Some days, when the whole world is crashing down on your head and you’re sitting there wondering which direction to run… silly little things happen that really make it all okay.
Meet Chicken II…
Chicken II is the great-great-great-great-grandturtle of Chicken I, however since we’re not sure how many “greats” belong in there, and we haven’t seen Chickens in a few years, we decided to name her Chicken II. Okay, I need to explain why I’m calling turtles chickens now, don’t I?
When I was a little girl, we had this turtle that would come to the front yard from the creek across the street. She’d find a nice spot in the landscaping (and even one time under my dad’s car, in the gravel driveway) and would lay a whole mess of eggs. I’d sit there and watch her for hours… it was the coolest thing my young eyes had seen.
Of course, being the animal loving freak that I am, whenever Chicken was done, she’d cross the street and go back into the creek… but I’d be worried about her making it all that way without a car coming through and taking her life. So I’d walk with her. I’ve stopped more cars that come flying down the street so they didn’t hit my sluggish friend… one older man once got out and yelled at me, and then went up to the door and yelled at my parents!
In any event, it became the joke around the house… “Why did the chicken cross the road? To lay eggs in the Kulpa’s yard, of course!” We had even convinced the mayor of the village to erect signs resembling the deer crossing signs you see… only with a silhouette of a turtle, instead of a deer! There was one sign on either side of our property line… It was so cool…
So back to Chicken II…
I noticed her crawling through the driveway and followed her as she headed toward the street. I looked for trails, wondering where she’d been, where she came from, but I saw none. She had a leech on her back leg that I tried to remove with a stick, only to later remember table salt, and regretted not having used it. She was covered in swampy moss and mud, as any glamorous turtle would be, and then I saw this…
Chicken II is missing her left eye. She’s trucking along, like any proud turtle would do… and she’s missing an eye. It looked like it’d been poked out by something, and just healed up and she’s all good to go. It made me feel like I was sneaking up on her though… so I wound up switching sides a lot because I was trying to get some good shots of her.
We hung out in the driveway for a while, before she decided that she needed a break and some rest in the shade…
That’s my dad’s van… later she moved to underneath my car. And no, she didn’t lay eggs anywhere this visit… more on that later.
I was leaving to meet a friend for dinner and I was concerned of course, about Chicken II being under my car, so I had my father help me navigate around her. When I came home, I was sure she’d have been back under my father’s van but I couldn’t find her.
I walked around the house to see if she went to the creek in the woods behind our property. No trails, no Chicken.
I walked across the front of the house, looked under some big pine trees, into the neighbor’s yard, and under some lilac bushes. No trails, no Chicken.
I even checked across the street, to see if I could see her in the banks of the creek, and there was nothing. No trails, no Chicken.
So I came in and my father had left me a note:
Chicken II hung around for a little while, then slowly scratched her way to the street. I watched over her as she turtle scurried her way to the other side, then slid her way down to the creek. She swam away with a smile on her face and memories of a nice day at the Kulpa’s with a long nap under your car.
Ahh, the joys of taking life a little slower. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that we don’t have to “do something” (like laying eggs) but rather it’s more important to be finding some nice shade and taking a nap on a hot day is what’s going to put smiles on our faces. That there’s nothing at all wrong with just taking… life… a little… slower. No matter what you’ve been through in the past.
See ya next year, Chicken II! Thanks for the lesson, you wise old gal…
[All images © Lara Kulpa. All rights reserved, may not use without permission.]