Linda Henry

Thatwhich

This isn't some mamby-pamby turtle story. This shit is real.

June 26, 2013

Tags: Churchy

Today Churchy the three-legged turtle went to day camp. It was the second year in a row he was asked to enlighten campers about life as a turtle. Just so you know, itís more than an educational program. The nature center has two resident turtles, and after the meet-and-greet thereís a race among the three, including the guest turtle, Churchy. And surprise, surprise, last year Churchy won, despite having 25 percent fewer legs than the others. (more…)

Rebel turtle (without a few claws)

December 16, 2012

Tags: Churchy, turtle

My teenage daughter ratted out the turtle. Turns out he's a rebel. A couple days ago, Churchy woke up from his winter's nap. This typically happens a few times a winter, and when he wakes up, he wants out of the terrarium. He thinks itís spring, and time to get back into the garden and wait for tomatoes to ripen. (more…)

Man's best friend request

April 20, 2012

Tags: Churchy, turtle

Itís happened to me twice on Facebook, so Iím guessing itís happened to everyone at least once: the friend request from a dog. In reality, itís from the dogís owner or ďhuman,Ē as the dog refers to him or her. But wait. We all know itís the actual friend, the dog owner, who pretends the dog calls its owner ďmy human.Ē I know, I sound harsh. A dog is not an it, and cannot be owned. As when you accept a friend request from a non-human, I ask you to accept my premise, at least for the duration of this blog entry. (more…)

Spring break for turtles

March 24, 2012

Tags: Churchy, turtle

Stalking the wild anaconda
We were gone for a few days, leaving Churchy the turtle to fend for himself. In the days before our trip, temperatures were unseasonably warm. We gave Churchyís terrarium wide berth, lest he wake from hibernation. We closed doors quietly and spoke in hushed tones. The previous week, Churchy had awakened and Keith put him in the garden. But by early evening, Churchy was already burrowing into the ground. I found him by the fence, half covered with dry, brown grass. Heíd been glad to go back inside, or what I take to be gladness in a turtle. (more…)

Turtle dreams

January 14, 2012

Tags: Churchy, turtle

You know that dream where you think youíre awake and almost ready for your day? Youíve already gotten out of bed, had a shower, made sure the kids got something to eat, drank a cup of coffee, and wondered why your husband left all the windows open so that the confetti from last nightís street celebration now covers the furniture and the floor. (more…)

The Winter of My Content

October 24, 2011

Tags: Churchy, turtle, Occupy Wall St.

Like Churchy, the three-legged turtle who summers in the vegetable garden, I think Iím ready to accept my winter fate. Unlike Churchy, I will try to refrain from hurling my body against the walls of my terrarium, insisting on one more romp in the garden, which we non-reptiles know is torn up and about to freeze over for the duration. Keith has been bringing Churchy in at night, but even so, the turtle spends his sunny afternoons digging into the garden, under the sod or the uprooted tomato vines, as if his people have abandoned him. I know how he feels; maybe itís come to this: every reptile for himself. If you donít have a ride home and donít feel like hitchhiking, you best find a cot in the back and hunker down. (more…)

Labor Night

September 5, 2011

Tags: Churchy, turtle

Because it is 2:47 a.m. and I am awake, I might as well take account of my worries. My immediate concern is Churchy the three-legged turtle, who lives in our vegetable garden all summer. And even though it's barely Labor Day, temps have dropped into the 40s, assuming the weatherman is to be believed. (more…)

Born free. Live within the confines of the garden, please.

June 28, 2011

Tags: Churchy, turtle

Churchy the three-legged turtle was waiting for this moment. The wind was just right to blow open the garden gate. It's a new gate, much more aesthetically pleasing than the old one, and we hadn't quite figured out how to keep it closed.

Meanwhile, we, his human family, went about our day, blue skies and upper 70s when Sven had predicted storms. (more…)

Grow your own garden-variety metaphors

May 27, 2011

Tags: Churchy, turtle

My dad at about 15, looking a little weedy himself.
It's especially gratifying to pull up the weeds with deep roots. Pulling creeping charlie satisfies in a different way: I'll follow their wimpy little entrails wherever they've crept thus far. I got nothin but time, at least for the moment and as far as I know. But the sturdy-yet-innocent-looking weed -- the one that requires more of a tug than expected, the one that intended to stay for the duration, despite my big plans for basil and tomatoes -- that's the weed that gives me such pleasure to pull. And the earthworm that's exposed in the process? "Churchy, it's dinner time." (more…)

Don't dis my ability

May 7, 2011

Tags: Churchy, turtle

We don't know why Churchy only has three legs. To be fair, it's really three and a half. He came to us this way, and he doesn't like to talk about the past. Or anything. On the other hand, he is a really good listener.

Maybe it was a fox or a hawk that (more…)

While you were hibernating

May 1, 2011

Tags: Churchy, turtle

It's May. I thought for sure that Churchy, our 3-legged Western Box turtle, would be done hibernating. But it's been a tough winter, a tough spring. It snowed six times in April.

My husband, Keith, reports that Churchy has awakened a few times in the last month. It happens during the day when I'm at work. Churchy can be noisy, for a turtle. (Just as he can be fast, despite the missing limb.) (more…)

Selected Works

Essays
My daughter likes depressing books. ďSomeone dies in the first chapter,Ē Grace says gleefully of a novel she canít put down. Maybe this inclination comes naturally, growing up with the ghost of a sister she never knew.†
In which my brilliant son prevails against middle-school bullies. Adapted from "A Voice Not My Own"