Standing in the hall, doing the duty which is part of my salary, the duty that several other teachers forget seven times a day, or intentionally scoff, I saw an unusual sight.
A student from one of my morning classes strolled down that hall with a most unusual purse. A one-of-a-kind kind of purse, with an aquatic theme. That purse actually sloshed when she walked. Upon closer inspection, the purse proved to be a plastic bucket containing water, blue aquarium rocks, a larger rock-colored rock, and a small green snapping turtle. Young Master Turtle was a snapper all right. His back was ridged with smooth little points, and he thrashed when prodded or picked up. Some of you might have deemed him 'cute,' but Mrs. Hillbilly Mom hardened her heart against little green Buck, as he was christened, perhaps due to the current freshman reading assignment of Call of the Wild.
The reason for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's standoffishness?
This is the actual snapper that the #1 son and I encountered on the school parking lot a couple years ago. After a spring rain, in the days before T-Hoe joined our automotive family, this hulking behemoth was sitting about five feet from my Large SUV.
The ridged reptile was so quiet that I said to #1, "Is he alive?" I gently poked him with the tip of my shoe. YIIIIIIKES!!! That terrifying turtleneck shot out like greased lightning and nicked the nearest sole of my New Balance. I think I peed myself a little.
#1 and I looked wide-eyed at each other and jumped into the LSUV. Nothing to see here. The thought of rescuing Snappy by having #1 carry him down to the pond behind Newmentia evaporated like carnival cotton candy on a St. Bernard's tongue. My boy needs all his limbs intact so he can push my wheelchair and oxygen tank through the casino in my old age.
Yes, that frightening flashback flitted through ol' Hillbilly Mom's mind when viewing 'cute' little Buck. Pardon me for not cooing at his cuteness.