It was just an ordinary Tuesday. The time was one o’clock in the afternoon as I made my way down Hovey Road and to my day job. Nearing a bend in the road, I spied a turtle, not moving, but head up and alert on the double yellow lines. I passed by but soon hesitated and stepped on the brake. Turning around, I decided to ‘rescue’ what I found out to be was an eastern painted turtle.
The road had recently been paved and it was somewhat elevated from the edges of the sides of the roadway. The turtle was still where he was and I pulled over. Due to the fact that it was on a corner, I pulled slightly over a little further than I probably would have at another time. Mistake. Trying to straighten out I realized I was stuck in the mire of the shadiest and wettest part of Hovey Road. Hence the reason the turtle was either coming or going from this mud zone.
I got out fuming to myself. What was I thinking? Getting out of the car I did not hesitate and scooped up the turtle which lay fully in my palm and spread fingers. Pacing with the turtle, talking to myself, I tried to figure out what to do. Knowing I would now be late for work, I had to call in to say I had been in an ‘accident’. What a tool. There did not seem to be any neighbors home at that time of day so I called my #1 tow truck guy, my husband, Steve. As it would have been an hour or so for him to help he suggested I call the police. So putting in a call to the LPD, I proceeded to wait with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
It was clearly Michelangelo, the easy-going and free spirited one of the four. Leonardo, the team leader, would not have found himself casually strolling across the road. Bad boy, Raphael, most likely had something to do with my dilemma setting up Michelangelo to cause mayhem. Donatello should have been consulted as he would have figured out a better way to cross the road. I walked to an area into the woods and far enough away and there placed the turtle. Where was Splinter, the Turtles’ sensei and adoptive father? He would have used this as a teaching moment about what not to do to humans. Coincidentally, I was returning from a morning class at my sensei’s martial arts class (which is the only reason I was travelling down Hovey Road). He also would have used this as a teaching moment as is evident in his new survival guide book.
Now the flashing blues were approaching and I waved a gesture of caution to the driver not to fall into the same trap. The officer put in a call to the towing outfit next on the daily list. Meanwhile, he asked if he could perhaps try to get the car out using the rock and roll method. I could only think of this moment as a prelim to the NASCAR races in Loudon. He had that mud smokin’! The car was sinking deeper and I suggested he stop as his method was not working. After the imagined lap or two out on the speedway, I hoped there would be no damage to the car.
Within a short while I was de-stuck and on my way. It was an expensive rescue of one particular species that has seen many a fatality by vehicles according to the state fish and game website. Would I do it again? Just last week heading down Mammoth Road across from Green Acres horse farm there he was, again, in the middle of the road on the double yellow lines. Well-travelled Mammoth road would soon be his downfall as I proceeded to my destination, worrying all the while. I would stop on my way back, hoping all would be well with this Ninja Turtle. I let out a sigh of relief as there was no turtle in sight. I am sure vacation time in New Hampshire was now over with Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo and sensei Splinter heading back to the storm sewers of New York to battle petty criminals, evil overlords, and alien invaders. For me, that is quite a relief.
Debbie Curtin writes stories about people, places, events and other topics of interest that engage the reader. As a member of the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, Debbie keeps ‘in the game’ with other like minded people. She has been an artist and creative person all her life and uses the unlimited sources of inspiration that abound everywhere in her writing as another art form.