Monday, 16 April 2012

It's Turtle Time...

    As you can see from the blood on it's shell, I was too late to help.  It's turtle time.  It's the season where I pull my car to the side of the road and pick up turtles and speed them to their destination.  I moved this little guy anyway, just incase ( there were no signs of life, but I'm not a turtle expert).  I don't understand these idiots that aim for the poor things.  I understand that you may not be able to safely avoid them, at this time of year they are everywhere, but I cannot understand willfully killing another creature for fun.
    I have many, many turtle rescue stories.  Most of them are quite funny.  There was the time when my mother and I pulled over to move turtles across highway 7, and an OPP officer stopped traffic to allow us to do so.  I'm not sure if it was for the turtle's safety, or for ours (I'm leaning toward ours).
Then there were two incidents last year.  I moved a turtle, but brought it over to the car for the kids to see it.  It peed all down my arm.  Who knew that such a small creature could hold so much liquid?  So I took the turtle over to the car, hoping that the kids would be as amazed as I am.  I knew that this would spur their need to help less fortunate creatures, and develop a bond with turtles (ok I thought it might make me seem like a cool mom).  So I brought this turtle to the side of the van for the kids to see, turtle pee running down my arm.  You would have thought that I had brought Freddy Krugger over to the car to say hi (for those of you unfamiliar with the Nightmare on Elm Street, you could also say I brought the Boogy Man over).  All of then screamed their heads off begging me to toss the turtle at the side of the road.
    My favourite turtle rescue story happened last summer, not because of the outcome, but because of the hilarious factor.  So we were headed camping at Algonquin ( Oh that misadventure is another story).  We were almost to Bancroft, Ontario when we saw this poor turtle at the side of the road.  It's shell was badly, badly cracked.  As we drove past I saw movement.  I made Christopher pull over to the side of the road so that I could see how badly injured this turtle was.  He grudgingly pulled over, knowing that if he didn't we would not be speaking for the whole trip.  I got out and nearly threw up.  It was still alive, but it's shell was cracked completely in half.  I just stood there, trying to decide what I could do.  I knew there was nothing that I could do to save the poor thing.  I also knew that I could not let him die an even more agonizing death at the side of the highway and slowly bake to death.  Over the side of a huge embankment was a small pond.  If I could just get the turtle to the water, then it could be cooler, and if there was any hope of it's survival it would need the water.  I stood there longer still trying to decide how to get it down the huge embankment without killing myself.  I decided that I could not carry the turtle in my hands for fear of hurting him.  I went to the car searching for anything that I could use like a stretcher.  My eye landed on a kleenex box, it would do.  I pulled all of the kleenex out and went back to the scene of the crime.  I very, very gently and carefully slid the box under, feeling like I might throw up (remember I am the person that gets queazy looking at the kid's loose teeth).  I then stood there for a long time again, trying once again to decide how I could get down the embankment without killing myself.  I stood there for a long time just contemplating.  As I was standing there, my knight in shining armor appeared.  My husband took the turtle from me, and took it down the huge embankment easily and jumped a fence to take it to the water.  He was my hero.  Together we had helped the turtle.  He finally got it.  "Sweet heart, thank you so much, I just can't thank you enough." I gushed.  He really was a hero to me at that moment.  I climbed into the lovely cool car, I had not realized just how hot it was outside.  The kids shouted up "That took a long time Mom.  Daddy was swearing at you."  "So you took the turtle just so we could get going".  My hero looked quite sheepish and off we drove.  In retrospect apart from how badly injured the turtle was, it was pretty funny.

    So I expect to be pretty busy this turtle season.  I usually am.  I can't imagine not wanting to help out the turtles.

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