Helping those who don’t want our help

Published 4:17 pm Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hubby and I were driving home last weekend when we saw an old turtle ambling his way across a busy four-lane highway just outside of town. Hubby screeched to a halt and I flung open my door and hopped out, already in turtle-saving mode! I dashed across the tarmac and bent to scoop the poor fellow up and run him to safety!

The turtle had other plans. When I bent down, he took off! He was fast, too, faster than me, and I chased him in circles, with traffic whizzing past on all sides. I hollered at him that I was a friend, but he wasn’t buying it. I zigged and he zagged. He gave me the stink eye and came full-speed toward me and I threw my arms up and ran screaming in the other direction. We ran all over that highway. Poor hubby, who’s used to me grabbing imperiled animals and tucking them under my arm like footballs, stood with his mouth open as the Senior Mutant Ninja Turtle whooped my tail.

I finally stopped him with a foot placed gently on his shell. I bent down and picked him up, secure that all the shenanigans were over and I could get back to the business of turtle-saving. His little legs stretched out and his claws began scrabbling at my hands. That’s happened before. I was surprised though, when he ran his neck out to the hilt and started whipping his head around, beak snapping as he tried his best to chomp me! I swear I saw fangs in there, and honestly, I don’t know where he kept his guts, because there wasn’t room in that shell for much more than all that neck!

We were almost to safety when my shoe whomped up against one of the ledges created by all the local paving work, and down I went! I landed spread-eagle, flat on the road, and I lost my grip on the dratted turtle! He went twirling away on his back, looking for all the world like one of those fidget spinners that kids use to torture grownups nowadays!

Hubby grabbed the turtle and jogged with him to the other side of the road and down to the water, where the evil blasted thing slid into the depths. After he was sure Psycho-turtle was safe he remembered his poor wife, flopped out on the pavement, and called, “Are you OK?”

I guess helping those who are sweet and biddable is easy — it’s the grumpy ones who don’t know they need help that are the test of our character.

Pepper Ellis Hageback is a resident of LaGrange.