Luring the Turtle

Today I tried to lure a hibernating turtle out from underneath my back porch. I actually devised an elaborate plan. Coaxing turtles into the open isn’t necessarily extraordinary, but why I did it felt like flair.

My elaborate plan involves calling to our turtle and leaving fruit around the yard. I realize this is ridiculous. But still.

I know he’s in there. Last fall, I fed him tiny slices of fruits and vegetables. Then, in a bombardment of freezing rain, winter came early. The turtle burrowed deep somewhere in my yard, and, since we couldn’t find evidence of digging, we assumed he went where it was warmest: under the porch near the house.

Spring is here. Let the turtle emerge!

Today, I circled the yard, looking for that beautiful box turtle. As I walked among all the green shoots in the garden, I knew in my mind that the hunt was completely useless. Our turtle most likely departed for the woods long ago. Chances are slim he’s anywhere near my yard. He might be in another state by now.

But my heart–and the glimmer of childhood left in me–focused my eyes to spy any hint of that brown and yellow mosaic turtle shell. No turtle. But I’ll wake up tomorrow wondering if today’s the day I’ll be drying dishes at the kitchen sink, look out across my back yard, and see him lumbering towards the apple slice I’ve left for him.

I’ll circle the yard tomorrow, too. It’s good for my soul.

Living with flair means I hunt, despite the odds, for what might be.

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