Taking A Desert Turtle For A Ride

My grandmother lived near the Mojave desert in California, in a small town called Ridge crest. I was working as a pump jockey just outside of the naval base. I was just coming back from doing a little exploring in the desert and all of a sudden, there in the middle of the road was this big old turtle. I thought it must weigh 15 pounds, what a monster!

My grandmother had probably 20 other turtles she kept in her yard. Town folks would find them in their yard and bring them by for her to take care of. I thought this one would be a real addition to the collection, so I stopped to grab it. Although big, this one didn’t weigh 15 pounds, more like 5. But when I picked it up, this bugger proceeded to poop on my new levies. What a mess, I just used an old rag I found and wiped off the mess.

I took this monster back to grandmothers an put it in the yard with all the other ones. I then told her that I had found it on the road and decided to bring it here with the rest. She said one more wouldn’t be a problem, there were at least 10 others. I also told her about what happened to my pants. She laughed out loud and said that those pants were now worthless. I said it was only turtle poop, not battery acid. She said turtle crap was very acidic and would destroy the fabric just like battery acid does.

Well, it turned out that she was right, it did just that. When those pants were washed, the place where that turtle crapped, the fabric was gone. Pretty big hole in those new pants and a lesson to me to leave any other wandering desert turtles alone.

I never gave it any more thought and I went about my business being a pump jockey at the gas station. It wasn’t a month later that the old shell back dug out of the yard grandmother had built and took off. What was worse, it turned out that the turtles that grams had in the yard were apparently all females and that the one that I put in the yard turned out to be a male. Oh Lord, if we only knew! Soon there would be baby turtles everywhere. That was the ironic end to her turtle setting, she transported them to the desert and turned them all loose.


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