Tortoise Alert

Author: Meera, March 22, 2013





The backside of the fence shows the framing

The backside of the fence shows the framing


We have been working like crazy the last few days, busily applying the finishing touches to the redwood fence we are building for our neighbors. We are pushing because they have scheduled a party on Saturday to celebrate the birthday of the youngest member of their family. He turns one year old.


Around noon, above the cacophony of hammers pounding and saws buzzing, we hear our neighbor’s voice call out, “Has anybody seen the turtle?” He was referring to the family pet, an African Spur Thigh Tortoise, who’d taken off from his designated area of the yard and was no where to be found.


We dropped our saws, laid down our hammers, and started searching the three yards that conjoined at a certain point along the fence lines. We looked under the recently raised shed and searched the perimeter of two neighbor’s yards until finally a voice called out, “Found him.”


The pet tortoise had moseyed over to the kids’ play area and had found a shady spot to its liking. There it seemed to be enjoying itself, hanging out, without the concern that its absence was causing its owner.


After a few minutes, Carlos and I and our worker, Alejandro, resumed our tasks. After all, the fence had to be finished. The party was less than 24 hours away.


I had to wonder why the tortoise felt the need to find shade. Its species is at home in the hottest, driest, desert type places on earth, for example, in Northern Africa: Senegal, Niger, Chad, Ethiopia, and The Sudan. But maybe it wasn’t the sunshine it was seeking to escape but rather the noise. I guess we were making quite a racket with our hammers, saws, and shovels.

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