Today, I had a dental appointment at 11 o'clock so I needed to head out of the house at a particular time. Since I had not seen my dentist in over a year (thanks to my 7-month Dijon hiatus), I decided to dig out of my closet and try on a t-shirt that I had not worn in over two years; it fits again!
As I made my way down the driveway towards my car, my attention was diverted to a small dark circular object lying adjacent to the mailbox. My mind didn't register what was going on. I blinked. I leaned further down to confirm what my eyes were interpreting.
There, baking on the cracked sidewalk, was indeed a very small turtle. I did one of those gasps that results in you simultaneously having a large, stupid grin on your face. I looked around. I live in a suburban area that is considerably turtle-less, so I wonder where and how this stray creature arrived in front of my house. There is a canal in my neighborhood but it is too far for it to have crawled all the way. Could someone have carelessly discarded it? Who knows?
For the time being, this nameless turtle shall be known as Turtle X.
What's the first thing you do when you see something out of the ordinary? You tell someone else.
Fearing it becoming overly dehydrated, I picked it up using a clean paper towel (I still couldn't control my "ick" factor), filled a plastic container with some water and temporarily placed Turtle X in it. It squirmed a bit and tried to escape. I noticed from its little webbed paws (claws?) indicated that it is indeed acclimated to water. It also has claws that it probably uses for walking on land.
I'm not a fan of reptiles, but I admit that Turtle X does have something cute about it. Its teeny, tiny claws, the markings dotting its round shell, its minuscule head that it contracts and expands cautiously as a defense mechanism.
This all probably took five minutes and I soon made my way to the dentist, the same one I've been seeing since I was 8. I'm glad to report that my teeth are in great health (zero cavities) and that when I told my dentist that I would be returning to France, she granted me nearly a whole box of those sample tubes of toothpaste dentists hand out. They have whitening power, too! (Cross one item off my list.) For one moment, I felt like the Toothpaste Queen.
The question lingered in my mind: what does it eat? I fully admit my ignorance as to what this cold-blooded herp chows down on to survive, and I don't want to end up with the tragic story of a starved turtle on my hands. What could it possibly eat? Worms? Grass? Bugs? Lettuce? Carrots? Macaroni and Cheese?
(Turtle X doesn't seem to appreciate its decor of the sink drain. It probably thinks it's a prison for plates and cups.)
However, if Mom does accept to keep Turtle X...I will need some name suggestions for it. :-)
Barb the French Bean
Update about Turtle X:
Well, Mom came home and said that it would be in Turtle X's best interests to be back in its natural habitat (not the scalding sidewalk). It would not have been practical for us to have kept it.
She immediately fled from Turtle X to the highest throw pillow on the couch.
Yes. Turtle X is gone now. I really hope that it safely makes it big in this vast world.
Thanks for all the name suggestions. ^.^