Friday, June 29, 2007

i'm lucky to be alive

Okay, so there is no lunch note because Chris has so much on his plate right now. But the following is a true story. I was running errands for work the other day and as I was passing a right merge lane, I saw a turtle starting to creep out into the road. Being the animal lover I am, I quickly made the next right I could so I could come up behind the turtle and safely put it somewhere else. Somewhere leafy and green and not a five lane road in suburban St. Louis. I pull my car over and dart out to pick up what I thought was a box turtle.

This is a box turtle, cute no? I was planning on putting my little box turtle pal in the car and driving him to safety where I might feed him some lettuce and enjoy his cute box-turtleness. Instead, as I rounded the car I saw this:

It may be difficult to tell the size from this photo, but I was trying to rescue a 35 pound dinosaur also known as the common snapping turtle. That was rearing up and snapping at me. I have never been so scared of a turtle in my entire life. Seriously folks, it was traumatic. I actually debated if I should try and pick it up because (although this thing appears to have mighty survival instincts given that it's been around since the jurassic period) it was heading straight into traffic. Luckily, my survival instincts kicked in (and my love for all ten of my chubby little fingers) and I got back in my car. I waited until the dino-turtle decided to head back from where he came (the rain forest? seriously where did this thing come from in an office park in the suburbs?) and out of impending danger.

When I got back to the office, Wikipedia gave me the following information "Common snappers have long tails with spiky protrusions, as well as long flexible necks which can reach one-half to two-thirds of the length of their shells, making handling dangerous. They cannot fully retract their head and appendages, relying on fierce displays when aggravated. Their snapping jaws and sharp claws are capable of inflicting serious injury up to and including amputation of digits."

On this matter, Wikipedia seems to be completely accurate.


Cullen said...

There are few creatures more downright mean than the snapping turtle, so you are quite lucky, because they're a lot faster than most people expect.

A few years back, someone brought one (carrying it by the tail) into a store where I was shopping. This yahoo dropped the turtle on the floor, and it proceeded to chase customers around the store, hissing and snapping like something out of bad scifi/horror movie.

Justin said...

My dad did the exact same thing when I was a teenager... except it was a cute little box turtle. Thanks for bringing back the memory.