Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Saving Mr. Snaps-a-Lot

This is Mr. Snaps-a-Lot

On my way home from a meeting yesterday, I came upon a turtle in the middle of the road. I pulled over, turned on my blinking hazard lights, and removed myself from my vehicle.

And that's when I lost my faith in humanity.

You know, you can love something with the Great Love, have compassion for it, and also be completely terrified of it.  You can be too terrified to pick it up. This was my experience with the turtle.

I wasn't prepared for the tail. I didn’t know they can have long, whip-like tales.

I looked around and saw a tall, muscled man in the distance and started walking toward him. He stood and let me walk toward him with a wary look on his face. Once close enough, I called out,

"Do you pick up turtles?"

Tall, muscled man's reply?

"Nah, I don't do turtles."

He told me that his wife had seen it earlier, and was going to pick it up, but said it looked "weird" on closer inspection, and "like it had something wrong with it."

I walked off, commenting that I just don't want it to DIE.

I went back and picked up a pine cone, touched the pine cone gently to its back leg.

That's when Mr. Snaps-a-Lot quickly levitated off his front feet, reached his head back, and made as if he were going to leap into the air at my face.

I leapt back and squealed.

Any hope that I would summon the courage to pick this creature up on my own was lost. I paced in the middle of the street in a panic. I watched cars slow, the speed periously close to the turtle, despite my very clear concern.

One pair of travelers actually gawked and laughed at me.

Later, thinking back on the drivers-by, I realized: This is why God flooded the earth.  This is why God killed us.

Finally, a woman in a mustang pulled over, put on her hazards, and tried to help. She declared it a snapping turtle. She said she lives in the country. She surmised that the rain (we'd had a sudden, brief storm) had brought it out.

She was unable to coax the turtle across the road. For her favor, Mr. Snaps-a-Lot whipped around toward her and slow-opened his mouth. We both took this as threatening behavior.

I called a couple folk, but everyone was out of town.

Before she took off to get where she was going, Mustang Sally pointed out an onlooker, smoking from his primo viewing spot on his porch. I hollered out at him.

I don't know how long he'd been watching, but I don’t think he'd expected to be engaged in this business.

Leave it to me.

He also seemed wary, as had Tall with Useless Muscles, but he stepped inside for a second, then came out with his cigarette, walked over, looked at it, confirmed it was a snapper.

Soon, Mr. Snaps-a-Lot started moving. I went to block traffic. I have this thing where I suddenly endow myself with any and all authority necessary when protecting another life. If I held my hands out, standing in the street, for an hour while Mr. Snaps-a-Lot crossed, that's just what these travelers would have to deal with.

The guy with the cigarette waved the cars around, told me to let them go around.

Clearly, he had not just had his faith in humanity largely crushed, and still trusted them to maneuver around the turtle, and cared whether or not they got home for dinner on time.

Mr. Snaps-a-Lot kept moving, the guy following him like a guide across the River Styx. He told me he would get Mr. Snaps-a-Lot across.  When they were about a foot from the opposite curb, I thanked the guy, got in my car, and drove off.

That is the story of saving Mr. Snaps-a-Lot.

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