When I was coming up the bike trail by our house, I thought it was a ground hog or mutant bunny or something. As I got closer I realized it was a turtle about the size of a meat platter and you know me...my first thought was to pick him up and move him out of the way. As I approached him I could see that the back of his shell had those little spikey bits and mentally scanned through my limited turtle identification files...hmmm...now what was it Daddy told me about those spikey bits? Shouldn't have wasted my time. He readily identified himself by sticking his butt in the air and opening his maw of a mouth and making rude hissing noises that I wasn't even aware turtles made! It's nice to know that my old decrepit body can move really fast when it has to and with virtually no instruction on my brain's part. One minute I was next to old Grumpy and upon hearing that first hiss I was waaaaay over there. Don't know how I got there. I may have teletransported. I have no idea.
Ever the nature girl and animal lover, I went back over deciding that despite his bad attitude he was really just misunderstood and really needed to be moved off the path before a bike, or worse yet, a dog came along. Then I remembered the time that Daddy moved a snapper out of the middle of the road with a shovel and how that turtle whipped around and chomped on the aluminum with absolutely no thought for its dental work. Uhhh. yeah...changed my mind. While I admire Steve Irwin, that Crocodile Hunter guy, and his ability to pick up personality-challenged, usually venomous reptiles and move them from over here... to over there, I definitely need to watch a lot more Animal Planet before I have enough tips to handle the situation. Plus I don't have the manditory khaki, safari shorts with all the pockets. I'm sure that's somehow the secret to why he hasn't lost every one of his digits messing about with all of those cranky critters.
So I cooed. I encouraged. I reasoned. I flapped by arms around and jumped up and down. Everyone knows that this is international turtle language for "Danger! Danger!Move off the path, Buddy, or you're gonna get stomped on". I even tried it all in my best Australian accent. He wasn't having any of it. He stood his ground and hissed in an even more menacing tone of voice; sticking his butt even higher in the air in a you-want-a-piece-of-me manner. Clearly he was spoiling for a fight and ready to rumble. Maybe his mother never hugged him enough as a child. I don't know. I dropped a card for a good therapist next to him and left him there. I hope he has the good sense to call her for help.