If You Give A Moose a Muffin…Part 1: Free Turtles
Have you read the story If You Give a Moose a Muffin, by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond?
It goes something like this…you give a moose a muffin and then he wants jam on the muffin. He eats all the muffins and all the jam. Then he wants you to make more, so you have to go to the store to get more ingredients. He’s cold, so he wants a sweater to wear to the store. The sweater is missing a button, so he wants you to sew on another one. This goes on and on and on. Here’s my version..
If you let your grandson keep a couple of turtles , because he found them in a ditch behind a friends house, and after all, they’re FREE…
The turtles will need something to live in, so grandpa will have go to the store and get something something for them to live in, and he brings home one of these.
Now, me being the supreme animal lover, I can’t bare the thought of them living in a tiny square box. I decide that this will be used only for holding the turtles for a few hours, while I put together a more suitable habitat. I put on my thinking cap and decide that a large plastic plant “tub” will do quite nicely. I find one on our back porch, clean it with soap and water, and then rinse well with water and then vinegar (because I want the turtles who have been living in a filthy ditch, to have a spotlessly clean home to move into). I then fill it with some nice clean dirt, find a small clear plastic deli container for a pond, and some river rocks, because, I mean like, those turtles need some beauty in their lives – right? Oh, they have to have plants. Back to the store grandpa goes!
Oops -forgot that we can’t have chlorine in the water. Grandpa gets back into the car.
Yeah..all done, right? Nope. The turtles disappear. What? How the heck?
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
We’ve got one who thinks that he’s Evel Knievel , and decides to climb out of his new home, and take a nose dive onto the table.
The other one continually buries himself. We have to dig him out every day to make him eat.
At this point the free turtles are about the size of a half dollar – or maybe smaller. I place a large clear plastic “liner” under the planter, to keep Evel from taking a nose dive off the dining room table, and routinely uncover Dirt Boy for feedings. All is well for a week or two. Ummmm, did you know that little turtles the size of a half dollar, don’t stay the size of a half dollar for very long?
Back to the store we go. This time I’m thinking ahead. I go for a 20 gallon tank (and a filter, and gravel and more river rocks, more plants and a fake stone bridgy thing for them to climb onto AND a heat lamp).
Arrrhhhhhhggggggg. The water splashes on the side of the tank, so it always has spots on the glass. This drives me INSANE. So, we have to fill the tank to the top, which means that we need LOTS more gravel so that the that bridgy thing won’t be completely submerged, because apparently, aquatic turtles have to get out of the water, in order to digest their food properly. OH, and speaking of food. They eat a lot and poop and pee a lot which means that the filter I bought was TOTALLY worthless. I buy a new canister filter online which is designed for a 40 gallon tank (I did my research)!
Let’s retrace our steps a bit…when you have a TON of gravel in the bottom of a tank, it collects a copious amount of turtle turd! I have to buy an aquarium siphon doo-hickie, to clean out the gravel every couple of days…and water conditioner, and food additive.
At this point our “Moose” has eaten the muffins, cleaned us out of jam, had his sweater repaired and wants more muffins.