Sunday morning I headed west to meet a
friend at an outdoor art festival.
Around here, it's a good idea to stay alert for
critters that might wander from the woods to
the edge of the road. Deer, gators, bears and such.
The only deer I saw was a small white-tail lying
dead in the weeds. Poor thing.
The deep ditch was about half full of water but I
saw no signs of gators. This time.
I did see a wild turkey strutting his stuff but he was
heading back to the woods, so no worries there.
About a quarter mile past the turkey I spotted something.
It was an upside-down turtle, about the size of a big
salad bowl, and his stubby legs were spinning
He was trying to right himself but he had nothing to
brace against and all he was succeeding in doing was
miring himself deeper into the sand. He couldn't even
get a good rocking motion going to roll over.
That turtle was going to be stuck there, upside down
forever, unless someone flipped him over.
I hit my turn signal, eased off the pavement and stopped.
I'd had no prior dealings with big turtles. Well, except
for the time one dug under the fence and made a hole
about three feet deep in the front yard...but, that's another
story for another time, perhaps.
So... I got out of the car and walked slowly toward the
panicky reptilian critter... while keeping alert for snakes.
I hate snakes.
The turtle's head was pointed toward the edge of the road,
so I'm thinking that I should spin him around before I
roll him over so he doesn't trot onto the asphalt and
get splattered by the traffic zipping by at 60 mph.
That would suck. Especially for him.
How did I know the turtle was a him?
I was about six feet away when I saw his head and
all four feet disappear......ssshhhhwoooooppp.
Sucked 'em right into his shell. Gone.
And then, I saw it.
His skinny, pink penis was protruding from, well,
where most pink penises are expected to be
protruding from. (Looka dat. Did I manage to get a
dangling participle and a preposition on the end of
that sentence? Whatever. Could it be I just invented
the 'dangling penis-ciple' ?)
Now I am in a bit of a conundrum you see, because I
have nothing to touch him with. How am I going to
I'm not going to put my foot where his head can pop
out and clamp on my toe. That leaves the other end.
The dangling penis-ciple end.
OK, I think to myself, do it quickly.
Boomp! Spin. Dammit. Not enough.
Again. Boomp! Spin. Success!
Only now, the little pink penis is flapping back and
forth like a metronome. Flap Flap Flap Flap.
The bugger is waving at me.
I put my foot on the side of his shell and push to get
him rocking a bit. He's surprisingly heavy.
Rock Rock Rock, Push! Foomppp. It's done. Yay.
He just lays there on his belly. No head, no legs.
I back up.
I back up farther.
Finally, the head and appendages begin to protrude.
He stands up, looks around a bit, and I cannot help
but notice... the penis-ciple is still dangling.
Dragging in the sand. He stops.
He stretches his hind legs to raise his back end and
the skinny pink penis slowwwwwwwly returns to its
hiding place. Then he ambles so very casually toward
That's it, fella. You are on your own.
I get back in my car and make my way to the art show.
It was a great art show.
Not one penis on display, however.