My wife and I were out on one of our (sometimes daily) walks, around our community and there he (it?) was, a turtle in the middle of the street.
He was a 15-16-inch-long example of one of our lake turtles that we see all over Florida. Its back was scarred and had a coating of what looked like a grayish moss 0r mold growing on it. Its head was extended and its legs were doing everything they could to get across that expanse of asphalt.
I really don’t know the official genus of this one (maybe its a Florida Softshell?), but where I live, if there’s a pond nearby you’re going to see at least one of these swimming in the pond or often migrating around your house or on your streets at certain times of the year.
My first thought was; That dumbass Turtle is going to get run over if he doesn’t pick it up!
We slowed down, watched for a moment and almost walked past it, to leave it to what it’s Karma dictated, but my wife stopped me with; There’s a car coming, Don!
Well, that was that. I had to do something.
Before I go any further with this story, let me mention that the speed limit in our community is listed at 21-mph and the streets are loaded with speed humps. So traffic is pretty slow (like a lot of the people) where I live.
So, the thing I did next was not as dangerous as it sounds.
I stepped into the street, straddled the now frozen-in-place turtle and held my hand up to the car.
Luckily for me, I guess, is the fact I live in a 55+ community and this driver, a resident, wasn’t as blind (or too far into pre-Alzheimers?) as many of them are. This driver saw me immediately, then the turtle, and slowed to a stop about fifty feet away.
With this, I stepped away and the turtle, with a new feeling of anxiety, maybe, stuck its head and legs out of its shell and raced (sic) across the rest of the street, to the safety of the edge of someone’s yard.
The car drove by, the driver smiled and waved at us, and we continued on our walk.
As we walked, I thought about the turtle and what it was doing.
In my mind, the options for the turtle’s travels were; 1-mate, with another turtle?, 2- make a nest and lay some eggs, or 3- get eaten by one of our numerous Florida Gators.
Hopefully, it would be one of the first two.
Anyway, we had a nice walk and once I got home, I was allowed to moan about all of my pains for a half hour or so.
Now that I think about it, I really don’t know which was more fulfilling; saving the Turtle, or getting to moan and complain for a few minutes.
by Don Bobbitt, February, 2016
Copyright, Don Bobbitt, February, 2016, All Rights Reserved, You are free to enjoy this article and share it with others, but if you wish to use it commercially, then you must have permission in writing.