Monday, April 12, 2010

Tortoise Tales

In September, 2008, Turr Tull went missing. We were afraid that his hibernation housing had collapsed or he dug his way out and took off. At the time, we were having our deck repaired and I had the hope that he simply walked out an open gate, or that maybe hubbie had left the gate open and he escaped. (The turtle, not my husband!) After a few nights of dreaming that he was trying to dig his way out of the possibly collapsed housing, we decided to tear it down to check. He had a large dark house under the planter, but each time he came out for food or sun he would be covered in mud. Since he was obviously digging, we could never be sure where he was digging and why he would be wet. The planter itself had been water sealed and should have been dry, so I was concerned that he had gone into hibernation and just drowned. Since we dug the whole thing up to check on Turr Tull, it led to the remodeling of a large part of my back yard that, in the end, turned out to be a very satisfying result. We didn't find him in his house, and after a year of waiting for him to emerge, we sealed the door and placed a headstone on the step, assuming he had passed on.

Turr Tull's Headstone

After two years of wondering what could have happened to Turr Tull and hoping that he didn't suffer regardless of his fate, I mentioned to a neighbor the tale of Turr Tull, and commented that I'd always wonder what had happened to him. She thought for a minute and said, "well, you know the people next door to me found a turtle crawling down the sidewalk and they took it in. It lives in their backyard. Maybe it's yours."
Hubby went to the house and told them that he thought they had our turtle, and sure enough, it was our Turr Tull, but hubby didn't bring him home. The people said they just decided to keep it in their back yard, assuming someone would come looking for it if it was someone's pet. After so much time passed, they figured it wondered in from the desert. Ironically, the deck people came back today to seal the deck. Then, the door bell rang, and I was handed a box with Turr Tull inside!

I quickly took him to the back yard and picked his favorite flower--hibiscus--and he scarfed up 6 flowers without stopping!!

Who would have thought....Turr Tull is alive and well!! This calls for another family party!

Previous Tortoise Posts


Julie said...

OMG!!! Isn't that something??? We have had similar turtle things happen in our neighborhood also! After so long, Turr Tull is home!!! I know he appreciated his delicious welcome home snack!!!! Congratultions!!!

Claude said...


I missed reading about Turr Tull!

Guess he had a nice vacation (hey, we all need a change of scenery every now and then, right?) Does he have a new house yet?

Hawk woman said...

Oh my gosh, I have tears in my eyes. How awesome. And how awesome that they gave him back to you!!!

Pudgeduck said...

Claude- No we haven't made his house.We will soon-he ended up under a bush last night.

Hawk Woman- They weren't attached to him and was glad to send him home! they had a grass yard and some desert plants- never did feed him anything extra. He had enough food though-he has grown and looks good.

Julie- We are so happy to have him back!