A couple of months ago, I told you about a new addition to a certain Las Colinas household, which is a turtle from the northern town Olanchito, where it is extremely hot. It seems she was taken, luckily, so not to be eaten by the locals, who would like to eat Clotty (her breed is quite a delicacy in those parts it seems). She has a lovely lighter shade and orange pattern that helps her camouflage against human preditors, so much that Nacho and myself were perplexed about how she could hide herself so well and how careless we were to lose sight of a turtle (although I think Nacho was crapping himself about what he’d tell his Mrs if he lost her beloved pet!). She was living on a small balcony with limited places to esconder. Yes, she can move, but not that fast!
When Mariela moved to Comayagua, it seemed there was no space for her at that residence, so she stayed with us in Tegucigalpa which is a lot cooler than her accustomed climates in Olanchito (but still a darn lot hotter than the UK). She was living on the balcony but we found that every time we left the sliding door marginly open, she would try to clamber through and hide under the sofa for hours.
In the past few weeks, she’s barely been eating. Nacho’s been giving her raw fish and fruit and vegetables, yet she ignores us. We’re not expecting her to be bouncing off walls, but a little social interaction would be nice. She looks a bit depressed, which made me think she’s starving herself, maybe looking after her figure (an anorexic turtle maybe, though there are no signs of vomiting). We’ve even made a little zen-like home for her, with a pool of water for her to chill in and splash around, lots of plants, some earth to smother herself in and a shelter (a deflated milk carton), although she still seems reluctant to interact.
Anyway, it’s a little difficult to psychologically analyse a turtle, or most reptiles for that matter, but I guess we just have to accept that we’re just not liked. Here’s a little poem for her anyway.
Cheer up, Clotty,
What is it now, Duchess?
All we ask for is a smile,
You’ve hurt our feelings, I confess.
We give you fruity treats,
Sometimes some cucumber with fish,
Then you hide yourself under the sofa,
And don’t even look at your dish.
We have put up with your little black turds,
We’ve given you a garden with a pool,
There’s earth and plants for you to hide in,
And a shelter to keep you cool.
Yet you treat us with disdain,
While running away from our love,
But if there’s a mass food shortage, Clotty,
You’ll be a nice soup if push comes to shove.