Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"On 'Pet Rescue' Today the Clever Stoat Keeps Everyone on Their Toes in Somerset"

Since moving to Kansas, I’ve made a hobby of rescuing turtles.

  1. Driving up our street one Saturday morning, a car was stopped in the middle of the pavement, trying to block both lanes of traffic. Cars were slowly squeezing past on either side. As I passed the car I noticed the driver outside her vehicle, trying to stop cars so a turtle could finish crossing the road. Realizing she would end up causing an accident (and probably get a front-row view of the turtle getting run over), I parked on the next side street and ran back to help. She said she just wanted him to finish crossing the road, so I went to pick it up from the back. It jumped and turned around, so I went in again and just pinned it to the road with one hand, then picked it up with the other hand and ran it over to the adjacent creek. The woman thanked me and I went back to my car.
  2. My wife and kids had gone to the store while I stayed home. They called me to say there was a turtle in the road at the end of our block. I ran up the street, used the pin-and-grab move, and quickly had it in the creek.
  3. Yesterday while I watched the awesome hockey game with my two oldest children, my wife took Stoic Sam and went to the store. When she got home she told us there was a baby turtle on the sidewalk outside our house. He was small enough I didn’t even need to pin him to grab him. I took him down to the creek and let him go on the bank.

All of this contrasts with my first Kansas turtle encounter: while my wife went to Soup or Saturday, I took the two kids (Baby X was, at this point, just a twinkle in my eye) to the town’s nature center, where they celebrate biodiversity by exhibiting hundreds of stuffed former members of the biosphere. As we walked through the grass, I saw a turtle shell on the side of the trail. It appeared to have no turtle in it. As I bent down to pick it up, the turtle decided to high-tail it for the brush, causing me to scream like a little girl, which greatly amused both kids.

Title from "About a Boy."

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