Sunday, April 18, 2010

Unleashing the turtle fury.

This morning, we got up and got ready with every intention of going to church. Unfortunately, we dilly-dallied a little too much and by the time we got in the car, we realized that the gas tank was empty and we would be late anyway, so we went to Denny's for breakfast instead. I feel bad, but we'll try harder next week.

At Denny's, we had a very sweet and smiley server who the kid decided he loved. Every time she'd walk by, he'd yell, "I love you!" after her. It took about five tries, but she finally heard it and appreciated the sentiment. I think his love stemmed from her offering of chocolate chip pancakes, but I guess it could have run deeper.

After breakfast, we took the kid to the park to make up for the fact that he didn't get to play with the toys in the church playroom. The weather was beautiful and brisk, and aside from the fact that I wore slightly uncomfortable shoes, we were enjoying walking around the pond with the other Sunday morning revelers. This park has two playgrounds, but the kid always looks forward to seeing the geese, ducks, turtles, and frogs more than anything else; and the hubby and I enjoy getting in a little exercise on the walk around the trails.

As we came full-circle on our walk around the pond, we saw something very disturbing. A young boy, about ten years old, was out walking IN the pond, catching unsuspecting turtles with his net. We watched as he placed one in a box, then took another one and was waving it around in the air like a flag.

This pissed me off. An entire family of Asian children looked on, horrified and scared for the poor turtle, but nobody was saying anything to the boy. The hubby and I made time over to him, and the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey! Stop that! You aren't supposed to pick up the turtles. Leave them alone!

Devil Child: No! Watch this! (THROWS the turtle, about ten feet, into the pond)

Me: What the heck are you doing? That's not ok. You need to take the other turtle out of that box and put him back right now.

Devil Child: Leave me alone!

Me: I am going to call the conservation officer on that sign (pointing to a sign up the hill) and they are going to come and make you stop.*

actual turtle from the pond in question

I pulled my cellphone out of my pocket and began walking up the hill, towards the sign with the conservation department's phone number listed on it while the hubby continued to argue with the devil child.

When I dialed the number, the office was closed, due to it being a Sunday and all, but I pretended to talk to someone while the devil child looked on. I put the phone down as he neared, with an empty box and a frightened look in his eyes.

Devil Child: I'm afraid you called the police and they are going to come and take me away!

Me: I did call. You shouldn't be messing with the turtles like that.

Devil Child: Are they going to take me away?

Me: No, nobody is going to take you away, but they may take your stuff (gesturing to his net and box).

Devil Child: I'd better go and hide it then!

He ran away, presumably to hide the turtle-stealing paraphernalia.

I felt really bad that I scared him so much, but I felt really good that I saved the turtles from certain doom.

*The hubby swears that I said, "I'm going to call the cops and they're going to come take you away," but I really don't remember saying that. I was seeing red at this moment, so it is entirely possible that I said that, but it wasn't my intention.
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