I swear, it was THIS BIG
I called Evil Ducky after work today to tell her I was running a little late to meet up with her for yoga. "The weirdest thing just happened," she told me. "As I was pulling into my driveway, I noticed something moving around in my backyard. When I went to check it out, it was a HUGE SNAPPING TURTLE! What the hell should I do?"
She wasn't kidding. This was a huge fucking turtle. She wasn't really sure how it got into the fully fenced backyard, or why. There was one low spot under the fence that could've provided an access point, and I suppose the turtle's friends could've played a trick on it. Like, I don't know, told it there were some really tasty tomatoes on the yard, or some really gorgeous lady turtles, and then our poor turtle broke in only to find out he'd been lied to. I didn't have my camera, but Evil Ducky documented the interloper. He looks pretty forlorn, I think, and also sort of annoyed, as if he's saying, "Clyde, you son of a bitch, there are no goddamn tomatoes in this yard."
We decided to wait and attempt to capture the turtle after yoga class, figuring there was a slim chance it would find its way out of its predicament by then. Of course, it didn't. Now, in a strange and interesting twist of fate, just last week I help transport three turtles from my workplace to a pond out in the country, one of which was a snapping turtle. Granted, I did not actually capture that turtle myself, but watched as the reptile intern I'd called in from the local nature center took care of the dirty work. Also, our turtle at work was quite a bit smaller than Evil Ducky's new pal. Anyway, technicalities! At this point, I was the closest thing we had to a turtle wrangling expert.
For scale, here's the turtle with my size 7 / 8 flipflop:
Luckily, this turtle was relatively chill. I lifted him up a little bit by the shell (he didn't even try to take my hand off), and we managed to get him onto Evil Ducky's snow shovel. After rapidly discovering he was NOT going to fit into the large bucket we grabbed from the garage, we wedged him into the Sterilite tub I had in my car, the same tub I'd used to transport the snapping turtle from work, just a week ago. (Fate!) I still can't believe this turtle fit into the tub. It was a very close thing.
With the turtle thus captured and a bit of OMG HOLY SHIT DID WE JUST DO THAT screaming out of way, Evil Ducky drove us all to a nearby park so we could set the turtle free near the lake. She has a photo on her blog of me letting the turtle go. Unfortunately, giant snapping turtles are not very fleet of foot. The turtle sort of tipped over, fell out of the box, landed on his back, flailed, then rolled down the short slope and landed in the water, upside-down. It was pretty much the least elegant, least photogenic, least Animal-Planet-worthy release ever unfortunately not caught on film. No worries, though, he quickly righted himself, blew a few bubbles from his surprisingly adorable nostrils, gave us the finger, and swam away. A bit anticlimactic, but dude. We totally kicked ass.
Reading: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Playing: the Garden State soundtrack
Also, new post up at the book blog if you're into that sort of thing.