Mom and Dad came over for dinner last night. While Mom and I were inside prepping for dinner, Dad sat outside, on the front deck watching the boats go up and down the river. After a few minutes, he calls out to Mom. "Mary! Come look at this!"
Mom goes outside. Dad is pointing down hill, a little to the left, at a spot in a neighbor's backyard. They are both squinting and moving their heads back and forth like people do when they need reading glasses. It is clear that they can't quite see what they are looking at.
Mom comes in and asks for binoculars. I tell her where they are.
A few seconds later, she calls out to me. "Sam, you need to come and look at this!"
I casually dry off my hands from cleaning up some dishes and wander out there.
They both have the most confused looks on their faces. Mom says "Is that a giant turtle down there in that yard?"
I look over and notice the same. There is indeed a GIANT turtle meandering around the empty lot below us!
I immediately grab my camera and race down there, the whole time panicked about this poor turtle. How the hell does a giant sea turtle end up in Portland? All these crazy notions are flying around in my head, of random waterways connecting down to the tropics sweeping this lonely turtle away from its community up the California coast line, down the Columbia river and somehow this adventurous thing climbs into a pipe up from the Willamette and ends up in our little neighborhood of Linnton. I'm thinking "Wow!" as I tear down the front stairs of our house "That is amazing. Sort of unbelievable. Kinda like a movie. Hum. Actually is a movie." Which then makes me think of Dorie and poor little Nemo. And then I think of Ellen. And then I think of Portia. And then I think of how they love animals and that they do a lot of fundraising to save animals. And then I'm think of how to save this one. Who do I call? Does the Audubon Society work with turtles? Should I call the Humane Society? The turtle would eat all the gerbils. Do turtles eat gerbils? What do we feed turtles? This dude will need a lot of lettuce. But even if I can find someone to come, how will I corral it until the help arrives? And what if it disappears before I can save it and gets smashed on HWY30. Or what if it eats the little kittens that live next door. I do not want to the be the one who tells Dorene, Janelle and Bridget that a giant turtle from Africa is loose in the neighborhood and ate all their kitties. I'm in a total tizzy about this situation. A situation that clearly needs management because I will not be able to sleep if I don't ward off the catastrophe that is so clearly about to happen.
And then...a guy walks out of the back door of the house next to the lot, marches over and picks him up and carries him over to what apparently is his dinner plate, because the turtle immediately disappears into the big, big bucket without any coaxing at all.
I'm completely flabbergasted.
So flabbergasted that I almost didn't notice the four foot lizard sitting on the guy's shoulder.
Meet one of my new neighbors!