Friday, May 24, 2024

Turtle Day

So,  here's a distinction I hadn't known (or needed to): 

Turtle is the all-encompassing name for all creatures of this type.

Tortoises are a subgroup, all of them land animals. 

Terrapin are another subgroup of turtles,  so named by Native Americans. 

Yesterday was World Turtle Day --a holiday I'd not heard of before. Had I thought of it in time, I would have tried to make time to have gone by one of the spots in the area where turtles can be spotted in the wild. Or, failing that, one of the parks or gardens with ponds whose resident turtles can usually be seen.

I've always loved turtles, and had them as pets as a child (bought as baby turtles at Sterlings, the local Five and Dime)* and rescuing them out of the street if I spotted one in peril.** But unfortunately having indoor turtles and cats are a bad mix. 

I did the best I cd, though, for the occasion, stopping by the turtle habitat in the local PetSmart when we spent some time taking care of the Purrfect Pals up-for-adoption cats today.

At any rate, the occasion reminds me that I still haven't read TURTLES OF THE WORLD, a beautifully illustrated book on turtles I bought myself at Elliott Bay Books the last time I was there. I'll have to see if I can devote some time to actually reading it sooner rather than later.

After all, as I think Pratchett said (or was it Gaiman?):  it's turtles all the way down.

--John R.

*Among other things, I earned the Boy Scout Merit Badge for Reptile keeping. I still remember Speedy and Swifty (who were grey rather than green), and my sister's Regina, among others. 

**including, twice, a snapping turtle, which are not to be messed around with. The key is to remember that it's neck is much longer than you'd think, and he can get you from several feet away.


Given my reputation (cf. The Catbite Incident, a.k.a. Thirteen Days in the Hospital), I shd make clear that I've never been bitten by a turtle. 


1 comment:

David Bratman said...

We have, not an actual turtle, but a little blue plush turtle, which is our cats' favorite toy. They carry it around the house and deposit it in unexpected places. I am constantly finding it in the bed, in the laundry basket, under my office desk ...