June 22, 2012 by trixiec67
Weeeee, this is fun. ~~Hey when is it my turn to ride on top?
Due to major allergies in our house we do not have your average normal pet. No dogs or cats in this house. Besides, I am like my father in the fact that I believe that “animals” belong outside. That is why we did not find out I was allergic to dogs until I was eight years old after visiting my uncle’s cottage. It was very rustic and wooded and I got violently ill. When I got home I had to be tested and found out that I indeed had severe allergies, among them cat and dog. However, our family beagle lived in a cozy, snug bungalow that my father built for her in the backyard. So I never showed any sign of sickness around my baby.
So we inherited a red-eared slider turtle from a neighbor. The young man was just tired of taking care of the thing and our kids begged for this crazy turtle. I threw my hands up and said I’m not taking care of that thing. So they suckered their father into being the keeper of the turtle crib. It’s in a huge aquarium. There’s a constant running water fall filter that “Chip” can ascend to and sun himself under the heating lamp as he sits on the fake rock.
But I swear that Chip took too many hard dives off that rock and gave himself permanent tiny turtle brain damage. I have never seen such strange behavior in an animal. Unless my children have just tortured him into schizophrenia. If not that, it is because dad often falls behind on cleaning duty and poor Chip ends up swimming in an algae bath that’s greener than St. Patrick’s Day beer. You can’t even find him in there.
To make the kids happy, dad let them pick out some decorations for the tank. They picked some goofy little statue in the pet aisle of two tiny turtles swimming, stacked one on the other. The bigger turtle is attached to the base by what looks like seaweed or something and the other smaller one was attached by its fin (feet) to the big ones back. Well, with all of Chips plopping and swimming and such, he broke off the smaller turtle and it just gets shoved around the tank.
The kids began to notice that Chip, very frequently, would approach the small turtle and with his very lengthy “nails” would scratch at this little fake turtle. My daughter would always drawl sympathetically, “Aw, poor Chip is lonely. He’s trying to wake up the turtle. He thinks it’s sleeping.” I just thought Chip was loopy. Then her younger brother started in about Chip being sad and lonely. We should get another turtle. Like hell. One’s enough.
Yeah. He’s lonely alright. After months of this, one day in a monotone voice, my kid is reclining on the couch and says, “He’s trying to mate with it. They tickle their partner to get their attention. I just learned it on a field trip.” I looked over at her. So much for her sympathy for the turtle now.
She was right. Chip was lonely. He did think the other was sleeping and he was trying to wake it up. And like most women, the porcelain turtle played dead!