A few Tuesdays ago, my dog, The Nudge started going berserk downstairs. This is not terribly unusual. Often The Nudge decides there is an imminent threat in the patio area that he must eradicate immediately. And he is never shy about letting me know.
So when he sounded the warning cry (lot’s of high pitch whistles and frantic bouncing or “schproinging” around the french doors), I went to investigate. I never let him out without looking first to make sure it’s not the FedEx guy or the meter man. However, 90% of the time it’s just his imagination or what I like to call “mausgeist.”
But this time there was something out there. Some creature was indeed standing in the planter staring back at me. I didn’t have my glasses on so I squinted and looked harder. This is how it played out in my head:
Is that a tortoise? I think it’s a tortoise. Holy Jack Lord! That really is a tortoise! How did it get into my patio? Wait. It’s standing right over where I buried my tortoise, Albert, six months ago. OH GOD! OH CHRIST! I BURIED MY TORTOISE ALIVE! I BURIED HIM ALIVE AND NOW HE BACK! HE’S BACK AND HE’S MAD! Well rightfully so. I mean, Jesus, I buried him alive and it took him six months to get out of the hole. Oh he looks mad. Looks like he has war paint on or something. What the hell? What is that writing on his shell?
At this point I realized the incredible odds of what I was imagining, so I went out to investigate. It was indeed a tortoise, but it was not my dearly departed Albert. It was standing on Al’s grave though. A bit rude I thought, but maybe the rules are different for tortoises. And indeed he had been marked up for battle. It seems someone had sharpied a belt and sash onto his shell.
Other words and marks were written on him as well. The shell reads “Donny,” “Kevin Rodgers was here” and “Love fails.” My theory is that Donny belonged to some kid. The kid drew on the teenage mutant ninja turtle uniform and named him Donny. Later Donny got away and some emo turd tagged him. Also, upon closer inspection, I think Donny is a girl.
If you get to meet Donny don’t let her know that she has writing on her shell. I assured her it washed off and she’s gorgeous.