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Dave Spencer Tangles with Snapping Turtle


No good deed goes unpunished.

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon. My nephew and my mother were joining me at Lowe’s to purchase a birthday gift for my sister. On the way back, I spotted a turtle in the middle of Martin Luther King Jr. Loop. Should’ve kept drivin’.

But, of course, I didn’t. You see, I have a history of pulling over and saving turtles from untimely squashings. So, I went out into the middle of the road.

The Loop was extra busy because they’ve closed a section of Southtown for the widening process. I picked up the turtle to move it to the side of the road when its head whipped out like a cobra and flung to the right.

Surprise, surprise! It was a snapping turtle!

I had never encountered one before. So it was pretty startling. When he snapped his head, his strength forced his body out of my hands and down onto the road where it landed upside down. Didn’t matter. He flipped himself over and spun around to face me, mouth opened and hissing, I believe.

So, I thought, “Okay, I can take hint.” But, you see, I DIDN’T take a hint. I’m an idiot. I thought I would be okay where my hands were located, so I picked him up again to get him to the roadside. And, he was not happy with me.

He jerked out of my hands and fell to the ground. He flipped over again, and I went back to the car. I was done. I was just tryin’ to help. I ran back home to get my camera, but when I got back he was gone. Don’t ask me why I picked him up a second time, but at least I still have all my fingers. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

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