Skippy come, Skippy go.

Or, The Three-Week-Long-Saga of the Baby Painted Turtle.

(a couple more pics of Skippy are up at my gallery.

I found Skippy exactly twenty days ago: on the July 4th celebrations at Buddy Attick Park. He was itty-bitty, and I took him home with me to live in the pond. I bought him all sorts of treats, like water plants and floating turtle food. He was the most active, adorable little turtle – he would eat out of my hand! He was always sticking his neck way out, checking things out: I never once saw him retract into his shell. Fearless little guy.

Unfortunately, his fearlessness has been his downfall. We had a doozy of a storm last night: it knocked down and broke the stems of half the flowers in my garden. It also knocked the plant in Skippy’s pond over, so that it rested against the edge of the pot. Skippy, never one to say no to adventure, decided to see what was outside his little fountain… and escaped into the great bit pondless world that is our subdivision. So by the time I woke up and got outside to set the plant back upright, Skippy was nowhere to be seen.

Where will he hide? What will he eat? What if he gets eaten by a lawnmower? Or a cat? I’ve built Skippy a little rock bridge in the hopes that he might be smart enough to find his way back and climb into the pond again (he’s an aquatic turtle, not a land turtle, and can’t survive long without water) but chances are slim.

He may not have been the cuddliest pet I’ve ever owned, but he was by far the neatest. Goodbye, little dude.

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