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Thatwhich

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

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, it’s more than an educational program. The nature center has two resident turtles, and after the meet-and-greet there’s 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. Read More 
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Rebel turtle (without a few claws)

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 it’s spring, and time to get back into the garden and wait for tomatoes to ripen.  Read More 
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Man's best friend request

It’s happened to me twice on Facebook, so I’m guessing it’s happened to everyone at least once: the friend request from a dog. In reality, it’s from the dog’s owner or “human,” as the dog refers to him or her. But wait. We all know it’s the actual friend, the dog owner, who pretends the dog calls its owner “my human.” 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. Read More 
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Spring break for turtles

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 Churchy’s 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. He’d been glad to go back inside, or what I take to be gladness in a turtle.  Read More 
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Turtle dreams

You know that dream where you think you’re awake and almost ready for your day? You’ve 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 night’s street celebration now covers the furniture and the floor.  Read More 
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The Winter of My Content

Like Churchy, the three-legged turtle who summers in the vegetable garden, I think I’m 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 it’s come to this: every reptile for himself. If you don’t have a ride home and don’t feel like hitchhiking, you best find a cot in the back and hunker down.  Read More 
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Labor Night

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

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. Read More 
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Grow your own garden-variety metaphors

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." Read More 
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Don't dis my ability

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  Read More 
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