As your average animal lover, there are few species that I don’t like. I’m not a fan of bugs and when I was 2 years old a cat bit me in the face. I’ve come around a lot but still have some trust issues with felines. Also – I love going fishing, but really like to throw them back so they can reunite with their families. I love cheese too much to be a viable PETA candidate and if the pet owner humane societies knew how much I liked to dress up my dog they would probably take her away from me.
When I was little we ran the gamut of random pets. Goldfish, chicks, hamsters, a butterfly, hermit crabs – when we lived in Philadelphia we would dig for worms and keep them in the garage lovingly until they dried up. When we lived in New Orleans we would catch frogs – many of whom met the same fate as the worms. I would pretend the stray dogs who loitered around our house were mine. That explains a lot, I know… I had a bunny that I loved dearly who was killed by our exterminator. I can’t count the number of therapy sessions which resulted from that one.
But you know what were really fun pets? Turtles! The experiences never ended well. I think we had two and if my memory serves me correctly, they both escaped. But I always thought they were fun to watch. The way they could shoot back into their shell before you could blink an eye. How slow they seemed but how fast they could go. They couldn’t bite me in the face, they didn’t make much noise, so they were great listeners – the solid American turtle is underrated as every little girl’s best friend.
Yesterday, while on a beach walk with my mom, we took a detour down towards a bird sanctuary. In the middle of the path there was a turtle in a hole. My immediate reaction was to yell “of course you can call me Mommy! You’ll love your new sister Darcy!” But I resisted so we could creep up and investigate what was happening. The turtle was laying eggs! It was so neat! It was like watching a science experiment in real life. And I never liked science – I just wanted to try and save the fetal pigs or bring the chicks from the incubator home with me.
We walked on to give her some birthing privacy. I know if I was having babies I wouldn’t want two over curious women watching the process. When we came back, she was covering up the hole. Just with her feet. Animal instinct is an amazing thing. I do a lot better when people tell me how or when to do something – there was no one there with positive words of encouragement or providing direction. She just knew.
Once we got home we Googled how long it would be until they hatched. She left them in a hole right in the middle of the trail down the center of a bird sanctuary, so their chances of survival are questionable. But my mom and I debated setting out beach chairs and getting some books or learning to knit with some vodka tonics while we were on turtle baby watch – if they can do it for the Princess, we can do it for a turtle.
Word to the wise – for the future – keep your eyes open. Science is happening around us all the time!
And in closing – remember this kid? I always felt like we had a connection, but I feel even closer to him now: