Thursday, May 31, 2012

A crazed turtle!

Angry has had a 55 gallon fish tank since he was a teenager.  When we got married, it came along with him.  Many years ago, we got bored with fish so we cleaned it out and bought a turtle.  He was a red-eared slider (or Chrysemys scripta elegans for you science geeks) that we named Harold.

Not really Harold but if you've seen one red-eared slider, you seen them all!

We got all the appropriate junk to put into the tank so that he’d be a happy turtle.  Harold had water to swim in, a branch to climb on, a platform to bask on, and plants to hide behind.  We were told at the aquatic store to take him outside and let him roam in the grass to allow his shell to dry out completely once and a while.  He seemed to enjoy these excursions but was usually a little agitated when we put him back into the tank.

Angry, Harold, and I were living in harmony and then BAM!  We had an incident.

Angry’s sister (we’ll call her D) came over for a visit and wanted to “hold” Harold.  Who holds a turtle?  He’s not a puppy or a kitten!

We told D that he had just been outside and was agitated so picking him up wasn’t such a great idea.

She stuck her hand in the tank and grabbed him anyway.  But, she reached towards him from the front and he bit her finger! 

The correct way to hold your turtle from the back; avoid that beak at all costs!

He clamped down and wouldn’t let go.  Panic ensued.  Angry finally got Harold to let go by blowing into his face.

Harold, who was renamed Killer at this point (trust me, turtles don't know their names so it didn't matter that we changed it), was blood thirsty after that.  He became a turtle vampire.  Every time we tried to pick him up, he’d stretch his neck and snap like a middle aged woman snapping up the “mommy porn” book, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Killer didn’t stay with us long after that.  Our aquatic store would buy back fish and turtles so we sold him back to them.  I didn't want to live life being viewed as lunch.

Red-eared sliders have a life expectancy of 50 to 70 years.  I’m sure Killer is still hanging around, biting the hand that feeds him.


Ricki said...

I have a turtle tale to tell. I grew up in rural SD and whenever we'd go somewhere with my dad, if he'd come across a turtle crossing the highway, he'd always pull over and carry the turtle across the road. He hated to see turtles flattened on the highway. The crazy thing is, is that most of us kids still do this, maybe to honor our dad who passed away in 1979. One time my sister-in-law even helped a large snapping turtle along. I try to stick to mud turtles.

Liz said...

Ricki - I think that's a great honor to your Dad. I'd help a turtle across the street if I saw one! I'm a lover of all animals. I'm not sure how I'd go about helping the snapping variety though!! HA!

Laura said...