Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Michael's first: And the Turtle.

Greetings bird lovers, 

Michael here. To make that first point clear I'll use a different font - something you'll never catch Kamala using... Courier should do nicely.

A little while ago Kamala started working, and with the added pressure on her time I (being the loyal and supportive husband type) promised to go post-for-post to shoulder the burden of keeping y'all updated. Well, so far I've failed to keep up (oops)- mostly because (and for those who know me right now this'll come as no surprise) there's not a lot of good stuff for me to say that K'la hasn't done already. 

One thing she hasn't elaborated on, but has mentioned is THIS GUY:

This is the newest member of our little family. It's a baby turtle. More specifically, an alligator snapping turtle, best known for the adults, which can grow to the weight of a human adult (but usually don't), and tend to vex fishermen by stealing their catch as well as breaking their lines. There are plenty around here. We've seen an adult once, crossing the road near the stadium; and our neighbours say they've had adult nearby our apartments that attacked their broom-handle.

I first saw the
tiny Chelonian Testudine while we were on our way to catch a bus downtown to buy some bike tyres for K'la's wheels. At first I thought it was a desiccated mouse carcass - and what an interesting place for a mouse to choose to carcassify itself, right in the middle of the footpath sidewalk, out in the open. I was perplexed. So I looked closer. And saw it was a turtle. 

Being the unsqueamish and unrelentingly curious type I took it for the novelty - planning to look at it and dispose of it before the stink set in. For at least 10 more minutes the tricksy reptile remained pseudomortisly still, and tightly tucked under its shell - with just that long, tapered tail sticking straight out. 

By the time it woke up we were already on the bus, the carapacious critter was running all over my arm and Jimmy was intrigued but cautious. The bus driver was vaguely amused.   

We determined to keep the miniature Macrochelys for the weekend, and see if we couldn't get it to eat something. A quick internet search turned up a few people who keep them as pets, but they're generally not good for children as the adults bite (hence the name). In the end it snapped up some earthworms and ignored the bits of smelt. A good sign.

Since then, we've not yet had the heart to let him go. Even Jimmy has gone from cautiously curious to interactively interested playing with the turtle and in water changes, and the aquatic alligatesque seems to be enjoying our company. I've even taking it on adventures, like our picnic with friends for the blood harvest moon, and also this virtual safari.    

The one problem is, we've not been able to get a name to stick. 

For a while it was called "DiCaprio" after Leonardo, the Ninja Turtle. But that seems a little too meta, and perhaps too gendered as well (since these guys don't get their sex sorted 'til they're like, twelve). So I thought "A'Tuin" would do, after the discworld, which we all love to read about and also has a similar mystery regarding the sex. Jimmy just calls it "Tuttle", which is nice, because Tuttle creek goes through our town. 

What do you think? Suggest some names for the turtle in the comments below.  


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