I was driving home about two weeks ago and spotted a turtle in the middle of a busy road. I ALWAYS stop for these guys and give them an assist to the other side. One day I’m gonna git kilt doing this, but I am compelled to stop. The very few times I’ve kept driving, I’ve worried for days about the critter, so it’s just not a good plan for me to ignore the situation. This time I left the car in the road on top of a hill where it could be seen for a mile so other cars could see me. I got out quickly, grabbed the varmint and put him in the back seat floorboard. By this time, three cars were patiently parked behind me and all the drivers were smiling. One guy gave me a “thumbs up”. 🙂 After I got home, I placed him in the tall grass in my back yard next to a full bowl of water. It was then that I noticed that he was injured. A car had clipped the front of his shell. A small chunk was missing and a two-inch crack ran from front to back. His soft tissue looked unharmed and I could see him blinking, although he kept his head tucked in. For the time being, I decided to hope for the best and do a GOOGLE search on the care and feeding of box turtles later in the day.
I’m not the only turtle-rescuing nut job in my family. About a year ago, Jim found a giant snapping turtle in the parking lot of The Home Despot. It had crawled from a drainage ditch and was traversing the lot with surprising speed. Not wanting even this giant monster to come to harm, Jim found a way to save the big guy from smushdom. He found a big stick and taunted the pre-historic beast until he bit. Using the stick, Jim dragged Mr. Snapper to the grassy, water-filled ditch The turtle let go of the stick and ambled off down the ditch. Not sure if I would have done this.
And once, when I was a kid in Mississippi, I watched in horror as a truckload of mouth-breathers swerved to HIT a gopher turtle crossing the dirt road in front of our house. They injured it terribly but did not kill it. They were laughing as they drove away. I ran to get Daddy and he put the poor creature out of his misery. 😦 There is a special corner in Hades for these people. I hope they are reborn with hard shells and get driven over daily by Lucifer’s Land Rover. OK, that was a bit much. Sorry. I’ll dial it down a bit. Bottom line…people who purposefully hurt animals can go to H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks.
More later on my new pet, but in the meantime, if any of my neighbors rescue a turtle, injured or otherwise, please don’t hesitate to drop him off in my back yard. NO SNAPPIES PLEASE!!! I’ve always thought it would be fun to be a TURTLE HERDER. Say that three times fast. 🙂