Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tucker the Turtle

Today we had to do a writing assignment in Language Arts and it reminded me of a piece I wrote earlier in the year. We had to write about a thing that was precious to us, and I wrote about Tucker the Turtle.

One day, when we lived in Virginia my mom and I went walking through our town. We passed by a road and in the middle of it was a turtle just walking on by. There was a car coming so my mom dashed out on the street and grabbed him. We decided to take the turtle home and show it to my dad and brother before letting it go.

As we were walking back to the house, we would take turns carrying him. Sometimes we would put him down if there was a patch of grass and he would just hobble by next to us. When the road came again we would pick him back up.

When we got home my dad got a bin and we set him down in it, just watching him walk around in circles. My brother announced that he needed a name and we started calling the turtle Tucker.

About 30 minutes later my mom said it was time to let him go, but my brother had become attached and asked if we could keep him. We had just fixed up our backyard and it was full of strawberry, watermelon, tomato, and green bean plants. My mom did a little research on the internet on turtles in Virginia and we learned that Tucker was an Eastern Box Turtle. He lived in habitats just like our backyard and was a peaceful turtle that was easy to care for. After a short discussion with my dad, Tucker was ours.

We brought him around to our fenced in backyard and set him down. I dug a hole in the ground and stuck a shallow flower pot base in it, after just a couple of minutes, Tucker had his own pool.

Every day when I woke up, Tucker would be in our garden eating away at our strawberries, tomatoes, and green beans. Every couple of days we would set down some lettuce or cucumbers for him. But the strawberries were definately his favorite. Tucker had found lots of hiding places under bushes in our backyard, and he was always sunning himself on our patio.

One day though, we were eating dinner on our deck and I looked down at Tucker and saw that he was laying eggs. He was a she, and she was laying little baby turtle eggs in our backyard. My mom did some more research and learned that the eggs wouldn't be born for about a year.

In six months, we were moving.

Somebody was going to move into our house and they were going to be surprised when a bunch of turtle heads pop out of the ground and start eating their garden.

After we learned that Tucker was a girl we tried changing her name. We tried so many things, but in the end we always went back to Tucker, and the name stayed the same.

Six months later I cried and said good bye to Tucker. She had been a great pet, and our plants hadn't had any bugs since she had been there. We left her with lots of lettuce and opened up the gate, but she didn't move, she actually crawled away from the gate and started eating the lettuce.

We stayed in a hotel for a couple days before moving out. When we drove by our old house for the last time, the new owners came out and told us that there was a turtle in their backyard, and she wouldn't leave. We told them Tucker's story, and they said that they would be waiting for the babies. They had a two year old son, and they wanted to keep our turtle.

A day later, I was at the airport waiting for our plane. I don't know what happened to Tucker, but I hope that the baby turtles were born, and she's happy and well. I'm pretty sure I'll never see her again, but I know that we found her on that street for a reason.

We might not of gotten a single strawberry that year, but we got something so much better.

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