Thursday, June 3, 2010

Old Mainers and Snapping Turtles

Yesterday I took My dog, Tikaani for a walk at our usual spot. On the way in, I noticed a snapping turtle had just crossed the road, and was clearing a spot to lay her eggs in the driveway across from where we park. After Tikaani nearly dragged me across the street to check out the girl, we got on with our walk. On the way back, I spotted a red truck parked on the side of the road near where I had seen the turtle on the way in. There was an older gentleman watching the turtle. I put the dog in the car and spoke with him for a while about snapping turtles in general, and how this one was quite large. He introduced himself to me, and told me where he lived, which happened to be the next road over from where I grew up. I had heard his name mentioned before, but had never met him. He was hard of hearing and was missing a finger on one hand, and was also part of a dying breed- a true Mainer. We both watched her dig and begin to lay eggs at the base of a newspaper box post. I left, after shaking his hand and repeating my name to him. I was off to buy milk. On my way back by, I was happy to see he was still there. He told me before I left that he planned to stick around and watch for awhile to make sure she didn't try to cross the road in front of some unobservant driver.
a foggy morning at "the rez"

This man and this snapping turtle, I realized, have some things in common, the biggest one being the beauty in their honesty. Neither one has ever tried to be something they are not, and maybe the are both a little (or a lot) rough around the edges, but there really is nothing more beautiful than being able to live, and survive in the most honest way possible. Especially in a time when this is becoming nearly impossible.

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