About a year ago a very good friend gave me the gift of two turtles. She obviously was not a turtle person. The smallest turtle was a red eared slider about the size of a 50 cent piece and was duly named 'Scarface'. Scarface went to live in my turtle pond with Big Al, Cooter, Cracker, Romeo and Juliet. His small size did not intimidate him at all. He fit right in and began living the 'good life'.
Jim the box turtle received his very own special habitat complete with a mini shallow pond for his morning bathing. He began to live the 'good life.'
And we all lived happily ever after. Well, not exactly. Actually a tragedy happened.
Last November about 6 months ago - Jim went AWOL. He was just gone. I was devastated. I had visions of the hawk that had been hanging around the turtle ponds had snatched him up in those huge talons and carried him off. Next I presumed some wild animal like a raccoon or an armadillo climbed over the fence and absconded with my little pet. The fact that armadillos can't climb a fence did not enter my thoughts. Jim was gone and I felt irresponsible.
On Sunday night we had the storm of the century. It rained - flood style- for hours mixed with bolts of lightening and thunder cracks that stood your arm hair on edge. My turtle ponds overflowed and my pool was close to the brink of sloshing over into the yard.
My morning habits of feeding the turtles and having a little morning chat did not change on that wet Monday morning. I walked outside with my container of turtle food - opened the lid to the turtle enclosure and something caught my attention. Standing still with an outstretched neck staring straight at me was one of the turtles. For the life of me I could comprehend how one of the turtles got out of the enclosed habitat. Must have been the Storm?
I walked over to said buddy still standing statue like watching my every move and I yelled. OMG!!! It was the long lost Jim come home to mamma. The little bugger had been gone for 6 months. I cried. No big ugly hawk had carried him away to a sure death. No rabid infected raccoon stole him in the middle of the night. And of course no clumsy armadillo absconded with my little guy.
Last night Jim received a bigger and better and much more escape proof habitat. And now I expect us to live happily ever after. The end.