Memory Lane: My Turtles

My wife and I love turtles, and this video of someone’s baby turtles brings back happy memories. I always fed my turtles by hand, which made them very tame.

When I was a boy I had a big tank for my turtles, all babies–a baby snapping turtle, a very personable diamondback terrapin, a painted turtle, and a little musk turtle the size of a nickel.

One summer night I didn’t bring the aquarium back indoors, and we had a heavy rain which caused the tank to overflow. Come morning, there were no turtles in it.

Would you believe it? One by one, they all came back–even the tiny musk turtle. The snapper went wandering around for two weeks, but in the end he came back, too.

And I must add a salute to our painted turtle, Clemmy, who enjoyed a long career of sharing our suppers with us and also lived in hope that Henry, our cat, would someday feed him. I am happy to say that Henry never did anything more than watch the turtle.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

7 responses to “Memory Lane: My Turtles

  • Linda Sorci

    Oh how sweet! Turtles can surprisingly have their own personalities. When we were young, my little sister had a turtle (I don’t know what kind he was) named Alvin. When my mother would sing in a rather high-pitched voice, Alvin would climb up on his rock and ‘sing’ with her. Until then, I hadn’t realized turtles could squeal!

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    • leeduigon

      I’ve read that many kinds of turtles do have voices, but very few humans ever hear them. I never heard my turtles.

      I did get to hear my slowworms, though.

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      • Linda Sorci

        In that case, I feel very blessed. And what are slowworms?

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        • leeduigon

          They’re small legless lizards from Europe–smart, personable, easy to tame: they’d make their little squeaks when I hand-fed them.

          Alas, I had to feed them on worms and slugs that I caught around here, and my slowworms fell victim to pesticide. Never used to have that problem.

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          • Linda Sorci

            Oh how sad! They sound like really neat little ones. We can marvel daily at Our God’s creation. Our turtle liked to be hand-fed too. He loved raw hamburger, although I don’t know how good for him it was. He lived quite a long time.

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          • leeduigon

            It’s been my experience that turtles go crazy for raw hamburger.

            Caution: Unlike most other reptile pets, turtles will eat whatever tastes good to them, whether it’s good for them or not. So try to offer a lot of different foods. Some of them are bound to be nutritious.

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  • Erlene

    How fascinating! I never had much contact with turtles. there were some around where I grew up, but all I ever did was watche them for a while, then move on. I caught a terrapin now and then, but didn’t try to keep them. I guess I missed out on a lot. But, I always had a cat or two.

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