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Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
Trying to connect my present with the past in order to fly through the future.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Turtle

Today, while doing errands, Mom almost ran over a turtle. Well,  I suppose it wasn't really almost. As a good navigator, I saw the critter first. On our side of the road in the wheel path closest to the double solid yellow lines. My right elbow extended, three fingers and a thumb clenched while my pointer did what it was supposed to do, point. Without (too much) panic in my voice I said, "Turtle. Turtle. Turtle." Just in the nick of time, Mom gently swerved the van and avoided the migrating box. She quickly glanced in her rear view mirror and verified that the vehicle behind her had followed suit, missing it as well.

Seeing this poor thing trying to cross this major paved road reminded me of another turtle encounter back when we were "The Little Retreat".  The Little Retreat was a little fishing commune on Buggs Island Lake in southern Virginia. It's access was via a small gravel road. One Friday morning, after a quick run to the store for weekend arrival supplies, Mom and I passed a turtle crossing the little one lane road trying to make it to the lake. Once I passed it, I remembered that within the hour 6 cabins full of fishermen (probably 14 or more vehicles pulling boats) would be following the same path as I was tracing now.

I stopped my car and backed up with the intention of getting the little guy across the road safely before danger arrived. I hadn't stopped more than a few yards away.  Unfortunately, I misjudged the angle my car backed up and instead of saving the little thing, I ran him over. I never have heard a more disturbing noise in my life. Worse than an egg slipping from your hands and landing on the linoleum floor.

Instead of doing a good deed, I murdered a defenseless creature with my car. Hey, wait a minute, maybe it wasn't all my fault. I had never thought of that before, I wonder if my VW convertible was getting back at the hard-top tortise?

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