DANIEL AND THE SNAPPING TURTLE
By E P Snider
Now that summer has ended, we reflect on and remember happenings at the cottage.
The following is one incidence that I would like to share with you.
One Sunday our family members were gathered either on the dock or at the beach a few yards away.
One of our offspring called out
‘WOW YOU HAVE TO CHECK THIS OUT”
Check it out we did. We all ran over to the gate leading down to the dock. There by the gate was a very large turtle– about a foot in diameter.
What should we do with this turtle?
We decided to seek advice from people more knowledgeable than us city slickers. Our daughter Heather and our grandson Maxwell stayed to watch the turtle. The rest of us returned to the cottage.
I phoned our neighbor to the right, and my husband, Daniel called the neighbor to our left. Both families live on the lake year round. From the description that we gave, the consensus was that this was a snapping turtle and on the protected endangered species list.
Apparently this was the time of year that the turtles made their way to land to try to find a safe place in soil or sand to dig a nest to deposit their eggs.
This definitely was not a safe place, especially with our resident dogs wandering around. We were told to return Ms. Turtle to the water.
Our three sons in law started to discuss what the best strategy would be to accomplish this.
First – Would it be sufficient protection to carry Ms. Turtle to the water wearing heavy gloves, or should she be transported in a fishing net?
Second – Should she be returned to our lake by our beach or taken farther away so people wouldn’t be afraid to swim by the beach and dock?
Third – Which one of them would undertake to return the turtle to the water?
While this was being discussed nobody noticed Daniel had disappeared, until he came into the cottage slightly colorless and appearing a little shaken. Apparently, he decided to take matters into his own hands, so to speak. He picked up the Turtle by the sides of her shell. He said she was heavy. He was carrying her to the dock with plans to drop her gently into the lake. Just before he reached his destination, the docile turtle all of a sudden came to life and started to thrash around violently.
Either Daniel dropped the turtle or the turtle thrust itself out of his hands. In any event, she landed on her back and did a flip on to her stomach. Daniel nudged her into the water with his foot not knowing if the turtle was alive or dead.
We had visions of someone finding the dead turtle with Daniel’s fingerprints all over it, resulting in him being incarcerated for killing an endangered species. I was not looking forward to spending my retirement years visiting him in prison.
Our daughter Heather caught the whole thing on a mini video with her camera. When she played it back, we were relieved to see that when the turtle hit the water she swam away. Now we hope that Ms. turtle’s shell was sufficiently strong enough to protect her eggs from the fall.
We later became aware that the snapping turtle has powerful jaws and can defend itself with amazing speed and strength. It can tear flesh quite badly. Daniel could have very easily lost a finger or toe or a more important body part. To make matters worse, he had recently been put on a blood thinner, and had he been injured, he probably would have hemorrhaged.
Later in the day, our neighbor called over to our dock. He yelled, “Hey Daniel the turtle just swam over to our beach and she is looking for you.” We think he was putting Daniel on, but we are not sure. Our friends from the city keep sending us recipes for Turtle soup.
BIO: EP Snider is a published author and regular blogger on WordPress at www.readwhyme.com. She writes about life as she sees it… with a humorous twist. Her favourite author is the late Erma Bombeck.