Thursday, January 25, 2007



My Dinner with Howard


Howard made the move to Maine in a small plastic tub in the cab of the U-Haul. It was pretty frigid out and I didn't want him to end up hibernating or worse. Now, Destry rode in a kennel back in the van, which was on a flatbed behind the truck. He didn't much like the experience, though he was okay after 24 hours of wandering around feeling insecure.

But somehow Howard thrived on the change. Maybe it shocked him into some kind of growth spurt, but since arriving in Maine, he has become Mr. Curious, not just popping out of his cave -- a cut-off plastic cassette tape caddy -- but stretching his neck up and even putting a front paw on a rock to rise up a little whenever he sees motion in the area.

It's tempting to mistake this for sociability, but the other day, a piece of food drifted where he couldn't see it and I reached in to poke it back towards him. When my finger got within about eight inches of him, he struck -- of course, he didn't come close, since his neck is only about an inch and a half long. But it sure served notice that Howard, bless his heart, operates entirely on prehistoric instinct.

When he gets to hockey-puck size, I'm going to have to really start handling him like an armed mousetrap. Meanwhile, he's a pretty funny little guy. Here's what happens when you drop a small chunk of meat into his tank.

As you'll see, he's not much for dinnertable conversation.

2 comments:

ronnie said...

Holy cow - that's one vicious turtle! I'll have to show it to Mojo - I have a feeling it'll dissuade any more "I wanna turtle too" whining.

Paige Blair said...

Howard is cool! I wonder how he and cousin Ursa would get along...