Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Wild Turtle Experience

This morning was filled with errands. We had two new serpentine belts installed on the car at a local garage. We had photos developed and bought groceries for the week. We made a quick stop at our Sam's Club for diapers and garage rags. We also popped into Target looking for water wings for pool time this summer. They finally arrived, Yeah! I was proud of us and felt we were pretty productive and almost 2 year old tantrum free. Almost. Well, we settled into the car, me in my new shades and Hugo with his Harry the Dirty Dog book in hand, windows rolled down and the music up. We hit a green wave with the traffic lights. Nice. We turned onto a quiet semi country road and I assumed The Hugo Monster would be asleep any minute but as I looked in the rear view mirrow, I could see the time was not quite yet.

Then - Momma spied a turtle crossing the road and the car screeched to a halt. I through on the hazards and jumped out of the driver's side to run back and grab the turtle! He/She saw me coming and started booking it back the way he had come. I screamed a little as I reached for him, he really was fast! Once alongside the car I showed him to Hugo but He didn't seem to get the full wild turtle effect that I was presenting to him. I decided to bring the turtle home with us. He rode along on the floor of the car. He walked all over. Front to back, back to front. I was nervous he would crawl under my feet but he didn't. Hugo did not fall asleep. He was silent but did not close one eye for a minute or sleep. The three of us arrived safely home.

So, okay what happened next, happened pretty fast and I'm not sure I can do it justice, but here goes . . . I fished the turtle out of the car and set him down on the gravel driveway. Hugo was released from his seat and once his sandled feet hit the gravel he went bananas. He simply freaked out with excitement. Hugo poked the turtle, pulled his tail and half stomped on his shell all in mere seconds. The turtle was running for the grass in hopes of cover with all his might. I grabbed the turtle up by the back of his shell and tried to calm Hugo down all at the same time. You see, this was not the way I had envisioned our wild turtle experience to be. I wanted Hugo to feel the ridges of the shell and the wrinkly, loose skin of the turtle's legs and his nails, which weren't sharp at all by the way. They were super long but soft. Surprising to me. Anyway, Hugo The Monster, stroked the turtle's leg and then in 1.5 seconds squeezed the same mentioned leg, dropped it and went for the head. It was all happening in slow motion for me. I saw the turtle open it's mouth pretty wide. Wider than I had ever imagined it possibly could and then heard it hiss. My eyes went to my baby for you see, the rest of me was completely frozen for that last .5 of a second. Hugo was giggling and gripping close to his chest a piece of his destroyed blanket in one hand as the other hand was reaching out for the turtle head to squeeze it silly. And that's when it happened. The turtle from the semi country road which I'm sure I must have saved from almost certain flattening, bit Hugo's finger. I could say he nipped it but that isn't quite right. It didn't get his nail or heaven for bid bone. It bit that lovely soft fleshy part of the pointy fingerprint skin of his index finger. Chomped it right off. Hugo cried in shock and pain and there was blood. I quickly flipped a bucket over the turtle and ran Hugo into the kitchen to scrub his little finger. We dabbed on Neosporin and wrapped on his first ever band-aid, which he hated.

Do you think Hugo may have learned his lesson and might now be a little afraid of our wild pet? Nope. Fearless. He is still very interested in the turtle. He did slow down and listen to me and touch the turtle more gently as I held it. Since then only the turtle's back side has been offered up for Hugo to inspect. Our wild turtle is now resting in a discarded tire habitat. There is water on the inside rim of one half of the tire with leaves and debris in the middle. I added carrot peels to the mix from our dinner hopefully to be his dinner. I'd like to keep him till our Friday playdate but am a bit worried that he now has a taste for toddler flesh and might choose to strike again. If all goes well, I hope to set him free down in the swampy part of our woods. Wish us all a bite free couple of days please.

1 comment:

DeeJay said...

My son was 10 when he had his first turtle bite. It was in the neighbor's yard. Little sis hit the turtle shell with a stick until it let go of her brother's finger. She handled it worse than he did.