It Took A Turtle (Written 10/5/20)
You never know what will happen on a dog walk.
Maybe I've mentioned that before, but what happen today surprised even me.
We had just about made it home. The road grader had rumbled through the
neighborhood a week or so earlier, dumping an insane amount of coarse,
brown-sugar gravel all over my roads. We're talking about serious stones
that made serious walking a real challenge. I am not a fan of the road
So today, about fifty feet from the turn in to our driveway, the toe of
my right boot slammed against a particularly huge rock. The rock skidded
four or five feet ahead of me, and I gritted my teeth and rolled my eyes.
All right, I'd had it. Thick gravel and medium stones were one thing. I
can tromp through those with only an occasional slip and stumble. But
this thing was a real ankle-breaker, and I was going to get it the heck
out of my way.
I reached down to grab it, with every intention of hurling it as far as
I could throw, out into the neighbor's pasture. I wasn't going to mess
with this thing again.
Except that it wasn't a rock. Instead, my fingers closed around
something smooth, oval-shaped, and slightly flat. It was roughly the size
of my two hands put together. Definitely not a rock. It was a turtle.
Once I was sure it wasn't a snapping turtle, I petted it for a minute.
Box turtles are so sweet. They have a really neat feel to them, and
they're fun to gently play with for a little while. I knew that this
little guy was on its way down to the creek bottom to find a warm place
to bury itself for the winter. I wished it luck, scooped it up, and
carefully set it in the long grass beside the pasture fence, well off
the road, away from careless cars and stomping humans. How cool that I
had found it. It was closed up tight, all tucked in to its tiled shell.
It made me smile.
I called the curious dogs to "leave it," hopped back onto the road, and
swung in to our driveway. I needed a smile today. And this time, it took