Skateboards and snapping turtles

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So there’s this great park near where I live. It’s got a huge skateboard ramp, a little pond with a couple of fountains and lots of benches around the pond. Rescue dogs Lily, Lulu and I enjoy late afternoon walks around the pond, stopping at the odd bench to sit and feel the cool breeze. As we walk often a skateboarder will stop to pet Lily and Lulu, which they absolutely love, each pushing the other to glean the most pets.

As we were driving out of the parking lot recently I noticed a guy standing by the curb across the street, an odd, dark lump at his feet. So I asked, “What is that?”

“Turtle,” he said.

Me: “Is it dead?”

Guy: “No, I’m kicking it to try to get it to go off in the drain ditch.”

So I get out of the car, walk over. Kicking turtle man has dirty tissues gingerly held in his fingers where clearly he unsuccessfully tried to pick up this pretty large turtle.

“You can’t pick it up,” he says. “It jerks its head around and bites.”

So I bent down, picked the now really angry turtle up by the back edges of its carapace and, sure enough that head stuck way out and swung around to try to bite me. Not having any luck with biting me it seemed to consider its plight, now 3-4 feet floating above ground as I quickly walked it across the street to the pond.

I placed it in the fringed cattail edge and waited. And waited. I don’t know if it needed a moment to recollect itself, having been mortified at actually being touched by humans or it wanted to see if I had other plans. So I stepped toward it. >>Plop!<<

Off it swam, many stories to tell.

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