I spent most of Earth Day morning looking at the earth. Not the planet–the black, sandy stuff around here. Soil. Terra firma. Dry land. (Are you humming yet?)
A couple of friends and I planned to go out for lunch. These two always look pretty and probably don’t even know what sweatpants are. Getting ready was going to be tough; I didn’t even pack any good underwear this time, never mind out-to-eat clothes. (Dearly Beloved doesn’t have to pack; he keeps plenty of clothes here. I could do that too if I weren’t still a growing girl.)
I opted for makeup, which for me means lip gloss, eyeliner and blush, in an attempt to call attention to my face so maybe folks wouldn’t notice my nakedness.
So I’m working on an eye when Miss Piggy starts barking. She’s not really much of a barker. Thinking she was calling me to open the back door and let her in, I ignored her. The yapping continued. Upon investigation I found her barking at something by the deck. A Packers football helmet? Nope– a helmet-sized turtle, covered in green moss.
DB was off somewhere, so I ran back inside to get my camera to take a few pictures to show him later. After her summer haircut last week, Miss P no longer looks like a small street sweeper. She looked so cute–her little nubby tail wagging, ears a-flapping , and she was giving that turtle the third degree. For its part, the turtle shimmied in place, like it was spinning its wheels, so to speak.
I kept snapping pictures. . . a nubby tail shot, a flappy ear shot, but when the dirt really started flying, I thought it prudent to cancel the confrontation. Not being up on my turtle-ese, this might be a snapper. They’re around here. Check the scars on DB’s putter from the time he tried to “help” one across the road.
Miss Piggy had the turtle blocked against the screening underneath the deck. The Critter Control folks had finally put that barrier up for us after they had to trap and move a possum family for us. Twice. Plus, it keeps Miss Piggy from getting stuck under the deck as she has been known to do on occasion, once having to stay there all night. We still have to keep adding dirt and plunking empty flower pots down to discourage digging because something keeps trying to tunnel under. Welcome to Possum Hollow. The screen barrier has been there for several years, so the turtle shouldn’t have a girlfriend trapped under there unless she dug her way in. If so, she can dig her way out.
“Come on, let’s go get a treat!” I called to Miss Piggy.
She ignored me. . . a most alarming response. I’ve read that an average dog understands about 160 words. Another source said 25 or so. Doesn’t matter because Miss Piggy responds to only one word: treat. That she was not tripping me in her haste to get inside to the treat bag was astounding. Nothing preempts a treat. Nothing except a turtle in her territory.
My camera dangled by its cord on my left wrist because it took both hands to drag her inside. I held her by the collar with my right hand, my left one on her wiggling butt in an awkward effort to steer her toward the steps. She was still kicking dirt, the turtle was still idling, my camera was bouncing against her rear, and my going-out-to-lunch clothes were looking sadder by the minute. Finally I got her inside and set my camera on the counter to give her the treat she in no way deserved, but which I hoped would shut her up.
Only then did I notice that my camera battery compartment was open. The battery was still in place, but the memory stick was missing. The memory stick with 330 photos stored on it. Arrrggghhh!!!
When I rushed back outside to look for it, the turtle had disappeared and I looked around, but the memory stick wasn’t sending any Beam Me Up, Scottie signals. Finding a thin black piece of plastic about the size of a stepped-on Chicklet in a neglected planting bed does not make for good odds, but I tried to cover all the ground. The way Miss Piggy’s rear end had been wagging and my camera swinging, however, it might have been flung anywhere.
I raked lightly, then squatted down and with my fingers, sifted through the dirt, leaves, doggy doo, hickory nut shells, and squirrel poop. (I don’t know what squirrel poop looks like, but with all those empty nut shells in evidence, there’s no way squirrel squish wasn’t in the mix.) I’m guessing, turtle pee and/or turtle sweat made up that wet spot where the turtle had been.) No memory stick.
Still no sign of it by the time I had to leave. DB had returned home and was griding the yard to help me look, probably a better idea than patrolling with the binoculars like I’d been doing. I stopped at my laptop to make sure it I’d turned it off and there, sticking out of the proper port, was the little black memory stick.
Therefore, no cute Miss Piggy And The Turtle pictures accompany this post, not because my memory stick is clamped between the teeth of a manic turtle haulin’ ass toward the nearest pond, but because it was never in the camera in the first place. I will, however, add a photo of the turtle taken Tuesday morning in the same spot. It had disappeared when I looked again later that afternoon, so why did it return today? I can’t imagine why he keeps going back there.
Unless he has a thing for possums.
The turtle lives ‘twixt plated decks
Which practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle
In such a fix to be so fertile.
~ Ogden Nash (1902 – 1971)