Turtle In The Soup

On the home stretch of my peregrinations to scoff coffee, I spotted a turtle in the grass alongside the sidewalk. When I enquired what she was doing there, she looked up at me as though I should mind my own business. Her striped face indicated that she was a painted turtle. Not an endangered species but one under pressure.

As we gazed at each other, I noticed that she had churned up the grass into mud. It looked like she was trying to continue her journey to cross the sidewalk and then the road, but when carapace hit concrete-edge, progress came to a standstill. I gave her a lecture on the foolishness of leaving the pond to cross the road, but that didn’t go well. With one last look she pulled her head in and waited for me to shut up and leave.

As with any red-blooded do-gooder, leaving things alone was not an option. I picked her up and took her across the grass to place her on the downward slope towards the pond. The muddy patch she left by the sidewalk was big enough to suggest that she might have been planning to lay eggs there. A very bad idea, as people frequently walk on the grass, as I explained to her, but she was still turning a deaf ear. I described my vision of twenty to thirty little hatchlings running out into the road with a great subsequent scrunching as the traffic rushed by. She took no notice.

Another animal in the soup this weekend is the Emperor from the Antarctic who visit New Zealand. I wrote about him in last Wednesday’s post. Well, his penchant for eating wet sand instead of snow in order to keep cool has got him into trouble. He is now clogged and has had two work overs by local plumbers – Plumb Quick or Drain Doctor, perhaps  – and is now sitting in an ice-bath, stoically waiting another visit.

Why, I wonder, didn’t someone offer him some ice cream? Isn’t that what you’d offer a guest on a sunny beach? The good news is that a local businessman has offered to take him back home to the ice flows if he comes through the latest clean out of his pipes. I’m sure we all have our fingers crossed.

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