Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Turtle empathy

After writing yesterday's post about the difficulty I've encountered in getting things accomplished recently, I spent a little while at one of my favorite pastimes: looking at my digital photo collection while listening to songs I love on iTunes. As I scrolled through photos in the folder entitled "Animals," I came across a few pictures of this guy (shown here at a safe distance from my left foot):

Now, there was a creature who would have understood the frustration I've been feeling.

We met this turtle last year when Kim backed her car out of my driveway and we discovered he'd been resting under there.  I didn't know where he came from or where he thought he was going, but I knew one thing for sure:  He'd made a big error in judgment and had no doubt realized it by the time we found him.  He had ended up here:

That's my garden shed in the background, on the other side of the fence.  I don't know how far the turtle had walked before he turned into my driveway, but once he made that turn, he had to walk more than 150 feet, much of it uphill, to get to where you see him now.  And this was as far as he could go.  Behind him there was nothing but fence.  On his left?  More fence, about 85 feet of it.  On his right?  My house, a doublewide carport, then another house.  You might think he could have taken a shortcut through the carport, but if he'd tried to do that, he'd only have encountered more fence.

I felt so sorry for this poor, tired turtle.  He'd expended so much effort to get here, and now he'd have to spend a lot more effort just to undo his mistake.

Except he didn't.  A neighbor came out about that time and saw us looking at the turtle.  The neighbor picked the turtle up, carried him to the front yard, and set him down to resume his travels.  Or to rest a while longer.  Or whatever else the turtle chose to do.

Thanks to my neighbor's kindness, this turtle got what I think we all need once in a while:  just a little break to help keep the faith.


  1. I love it! What a nice and seemingly small gesture, but for the turtle so large a kindness.

  2. How lovely this is! And the photos of the turtle are amazing. One of my favourite creatures, I was happy to see the turtle found a resting place...to re-group and re-think the whole idea.

  3. What a nice story! I hope he eventually got to wherever he was going.

  4. Oh true dat! A break would be so nice. He was gorgeous!

  5. I wish we all had someone to find us and carry us back to where we need to be.

  6. Thanks, Ladies! I wish I'd been the one to have picked up the turtle and saved him some steps. But, as you can see from the top photo, he'd just peed. Once I realized that, it didn't cross my mind to pick him up.


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