About a month ago I came home to find a little turtle in the front yard. I thought it was a large rock until Taj sniffed it and pointed his nose, just like a regular bloodhound. And it wasn't until both the dog and I had backed away that I saw four little legs squirm their way out, one at a time, from the shell. The head slinked out last. For a moment the three of us stood there, dog, turtle, and human, regarding one another, none of us sure how to react. And then Taj found something more interesting behind the bushes and I went on to get the mail, and when I came back the turtle was still there, one leg slowly retreating into its shell.
I wondered, at that moment, if I would ever have that kind of patience, if I'd ever be quiet and slow enough to gauge the difference between actual danger and momentary risk.
My mom and I named the turtle Sushi. I imagined us becoming great friends, her acting as my little guard turtle, warding away bad spirits and unwelcome snails. I left some old lettuce out for her. Well, to be perfectly frank, I more or less threw the lettuce onto the surface of her shell as I was rushing out of the house to get to work.
I've been checking the front of the house every morning, but she hasn't been back yet. Either that, or she's waiting for me in a place I haven't yet found.
This image is taken from Delanco Camp's T-Shirt contest. I'm not familiar with this camp, but I found the picture on Google Image.