So I was walking to the mailbox after approximately forty days and forty nights of rain which is supposedly the amount of time it rained when Noah took all the animals into the ark, but if you’ve ever read Julian Barnes’s A History Of The World In 10 and ½ Chapters you know that much rain is “an average English summer”, but that’s another story. And it reminded me that one of the things I won’t miss when I finally go back to the office, which I’m pretty sure is going to happen in a matter of weeks since I’m getting my second shot soon, is a giant puddle that forms around a corner next to my building and which I have to navigate around if I want to get to the other side of the street. That giant puddle forms every time it rains, even if it’s just forty seconds of rain, and it’s right around a fire hydrant which makes me think that when it rains the hydrant is sitting there saying, “I’ll just let out a little to release some of the pressure, no one’s going to notice” and it ends up flooding the area.
All this is completely irrelevant to what happened next: I found a box turtle in the middle of the street. Turtles traditionally are seen as wise creatures, and, admittedly, it took some brains to write “Happy Together”, a song that I’m pretty sure has made a mint because it’s been used in so many commercials. Seeing a turtle out in the middle of the street, though, is enough to make me question their intelligence, especially since this one had gotten to the middle of the street and appeared to have decided to take a nap. It might have been in the sweet spot to avoid cars going either way but I didn’t want to take a chance and picked it up and carried it to our yard. I took it all the way to the wooded area beyond our yard so it would be safe from our dogs and hopefully other predators. And while I was doing this the turtle apparently woke up and came out of its shell, waving its legs and hissing at me, maybe saying, “Okay, this is fine, this is past where I was headed, buddy!” but I kept going anyway.
When I got back my wife asked what I was doing at the back of the yard. I told her I was relocating a box turtle I’d found in the middle of the street.
“Oh no,” she said, “now you’ve taken him out of his range and he’ll be confused.”
At least I carried him in the direction he’d been heading—when I found him he was facing our house, and I felt guilty for a minute but then I started thinking, hey, how much of a sense of a direction or place do turtles even have? Why would he even care? Wouldn’t he be happier in the woods anyway? Maybe he’ll find some other turtles—I know they’re back there because I’ve seen them—and they can have a reunion tour.
All this is completely irrelevant to the fact that this happened about halfway through last week and I’ve just realized I forgot to pick up the mail.