Unlike other tortoises, Harry doesn’t hurry.
Okay, so Harry the tortoise is not the real deal. But in my little garden, he suits me just fine. I have experience from living tortoises in gardens, you see, and I know how they like to burrow and hide underground. It’s very easy to find a tortoise where I live and I could keep a couple in my garden if I wanted, but then I’d risk getting distraught to find my husband’s been digging and hurt one (or worse – its babies!) by mistake.
So, good old Harry, who’s made of resin and is thus always guaranteed to be found exactly where I’ve left him, is perfect for my garden. Having said that, I like to relocate him every couple of days, just to mess with the neighbors’ heads. LOL, just kidding 🙂
Back in Corfu in the 80s, my sister and I loved to search around for tortoises in my aunt Stephanie’s garden in Corfu town. She kept a whole family of them and it was fun to locate them, especially when there were babies. The babies were particularly cute and loved to roam. In cold weather, we’d only find the odd big one, a small part of its shell only visible in the dirt. My uncle had to be extra careful when digging the garden.
As I stated earlier, there are tortoises everywhere in the fields around my house and my husband Andy and I spot them quite often, both when we walk and on the road while we drive.
We spotted this little guy one afternoon as we drove to the supermarket. He was visible from afar coming towards us, walking in the middle of the road. Super fast! I couldn’t believe it. First thing I thought was, “Well, look at that! Aesop lied and he lied big!” haha
As we always do when we find a tortoise on the road, we make sure to stop, pick it up, and put it down in the nearest field. As all kinds of reptiles give me the heebie-jeebies, I can’t bring myself to actually touch a tortoise but, thankfully, Andy doesn’t mind. Sometimes, when they are picked up, they emit a strong hissing sound. I am glad it doesn’t scare Andy when they do that. If I had to pick one up and it hissed at me, I’d probably scream and drop it. Which means it would probably get hurt anyway. So if I saw one on my own, I’d just let it take its chances with the cars, LOL! So far, all the ones I’ve seen walking on roads have been lucky. Andy has been there with me every time to do his Superman thing 🙂
Here is the same tortoise once Andy put it down in the closest field. He used his phone to take the photos and he was glad to, because he wanted to take pictures of a tortoise for a while.
One day, about a week before seeing this tortoise, we were walking in our neighborhood and I spotted another one in a field near the edge of the road. It actually looked up at us from the ground, staring back as we peered at it, and Andy was gutted that we didn’t have our phones with us.
We were just two blocks away from home so we hurried there. Andy wanted to grab his phone and two lettuce leaves so he could dash back to the field and photograph the creature, then feed it (the field looked really barren, so the tortoise would appreciate the snack, right?)
On our way home, and as we practically ran, Andy was worried the tortoise wouldn’t be there when he returned but I laughed and said, ‘What? No way. It’s a tortoise. How fast can it walk? Of course it’ll be there.’
Yeah, right! A couple minutes later, Andy was looking everywhere and the presumed slow walker was nowhere to be found. It was a big open field, no place to hide, but still. I guess the moment it saw the back of us, it went running like his sure-footed cousin we saw on the road later on did. Aesop had us fooled but now we know!
I laughed till my gut hurt when Andy came back home on this fool’s errand. I could just imagine him searching all over the field, a phone and two lettuce leaves in his hands! There are houses along the road and it’s possible he was spotted doing that. What a peculiar sight he must have been!
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