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Turtle love

Published June 16. 2012 09:01AM

Did you ever notice how things sometimes occur in threes? Like, you can go for months or years and never give thought to something. Then you are made aware of it and the subject comes up again and again.

Like turtles.

So why did the turtle cross the road?

To get to the other side, of course. But why?

I've seen three turtles in three weeks, all crossing the road. To me, that's a lot. I haven't seen a turtle in months and months and then suddenly ... three in the last three weeks.

I wondered why they feel the necessity of risking life and shell to cross roads. I suspected it might have something to do with love, so I turned to my old friend Google.

According to several sources, May and June are the nesting season for turtles in our area. Aquatic turtles are in search of their terrestrial nesting sites.

I stopped for one to finish crossing in front of me. I thought about getting out and helping it along, but knowing my luck, it would have been the kind to repay me with snapping a finger off.

So as I waited for it to safely pass, I thought about the Aesop fable of "The Tortoise and The Hare." They're like Harry and me.

Harry is like the Hare. He's quick, fast and very efficient. I'm like the Tortoise ... slow moving ... and we both kind of have the same shapes.

I like the moral of that story ... slow and steady wins the race. Well, I can't say I've won any races lately but I get done what I have to, not breaking any speed records along the way.

I just finished reading the fictional novel "Beach House Memories" by Mary Alice Monroe. The main character, Olivia "Lovie" Rutledge, returns each summer to the family's beach house on Isle of Palms in the Low Country of South Carolina, where she is known as The Turtle Lady. Every summer she records the nesting habits of Loggerhead Turtles that emerge from the sea to lay their eggs on the beach. I really enjoyed the book and learned a lot about Loggerheads. Like, they weigh about 350 lbs. and lay 100-126 eggs. Hatchlings are only about two inches long.

So, that's two turtle experiences.

Number 3.

Yesterday, Harry asked me if I heard the news story about these two giant tortoises who have been living together for over 100 years and suddenly decided to call it quits.

I hadn't heard about it so I asked Google and sure enough, this is what Google told me.

Bibi and Poldi, a couple of giant tortoises that weigh about 600 lbs. each, live in an Austrian zoo and had been in a committed relationship for 115 years. They grew up together and eventually they married, much to his mother's regrets. One day this week, Bibi just had enough of old Poldi's plodding tortoise ways and flipped out. She took a chunk out of Poldi's hard shell. The zoo provided marriage counseling, offered them a romantic dinner for two and even encouraged them in playing joint games, (maybe strip poker?) but nothing seemed to work. And so the couple is trying a trial separation.

"We get the feeling they can't stand the sight of each other anymore," said Helga Happ, director of the Klagenfurt-based zoo in an Austrian newspaper article.

Poldi has since moved into a bachelor's pad.

The staff at the zoo are hoping for a reconciliation.

So the question is, was Poldi seeing a slutty tortoise on the side and Bibi found out? Was he leaving trails of lettuce all over the kitchen floor and she was tired of picking up after him? Or did Bibi just fall out of love?

Here's my take on what happened to Bibi and Poldi.

Tortoises can live to be 150 to 200 years old. I think Bibi is just going through Menopause, or in this case, "Turtlepause."

One day Bibi woke up with her hormones raging. She thought her shell made her look fat and she had too many wrinkles. When Poldi, her clueless husband asked her what was for dinner, something snapped. Like her jaws. And she ripped him a new ... hole in his shell.

Bibi has since been seen lying naked in front of the air conditioner singing, "I'm having a hot flash, a tropical hot flash ..."

Old Poldi's been walking around scratching is bald head asking, "What did I do?" while eyeing up an attractive young neighborhood tortoise floosie.

Poldi's mother is doing The Dance of Joy and telling Poldi, "I told you so."

Well, whatever the problems Bibi and Poldi may be having, I'm hoping they will patch things up. I hate to hear about couples that end up on Divvie Road.

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