So today, I took the roundabout way home. I cruised up and down some forgotten county highways, took little side roads and waved at some farmers working in the fields. And then, finally, I picked up good ol' County F and headed south to the Farm. It's a nice, dippy road. Curvy and windy, bordered by farms, forest and the lazy Hay River. And on one of those dips and winds, I saw something that made me stand up on the brake pedal. Scrreeeeeech!
A lonely, horny shelled snapping turtle was smack-dab in the middle of my lane. He was the size of a medium roaster pan, probably several years old, and determined that yes, he was going to cross that hot pavement and make to his pond on the opposite side. Unfortunately for him, it was a busy time of day to be on the road. School was out, the afternoon rush to town was on, folks coming back to the Farm from a day away working somewhere--basically, he was turtle tofu waiting to happen.
It was a lucky moment when I was the only car on the road. So I hopped out, went around back, popped the hatch and hauled out my portable, collaspable hand truck, guaranteed to haul 250 pounds without a wheeze. After setting it all up, I rolled it over to the stubborn, snappish creature and, sliding it under his bum, heaved him up into the air. I think he thought he was levitating. He didn't like it.
Avoiding his snappying jaws of doom, I started to wheel him over to the side of the road. Of course, it probably would have been better if I had managed to do this without witnesses--but, as luck would have it, a dude on a Harley came roaring up. He slowed down, raised his sunglasses, looked at me, to the handtruck, to the hissing turtle, back to me, lowered those shades and roared on.
I suppose a Harley dude has seen stranger things in his travels.
In any case, I managed to haul the turtle across the road and tip him into the ditch without him catching me by the leg or the finger. I like to think, once he calmed down, he viewed me as an annoyingly persistent turtle guardian angel. Perhaps he will share with his scaly decendants the tale of the fat girl with the levitation device, and advise them not to bite me should they see my toes above them in some river or pond on a hot summer day.
The legend of the Turtle Whisperer will live on for another day. Moral of the story: Don't leave home without your hand truck.