A Girl And Her Turtle


Does this ever happen to you?  You’re walking along and something weird happens, like you see a box turtle on the edge of your lawn.

Me too!

Hey, I thought.  We don’t have wild turtles running around these parts.  This must be someone’s pet.

I have some neighbors living down the hill from us.  I remembered that they have a little daughter though I haven’t seen her in years so she can’t be very little anymore.

Anyway, the notion came into my mind to call them to see if they might have lost the turtle in question.

But first I had to catch pick up the turtle and corral it some way.  I found an empty box in “Home Depot Junior” (our garage which is loaded with everything) and put the turtle inside.  I added a nice climbing rock and gave it some lunch (lettuce) and a bowl of water to splash around in if he wanted (it’s been HOT!).

turtle 1 (2)

Next, I called the neighbor, Ken, who is the father of the little girl, Madison.  Here’s the conversation:

Me: Hey, I just found a box turtle, could it possibly belong to you?

Ken:  No.  We had a tortoise but it died.

A long pause……..

Ken: We had a box turtle 2 years ago but he escaped and ran away.

Me: Want to come over and take a look at this one?

Ken came over, looked in the box and said, “That’s him!  I can tell by the markings!  Madison will be so surprised!”

Off went Ken with the turtle to be reunited with Madison at long last.  I wonder what adventures the turtle had while being on his own for 2 years.  Just imagine!

When I was a little girl I had one of those small turtles from the pet store, remember the ones about the size a 50 cent piece?  His name was Sandy.  Anyway, one day he was gone from his plastic tropical environment.  Somehow he had scaled the wall and boogied out of my room.  I remember my mother and I looking EVERYWHERE but he was nowhere to be found.  Then a month later, there he was, at the bottom of the family room steps.  Perfectly alive and looking sassy.  I think that experience must have led me to think of Madison right away when I found the one in my yard.

Isn’t life wonderfully weird?

Behold the turtle.  He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.   —James Bryant Conant


  1. Marsha Bolyanatz says:

    Val, I remembered the run-away-episode (maybe it should be called “walk-away-incident”?) from our childhood when you had Sandy, even before I came to the middle of your story today. I remember how happy the whole family was when your little turtle was found. Thanks for the good memory. Your sister, “Sha” (Love you.)

Speak Your Mind