Thursday, April 26, 2007

Turtle in the Road

Yesterday driving home from work, I spied a large (bigger than a serving platter) soft-shell turtle trying to cross Highway 35 just North of Alvin. He was (I assume it was a "he" since a "she" would've asked someone for advice on an easier, less dangerous way to get from one place to another) in the middle of the right Northbound lane at the moment I saw him. There was a red Cavalier bearing down on him, closing at around 50 mph. I looked at the driver and the nose of the car dipped slightly as she braked and made a small course correction; she straddled the old fella as he yanked his head back in to avoid the inside of a tire.

When he emerged from the back of the car, I looked down the road and I saw about 15 vehicles of varying sizes, shapes and tire counts. I wondered if he would survive the new onslaught, knowing that some of the close-followers wouldn't have time to swerve to miss the great slick beast.

At that second, I empathized with that turtle; things happen fast, and sometimes they keep happening. Without much of a break in sight. And you, the turtle in the road, don't have much to say about most of it. Except maybe, "Oh DANG...". If you're lucky, you can finish your phrase.

When I made the return trip this morning, I looked for evidence of the old guy, secretly hoping not so see a large greasy spot in my lane. Not usually one to have much sympathy for soft-shelled turltes, I was pulling for him.

I am glad to say that the roads were clear this morning, save for that skunk near Friendswood. Despite the unwise decision that the big guy made in trying to cross a busy highway at the worst time of day, he made it to the new retention pond in the new subdivision they're building. Someday, a kid will tell of a giant turtle that ate his puppy at the side of that pond.

I really don't like soft-shelled turtles.


Anonymous said...

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.
James Bryant Conant

aA said...

"...but he might get it runned over by a Chevrolet..."

Rob V. said...

Re: "I really don't like soft-shelled turtles." I used to not care for them either until I tried one fricasseed and it was delicious. Tastes just like chicken.

Anonymous said...

Of course all you saw was the can't eat skunk. We are in Texas after road, big sky, and BBQ,and some of that BBQ includes what is found on the open road under that big sky. Thank God for Shiner Bock...........

bigwhitehat said...

What a monster. Hey, I'm glad you found my blog. Don't be a stranger.