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Sluggo's Great Escape

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Regular readers will remember Sluggo, the old male box turtle who was hit by a lawnmower and brought to me late in the summer of 2011. He's got a deep spinal injury which probably causes him pain and restricts the use of his hind legs. Well, as fall wears into winter Sluggo is showing just a little more mobility in those hinders, so I usually take him out of his tank in the morning to trundle around the living room as best he can. Usually he drags himself with front feet alone, but sometimes I catch him with both hinders stretched out and pushing, to get over a lumpy rug or under a tight cabinet. Once I found him under Phoebe's bed. He goes on expotitions looking for a good place to dig in for the winter, I guess.

I came into the living room from the studio not thinking much about turtles and stopped dead in my tracks. What in the Sam Hill?

How did a box turtle get on our raised deck, and upside down to boot? I couldn't process it at all. I stared at the scene, not noticing at first that the screen has been pushed out of the door.

And the turtle stared back at me, his ruby eyes blazing angrily. Turn me back over. Don't just stand there gawping at me.

When it finally hit me what had transpired, I laughed with delight and amazement and ran to get my camera to document Sluggo's Great Escape. I don't think he could have pushed the screen out of the door using only his front pawdies.

Sluggo, you little debbil. Nobody gives the hairy eye like this turtle can.

I put him back inside and thanked my lucky stars he had turned turtle, or he might have plunged off the 12' high deck to the patio below. We don't need a freshly busted shell. The year-old injury is plenty to deal with. 

At this point, all I can give Sluggo is food, exercise and time. He's not ready for the wild, not by a long shot. But he's better than he was last fall, and I guess that's something. With all these wild things I take in, what I want most is to turn them loose, to get them out of my hair and living as they should. But sometimes that takes time. I don't know if Sluggo will ever recover to full mobility. I sure hope he can. He's a wonderful old gent.


Turtles are such wonderful creatures. Sluggo seems to be a fine example of the ancient race. Thanks for blogging. I enjoy following your blue birds, Chet, morning runs, and other critters.

Sluggo, you rascal.
My 6 year old Florida Cooter escaped her livestock tank pond home recently due to a heavy rain.
I hatched her from an egg, she and 10 siblings back in '06.
I miss her something fierce.
Her name is Gurtle... just in case she wanders up your way.

I'm a pretty restrained blog-reader. I can even get through a Murr post without rousing the neighbors. But that first picture of Sluggo with his feet in the air caught me by surprise and made me howl with laughter. Apologies to the dignified old guy.

I laughed out loud when I saw him upside down. Perhaps a bit cruel of me but I couldn't help it. He's in good hands.

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