We were out drilling some holes in a pot for a container planting when there was a rustling in the grass. We looked over, and discovered a box turtle making a gettaway–he’d been hanging out happily in the grass, but then we started stomping around making drilly noises and he decided to head out.
James caught him. “Oh…you’re a good turtle, arntcha? Oh, you’re checkin me’ out…what a good turtle. You’re an old turtle, aren’t you? Look at you…”
I realize I’m biased, but James is very cute when talking to a box turtle.
Because it’s our yard, though, he was–of course!–a Defective Turtle. Like the squirrel, he’s missing an eyeball. More than that, this turtle–well, it’s hard to tell with turtles, they’re born looking ancient–but this turtle LOOKED old. His shell was as gnarled and ridged as octogenarian toenails, and the webbing attaching him to the shell was pale and infinitely wrinkled. He had an old look. His remaining eye was fluorescent red-orange, and unlike other box turtles, who clam up the instant they see you, this guy was kicking and glaring at James, and probably demanding in Chelonian that we get off his lawn.
Since there’s nothing we can do for an elderly one-eyed turtle that wouldn’t be much worse than the affliction, and he seemed active enough, we put him under the nearby cherry laurel where we wouldn’t step on him and finished our work.
However, I think it’s become obvious that the Defective Wildlife Vortex is localized on one or the other of us. On general principle, I blame James.