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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Boy meets turtle ...

It's no secret that our daughters have a fascination with turtles. Fortunately, we have a pond in our neighborhood that provides days upon days of summer fun for the kids. Last year, we bought the girls a small row boat and they immediately set out teaching themselves to paddle and navigate like pros. They use the boat to scout for turtles that are floating contentedly and naively in the water with their little heads poked above the surface. One daughter slowly and silently rows the boat up to the turtle while the other daughter stands in the prow with net poised to scoop the turtle up from underneath. Last year they caught nearly 100 turtles - they released the big ones and put the baby ones in a turtle tank for the summer, and then released them again in the Fall.

On Saturday, it was hovering between 40-50 degrees as we took a walk around the pond. Emme asked me how soon I thought the turtles would emerge from hibernation and I answered, "probably not for a few more weeks. It's still too cold for them." Moments later we saw about 6 turtles sunning themselves on logs in the pond. Emme started jumping and dancing around, begging to take out the boat so she could try to catch some.

Emme ended up catching about 5 turtles in various sizes and then brought the bucket to shore to show the boys. Wesley was immediately interested. He observed for awhile "from a safe distance", moved in cautiously for a closer look, and then reached out a tentative finger to touch the shell. We emptied the bucket on the path and the turtles took off in different directions. Wesley was very concerned, and rushed about using his finger to pin them to the ground so they could not run off. Then he slowly gained confidence and eventually was picking them up and putting them back in the bucket.

Jayden was also very intested but wasn't trying to pick any of them up. I asked him to hold one for a picture and he danced around nervously. I showed him how to hold them and he picked one up and grinned for the camera. The entire time he was grinning - he was barking out short, high-pitched shrieks between his teeth every time the turtle moved. The street-smart, tough kid from the streets of Addis Ababa was scared of a turtle! We were rolling with laughter ... and he was too.

1 comment:

Karla said...

Isn't it great to be outside?! The boys will have such a spectacular summer with their adventurous sisters! Love you - K