Monday, August 16, 2010

Turtle Tales

You hear things about turles growing up. They're slow as molasses. They're favorite thing to eat is bugs. They're reptile like and have no personality. You can't train a turtle. Uh huh. Well, Yertle really isn't a turtle, he's a land tortoise but that's a mouthful to say and tortoise doesn't rhyme with his name "Yertle." He does have beady red eyes and his head kinda slides out like a snake, particularly when he just "pops" up out from beneath a flower bush. But he's turned out to be such a amiable little fellow. He's probably only 2-3 pounds at the most, just barely wider than my hand. And yeah, that little sucker can book it across the yard. Turtles are slow my foot. I have to say when he's waddling away on his tiny little legs and swaying little tail he's pretty damn cute.

Well, he showed himself after a week of hiding in the back yard and freaked me out when he started to "race" toward me instead of away from me. I was so surprised I shrieked and ran inside, but then quickly returned with a little cat food. He practically threw himself at the food. I thought his kind was suppose to love snails and bugs but no, he loves the Iams cat food I gave him. Those small pellets are almost too big for him to get into his mouth but he manages to crack them in half to swallow. Which is good because I REFUSE to give the hymlich (sp?) manuever to a reptile. Even one with a cute little waddle.
He now regularly has a bad habit of just popping up and startling me when I'm in the garden. And he now always comes to me. By the time I dash back into the house to get him something to eat he's usually half way across the yard heading for the back door. He remembers me and knows I have cat food. This past Saturday I thought I'd give him a choice of things to eat - a selection about half the size of my palm consisting of diced up cucumbers, bananas, a little roasted chicken and the cat food. Wanna guess what was the only thing he wanted to eat? So much for my hopes that he'd wipe out the pill bug population that torments me annually. It appears to be cat food or nothing. Gotta give him props, he must know Iams is some pricy cat food. [in this photo you can see one of the food pellets, it's pretty small stuff so that gives you an idea of how big he is.]
Sunday morning I'm chilling in kitchen enjoying breakfast and perusing the sales ads. My cats are sunning in their cat tree and on the window ledge enjoying the scents of the outdoors. At 9:30 am it's not yet hot enough that the windows have to be closed for the AC. Basil, who's half tabby half Siamese and a major yappy pants, gets excited and talks up a blue streak. His brother's head is moving around too but he saves his vocal cords for either begging for food or calling for his brother to play chase. After a few times of yelling at him to shut up I finally walk over to see what's got his knickers in a twist. Expecting a bird I burst out laughing at what I saw on the other side of the window. There's Yertle, halfway on the small patio, playing stare out with the cats. He had came to the back door for breakfast! If he ever starts knocking on the door I'm packing his butt off to the Jay Leno show for one of his pet segments with Jack Hanna. [pictured above is Basil, who was finds Yertle a very peculiar "bird" roaming around in his back yard]

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