CURIOSITY WON’T KILL THIS TUR­TLE

Animal Scene - - SCALY SPECIAL -

I must ad­mit that on at least two oc­ca­sions while reach­ing out for plants above the pond, I jumped back upon see­ing that she was only mere inches from my feet, very still but with a some­what hi­lar­i­ous, quizzi­cal look of won­der­ment as to why I pan­icked in the first place. She could be that stealthy, but she wouldn’t snap.

When­ever she sneaked up on me, I knew that it was en­tirely out of in­quis­i­tive­ness. It might only be that this pri­mal in­stinct on my part had pro­grammed me to keep a healthy re­spect for this an­i­mal. And that, I knew, was the key to main­tain­ing such large and po­ten­tially con­fronta­tional beasts: a healthy dose of re­spect.

As long as noth­ing un­to­ward hap­pens to her, Kaiju will surely out­live me. I al­ready have pre­pared a much larger pond for her when the cur­rent one proves to be too lim­ited for her. And while peo­ple pass ob­jects as heir­loom to the next gen­er­a­tion, by the way things are go­ing, I am go­ing to pass her on to my son and per­haps fu­ture grand­kids -- a ch­e­lo­nian di­nosaur for the ages.

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