Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Turtle migrations

Spring is a time of awakening, even for an ancient gator like me. I rise from the swamp and feel the sun warm my back. I crawl onto the shore and taste the breeze. Honeysuckle, wild rose, and iris sweeten the musty air. I suck it in -- the first taste of summer.

Nearby I notice a box turtle crawling down the hill. At first, I think it's Misha, but then I see many more behind it. The first wave of their migration. They have dug themselves out from their winter cover of rotting leaves and begun their journey to the cooler swamp, where they will spend their summer. It's nice to have the visitors.

Misha, in her turtle form, will greet them as they come, listen to their harrowing tales of crushing motorized monsters, bearing down on them as they meander the path their ancestors have traveled since long before these monsters roamed the earth. Metal coffins, Swampy called them, and he was right about that. But these days, they are everywhere...even here in the swamp. Misha weeps each time she hears that a turtle friend of hers was run down on his journey. I weep too. They are my creatures, after all. I created them as a gift for Faunus because he had admired my snapping turtles. But I thought it would be nice to see them now and then, so I gave them an instinct to find home. And the swamp is their home, and so they come, they mingle, they breed. Each autumn they go to Faunus; each spring they return to me.

So be cautious in your motorized monsters. I gave my box turtles hard shells, but they are fragile and shy. If you see one in the road, stop and pick it up. Move it gently out of harms way so it can continue on its journey home.