The other day, after a good hard run of 5 miles, I saw a little dark spot up ahead on the side of the road. I have been "rescuing" red salamanders from the possibility of getting smushed by throwing them back in the grass, but this was bigger. When I came upon it I realized it was a tiny 1" long snapping turtle. We had stumbled across this little guy's mama several years ago on a visit to our farm before we had built anything and I certainly wouldn't want to meet her again, but this little guy was cute. I picked him up and carried him home calling, "Mary, I have a present for you!"
We quickly got the little turtle ensconced in his new home (the burned out stockpot, newly scrubbed) after a short stint in a aluminum pan (he climbed out) and Googled 'how to care and feed snapping turtles'. He seems to be happy in his new home, eating the tomato bits and crickets the children have collected for him. The child most enamoured of our new friend is Julia Ellen, who squeals every time he moves and can now say "tur-tle" with glee.
As a children's literature enthusiast, we of course named the newest member of our family after a famous picture book turtle. I don't have a prize on hand, but would love to see if anyone can guess the name of our new pet.
Nope, nope, nope on the guesses. I didn't think it would be this hard. Think classic kiddy lit and a clue: he eats raisins.
Skipperdee is apparently a Alligator Snapping Turtle, which doesn't seem to eat raisins, but prefers worms, crickets, lettuce, and an occasional cherry tomato cut in half. He doesn't bite, but does have sharp claws and a very long neck.
As for Eloise, it was one of my favorite picture books as a child and our copy has been with me for almost 40 years. Some of my favorite frequent literary quotes are in its pages, such as, "Charge it please and thank you very much," and "____ makes a very good hat." (we, like Eloise, think Kleenex, and many other items made lovely headwear)