Sunday, June 6, 2010

Always Ask the Turtle

Lately turtles from our pond have been climbing the hill to the front pasture, and trying to get out to the road from there. They're blocked by the fence, and I've been picking them up and returning them to the pond. I mentioned that to my sister, and she told me a story by Gloria Steinem called 'Always Ask the Turtle,' in which she did something similar only to find out that the turtle was making great efforts to reach an egg-laying spot. I can now imagine these poor turtles cursing me all the way back down the hill.

So this morning when I found Irving the cat watching a turtle en route to the fence, I decided to follow the turtle to see where it was trying to go.

Evidently I needed help, so the goats and Irving followed me.

Irving was intensely interested in....and puzzled by...the turtle. The turtle made a valiant effort to get through the fence, but it was just too big.

So I carried it back out through the gate and across the road to our neighbor's property, and released it under the neighbor's fence. Our neighbor has a couple of hundred acres, and a large pond, so I'm sure it'll find a good home there. The turtle scampered away on its mysterious (to me) mission.

I'm struggling with whether to cut the bottom part of the fence so that the turtles can get through. The fence is intentionally designed so that smallish predators, like foxes, can't get through easily. It seems to have worked, as we haven't lost any of our ducks or cats to ground predators. I'll have to think about what the greater good is in this situation.

Here's a link to a version of the Gloria Steinem story. She ties the cute story to the need to be wary of totalitarian instincts on both the political right and left. Always ask the turtle!

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1 comment:

  1. My husband commented just the other day about how many turtles we see crossing the road at this time of the year. I told him it was either mating season or egg laying season...or, I guess it would be both, wouldn't it? I was only guessing, based on the fact that sea turtles head for the beaches to lay eggs. It's nice to have my guess validated.


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