Sunday, March 28, 2010

Turtle Power

From the wonderful blog: God Spotting, by Jenine

Terrifying turtles is not cool, I don't care if you are a couple of cute, white, nanny-schooled seven-year-old boys.

Relaxing in a public park after a long walk, I found myself forced to observe two tikes across the man-made mini-lake tormenting a turtle. Squealing with joy, Johnny repeatedly scooped one shell-dweller out of the protected depths and held her (him?) high above a cement-rimmed pond, then plunked her back down into several feet of water, again and again, while Cody cheered him on. Truly, I was proud of myself for directing my objections to their cruel circus not at the unapologetic ruffians, but toward the so-called caretakers, cooling their heels shore-side. One of two women yelled to the little dears "Don't pick up the turtles! They may bite you!" I may bite them, I thought, if it doesn't stop soon. Obviously, I would be planted on that bench like the lilies in the mud until order was restored.

After several stare-downs with the supervisors and their mop-top charges, the motley mob finally left the grounds, and we, the turtles and I, had a break from their idea of "entertainment." I stood long over the smoothing surface, a bird's-eye view of little leaf-like heads pointing above and below the ripples, doing the breaststroke freely about the pool once more . Yes, the loud and scary giants are gone, I assured.

Within a minute, one especially large turtle with a distinct, golden shell swam in a bee-line toward my feet. Upon inspection, I recognized her as the high-flying, unwilling acrobat from the spectacle earlier in the afternoon. I hesitated to move, not wishing to cause any further distress, but decided to kneel down for a closer look. She turned sideways, paddled in one spot a foot from my face, and gazed into my eyes with her own. Wise Lady T offered me a brief but tender, crinkled wink of her deep brown eye. Then, under the waterfall she dove, bobbing among the bubbles to her own song and dance, as she has, and will, for eons, with or without any help from me.

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