Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Doing My Part to Save the Animals... or not

Such a great morning of oil changes and going grocery shopping with a list. Ben was fussy so instead of quitting like I usually do, I opened the pretzels and fed them to him. That is another one for the list of things I said I'd never do. Ben just can't stand to see all that food and not be eating. It's hard to blame him. So I managed to get every single item on my list. YAY!

On the way home we saw a huge turtle crossing the road. I said "LOOK Zack a turtle!" And he couldn't see it. I started to worry about Mr. Turtle because he was sitting in the road, taking two steps, then getting freaked out and sticking his neck out really far and standing really still. Which, while I'm sure effective in the wilderness, not so much in the middle of the road when you are trying to avoid speeding cars. So, I've seen people get out of their cars, pick up the turtle and place them on the side of the road. "I can do that" I thought. I was really worried that the turtle wouldn't be able to get up the curb on the other side of the road, too. Thus staying in the middle of the road. Not good for his life span.

Anyway, I did a u turn and went to help Mr. Turtle. I parked in the turn lane and turned on my hazard lights. I got out of the car and immediately thought. "Can I do this?" Then dismissed my doubts with "Of course I can. It's just a turtle." Then I got closer. It was a big turtle. Apparently, my presence bothered him because he did his sticking his neck out really far trick for me. And it bothered me and I stopped in my tracks. Why it scared me I don't know, but it did. I collected myself and walked towards him. He was big. Not just a little fella, nope a great big turtle. I took a picture with my cell phone to show the boys (and forgot to save it, go me) and walked back to the van. I got in the van and thought "I can't leave him in the middle of the road to get smushed. I can't!"

By this time he had made it about halfway across the other side of the road and I just felt like an idiot. It's a TURTLE. Then, it's a WILD ANIMAL. Yes, I was arguing with myself. Deep breath. Just touch it. I did. He stayed still. Pretend you are picking up a rock. So I wrapped my fingers around him and almost lifted him but I freaked out. I couldn't do it. What if I hurt him? What if HE hurt ME? So I ran to my van and started do drive away.

I was still rather traumatized by the whole thing when a nice lady ran by and kind of flagged me down. I rolled down my window and she said "be sure to wash your hands, they can make you really sick." Which I knew, and totally planned to wash my hands, but I was thankful for the reminder. The rest of the conversation went like this:

Me: I wanted to help him up the curb but I just couldn't because I'm a wimp."
Her: Was he too heavy?
Me: No, I was too freaked out.
Her: Oh I would be too, I don't know which ones bite and which ones don't.
Me: I just hope he gets over there okay.
Her: Well, my husband is a FWC officer and I'll call him when I get home.
Me: Oh good! Thanks!

So, now I can rest easy knowing that help is on the way (FWC, upon googling it is the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.) And, now I know, unequivocally, that I am not the type of person who can help a turtle across the road. Nice.

PS I have spent entirely too long trying to find a good picture of "my" turtle to post here or at least identify the variety. However, I have come to the conclusion that turtles are icky. Sorry turtle lovers.

PPS Go enter the Pay It Forward Contest... It's the last day! Maybe if you win the prize you can forgive me for saying turtles are icky!

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