Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Saving the Turtle, Losing the Tractor

Eastern Box Turtle hiding. 
Last Saturday John asked me to go to yard sale up and over Blue Mountain to hunt for some vintage and antique treasures. We'd get out by 7:30 AM and be at the yard sale within 15 minutes. My normal morning-self once again was lagging behind. I desperately needed a cup of coffee, some healthy carbs and a bit of protein. After that and about half a dozen various pills for ongoing ailments, I was ready to go!

We were just chatting while driving towards the mountain when out of the corner of my eye, I spied a turtle on the side of the road starting to cross the highway.

"TURTLE!" I yelled. "We have to stop and save him!"
"Marc, NO!" John flatly exclaimed. "Rt 183 is too dangerous, the highway is too busy. I'm not gonna let you get into an accident just to save a turtle!"
"John, I gotta save him. Don't worry I'll turn around where it's safe. I HAVE to save him. I'll be beside myself if we drive back this way and he is run over. I'll feel awful! I will NEVER forgive myself!"

Turtle on the floor in my back seat.
John was hemming and hawing but I was insistent. I was gonna save that damn turtle. So I ended up pulling off down a dirt road to safely turn around. Unfortunately, that "turn around" was also on a blind curve. Whoops, not such a safe place to pull out ...

"Marc, I can't believe you are doing this, this is so unsafe."
"Don't worry, I'll just inch out and maybe go NOW!" I slammed on the brakes, an eighteen wheeler screamed by missing us by a foot.

John, for some reason, was visibly freaked out by now. I was shaking from our near miss but that was not gonna dissuade me from the task at hand! I pulled out and drove back towards the turtle.

Once I reached him, I pulled off to the side of the road with traffic rushing by at breakneck speeds. The turtle was sitting on the shoulder of the road, poor guy visibly exacerbated, hiding in his shell... the turtle ... not John.

I grabbed the turtle, now realizing it's a rare eastern box turtle, and hoisted him up to the side car window to show John.

The turtle peaking out. I gave him some cat food.
"Yeah, yeah, can we go now?" John said through the car window. I put the turtle in the grass headed towards the field but thought the better of it thinking he would just turn around into the roadway again. I quickly opened the back door and put him on the back seat car floor.

I got in the car and John was just staring at me, "Can we go now!?"
I said, "Of course, I've been ready," looking at him like he was the one who caused the delay.

We started driving up and over the mountain to the yard sale.
"Just watch out," I began, "because the turtle may come under the back seat to the front by your feet."
"Whaaat?!" he exclaimed lifting his feet.
"Well I couldn't just leave him, he looked like he was gonna head back towards the road! I'm gonna just let him go in the woods behind the house, that way, he'll be safe. Hi turtle!" I said glancing towards the back seat while driving over the mountain at 50 mph.
"MARC!" John yelled, "Focus on the road please and not the turtle!"
"Oh yeah," I replied, "OK."

John and I finally arrived at the yard sale a couple minutes later. I couldn't find a safe place to turn around, so I drove a quarter mile down the road to make a U-turn, much to John's growing annoyance. We finally got turned around and parked in front of the house and John bounded out of the car to head to the house. I told the turtle we'd be right back and not to drive off without us.

1950s John Deere child's pedal tractor
As John and I walked up to the sale, a woman walked past us carrying a vintage 1950's John Deere peddle tractor that she had just bought. John turned around after she past and yelled, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME???" If we had been just 5 minutes earlier, that peddle tractor would have been bought by him.

I felt truly AWFUL. I knew he wanted it. He continued to the yard sale and stated flatly, "I am NOT leaving until I find something, ANYTHING, at this yard sale." Well unfortunately, that lady walked off with the best item. Everything else was bric-a-brac, old Christmas ornaments, Tupperware, old bedding, and some ugly lamps.
John and his lamp.

What do you think John bought? A brushed chrome floor lamp. He paid $3.00 for a floor lamp and stomped off angrily to the car to try and fit it in with me trailing after him yelling, "Don't hurt the turtle! Don't hurt the turtle!!!" John just kept muttering, "Don't talk to me, don't talk to me."

We somehow fit the floor lamp into the car and got back in to drive back over the mountain. Never one to let a good moment go, I turned back to the turtle and asked, "Are ya ready buddy to go home?" John gave me the dirtiest look and I laughed. "I think I'll call him Boxer, the box turtle."
John said, "I think I'll call him turtle soup!"


Boxer in the woods behind the house.
Once I got home, I ended up putting the turtle in a box for a bit while figuring out where in the scrubby woods to release him. I tried feeding him some cat food kibble (which online, says you can do) but he was too shy from the incident or just plain traumatized by John. The floor lamp remains standing in the den, unplugged. I found the peddle tractor online selling for $295.00. John doesn't want the tractor ever mentioned again which is why I wrote the blog post about it. Ooops, sorry John. And lastly, Boxer the eastern box turtle is safe in his new home wandering the scrubby field and
woods behind the house.


  1. One of the best stories you have ever put up on this blog.... because I feel like I was in the back seat listening to the two of you, arguing over the turtle. and then missing the find of the century (from John's perspective).... I feel like I was there listening! Thanks for sharing. Jack.

  2. I posted a nice comment from the heart and lost it. Sorry you didn't get your tractor but Marc"s heart can't be changed. That is why we all love him.

  3. Vivid, action story. I can see you wearing a cape. What would have happened to the tractor if it went home with John? A lawn ornament?