyed the blue chimp - a hearty laugh before bed, thanks :0)

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    1. I'll be looking forward to your non-boring turtles story. I'm sure they're much funnier in groups.

      So glad you enjoyed the movie - talk about just desserts :-)

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  4. In an old neighborhood out in the countryside of western Massachusetts, a city slicker transplant named Trina came running out her front door screaming and banged on our door for help. A huge mother turtle (I think it was a snapping turtle) had dug a hole just below Trina's back steps, in a effort to lay her eggs, we presumed. CR put on some big work gloves and picked up the darned thing and brought it out back to the swamp. I don't recall is it tried to attack him but I do know he wasn't harmed in the least if it did. Perhaps they are more docile when carrying eggs...

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    1. I've read they can go for weeks without laying their eggs until they find just the right place. It sounds like brave CR spoiled her plans but I'm also sure her babies were safer in the swamp. I wonder if Trina ever became a country woman or if the snapper put her off for good?

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  5. There used to e a lot of red eared sliders in a local park.They seem to have gone. Basically a case of people getting them as pets during Teenage Nina Mutant Turtle mania then abandoning them when they got too big

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    1. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did more harm than good from what I can tell.

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  6. I've never encountered turtles outside a zoo, but kudos to the passersby.

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    1. I'd never seen such a big one before.

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  7. My dad ran over a turtle with the lawn mower. Somehow it ended up in our yard, even though we weren't close to any water....so I guess it was somebody's pet that got loose. Just thought of that when I saw this post. Oh...the turtle died. Just in case you were wondering. That's life in the land of turtles, I guess.

    Nunly

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    1. Poor turtle. Wrong place, wrong time for escape.

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