Monday, September 28, 2009

Turtle People and the Other Half

It has often occurred to me that there are two types of people on this Earth: Those who, upon seeing a turtle attempting to cross a road, stop their vehicle and safely transport it to the other side, and the others who choose to ignore the hapless creature or engage in even more villainous vehicular acts.

To some, this may seem like an unfair judgement. After all, isn't it our God given right to use the land to build roads, communities, parking lots? What is the loss of one turtle, a cold-blooded reptile? And yet, I'm reminded of Psalm 50, which says: “For every beast of the forest is mine;...I know all the fowls of the mountain; and the wild beasts of the field are mine.”

I found a slider in the road on my way home this evening. It was undoubtedly the largest one that I had ever seen before. Its shell was a beautiful gun-metal gray and the lines that ran up its neck and face were as vivid as fresh paint. Picking it up, I began to count the rings on one of its shell scutes. If the number (25) was anywhere close to its age, it was over twenty years old, making it only eight years younger than me! Considering all that it surely would have gone through to survive for that long in the wild made this one spectacular animal.

The protection of small wild creatures like turtles (or snakes, lizards, butterflies or birds) is such a simple act of kindness. I am struck by how often we mistake our size and station for an excuse to do as we please in life; as if anything other than providence to the least among us is acceptable behavior.


jason said...

A most beautiful image to go along with a most welcome and important message. I've even stopped police cars on a six-lane road so I could help a turtle get to the other side, and the officer obliged me by turning on his lights and waiting for me to complete the rescue. As you point out, it's unfortunate that many view this kind of humanity as quaintly unnecessary.

Clay Bolt said...


Glad to hear that there are others who feel the same way. I can't say that I've ever had a police escort on one of my saves!

Kind Regards,

Squirrel said...

Nice to read about another turtle save. I love your photos.