The turtles are coming! The turtles are coming! Wait a minute. Change that. The turtles are here! The turtles are here!
Did I miss some big news alert about turtles invading Columbia County? If I did, I apologize. Especially to all those terrapins who are wandering around in my back yard. Look, fellas, you guys are terrifying my dog. She's never seen anything like you before and, thank heaven, none of you have been of the "snapping" family.
Sandy is almost 10 years old. The only animals allowed in her yard are squirrels and the occasional cat. Doesn't matter. She's never been able to catch one, but she still tries once in a while. It depends upon how bad her arthritis is that particular day.
Now, all of a sudden, there are these big and little helmet thingies all over the place. She knows there's something inside, but can't figure out how to get to them. In fact, one time she came very close to getting her nosey little nose stuck in a shell.
In a way, it's good. This is something she can catch even though I don't want her to do that. I have no desire for pet turtles.
The last visitor she brought inside was a baby possum. That was years ago and she was so terribly proud of herself. I guess she thought she was bringing a new and exciting playmate into the house. Either that, or dinner.
She was very disappointed, however, because this new animal never moved. During the entire time I was screaming at her, she sat looking at me in amazement. I tried to tell her this was not an appropriate playmate and, when it did decide to wake up, she was going to be very, very sorry. She had no reaction whatsoever.
So I went to my room, got a shoebox, put it over the monster and scooted it outside. Sure enough, the next day, baby possum was gone. Guess that's where the saying "playing possum" comes from.
Sandy totally ignored me for the next few days. She apparently thought I was punishing her by making the possum disappear. She got over it a lot quicker than I did.
Several animals have tried to make themselves at home in my yard. Rabbits are the most common. I don't mind them because they're so cute. There was a time, however, when I looked out back and saw a hawk sitting on my fence. I stared at it for several minutes, thinking how devastated I would be if it flew off with one of my favorite bunnies.
I closed the blinds and stayed inside the rest of the day. What would you have done? Fought the hawk? I don't think so. If you're that brave, call me and I'll let you start your own little turtle farm at your house.
Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.
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