We Have a New Family Member

…who has been duly christened “Mortimer”. I’d post a picture, but, right this moment, he’s booking across the lawn for what seems the umpteenth time since he planted himself on our doorstep a mere two days ago. The kid don’t stand still for nobody, I’m tellin’ ya. We built what we felt to be a pretty escape-proof sort of enclosure, but what did we know? I mean…he’s a turtle. How hard could it be? But he keeps finding holes and we keep bricking them up.

The little bugger is better at the big breakout than Steve McQueen and they’re DAMN near as showy each time.

Since I wasn’t working today, I got the “scoop Mortimer up and see where the hole is” duty. I plopped him back in his palatial digs (7′ x30′? Hostas? Leaf litter? His own BRAND-NEW wading/swimming/pooing pool? Bite-size romaine and strawberries with fat slug on the side? Who in their right turtle mind would leave?), pulled a lawn chair into the shade, waved the bugs off my cup o’ joe and settled in for the wait. It took all of 5 minutes.

Once he got over his initial “dammit” snit, he tuttled on over to the (obviously) woefully inadequate fence and began methodically testing each and every INDIVIDUAL little wire prong that went earthward with a push of his paw, coupled with sideward twist of his boxy little shell to see if he could squeak it through. On the third one, it all came together and he plopped out, landing on his back. A little neck stretch and a flip righted that ship! Off he went, traversing the yard as close to the patio door as possible in order to send BeauBeau into yet another satisfying round of impotent, foamflecked, maniacal snarling and Cujo-like barking, accompanied by a chorus of Scottie banshee wails. It’s all payback for those first awkward moments when the enclosure wasn’t quite ready and I turned around…okay, well twice…to see BeauBeau literally spitting Mortimer out “PITU!” into the middle of the backyard. Thank God there was no crunching involved.
Box turtles smirk, did you know?

Some of the box turtle sites actually talk about the “talented individual”. So I guess we got one. Oh, yea.

I’ll never disparage turtle intelligence again. Now, if you’ll excuse me ~ there’s been an erruption at the back door.

I’m assuming I need another brick.

12 Responses to “We Have a New Family Member”

  1. nightfly says:

    You should rename him “Houdini” at this point.

  2. JeffS says:

    Trust a labradork to try to gnaw on Natures’ natural tank.

    Maybe BeauBeau would prefer one of these turtles?

  3. Dave E. says:

    Sounds like Captain Hilts would be a good name.

  4. Gary from Jersey says:

    You’re fooling with nature. Beware midnight invasions when that turtle tells his buddies.

  5. Cullen says:

    I hear they make good soup.

  6. Rob says:

    That went out as soon as he was named, Cullen.

    If you watch them, ths, they sit there like a lump. If you turn away for even a second, they disappear. Slow, my a$$.

  7. tree hugging sister says:

    It’s starting to look like the ungrateful little piker isn’t coming back. And there I was looking like a fool buying THREE green beans at the commissary this morning.

    The youth of today. Wasted effort.

  8. Laura says:

    OMG I love turtles! We had a three and a half legged box turtle when I was a kid for YEARS. He ate veggies and canned dog food. His name was Chris. Srsly.

  9. tree hugging sister says:

    I should ALSO learn not to disparage family members until I’m SURE they’ve permanently left the fold. Another erruption at the door proved the folly of my previous ASSumption. Mortimer ate the strawberry first. You know, Laura, one of the sites says dogfood, which make perfect sense. Mashed slug looks just like the expensive refrigerated chub we purchase for our nauseatingly spoiled…our well-fed puppies, whose health and well being is always paramount in our minds and wallets.

    We’ve reenforced the perimeter fencing, Rob. Just waiting for this evening’s reenactment, “Once more into the breach, dear friends!”

  10. Donna D. says:

    ths, funny you posted this, I’m driving up Easton Ave this am and a HUGE turtle is trying to cross a major street. And everyone is braking to avoide hitting it. Don’t know where it came from, I thought the Raritan River w/b too polluted to support wildlife, who knew!

  11. Ave says:

    Hi THS and good luck with Mortimer! I hope we get to see a photo of him sometime – he sounds like such a lovely turtle, assuming he is a he by the way, how can you tell?

  12. Kate P says:

    The turtle was smirking while the dogs were going crazy. . . if you feed Mortimer dog food, that will really tick them off, I think!

Image | WordPress Themes