Friday, June 20, 2008

Turtle Week at Camp Amy Continues

(if you haven't done so already, first read Part I: Franklin Goes to Camp)

Part II: Franklin Leaves Camp

Once the kids were in bed, I made Franklin a little turtle lunch that consisted of spring greens and freshly diced apples. I then decided to address the stinky habitat situation before putting him back in his home. I was outside hosing out the rubbermaid when the guy I had hired to grind some stumps and level our back yard arrived. He was only four hours late. As the stump man unloaded the heavy machinery, I decided I better get Franklin and return him to the safety of him home before the demolition of the backyard began. I went to scoop him out of his hiding spot, but he wasn't there. A quick survey of the other corners showed no turtles. A more thorough inspection of the porch didn't turn up any turtles either. Shoot! Where was Franklin? The guy was turning the corner with the stump grinder and I had to find him fast. I scoured the porch for that turtle and came up empty handed. It didn't occur to me until the engine of the stump grinder fired up that Franklin might not be on the porch any more. If he had the gumption, he certainly could have escaped through the space between the floor and the bottom of the railing. And the prospect of facing the campers again would give anyone the gumption, I'm sure. He could be out there somewhere in stump land, unaware that he was about to face peril far worse than the children! I scanned the dirt yard and didn't see him anywhere. I wanted to go out there and look for him, but the stump man had donned a helmet with a face shield and was revving his engine so I figured it wouldn't be a prudent time to go trampling around out back. I was really worried about Franklin, but could only stand by the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of his brown and red shell as he crawled toward the fence and the promise of escape.

The children napped, the stump grinder came and went, the dust cleared, and still there was no sign of Franklin. I walked the backyard searching for the turtle in the dirt and, morbidly, in the sawdust. I found neither a whole nor broken turtle. What was I going to tell Ella when she woke up?

Usually things were okay as long you said they were "silly," so I tried to sound upbeat about the whole thing as I broke the news to El when she came downstairs looking for her turtle after her nap. "Remember how we were going to keep Franklin for a few days and then let him go so he could find his family? Well, that silly turtle went to go find them while you were taking your nap! He just crawled right off the porch while I was cleaning his house! Silly turtle!" Emphasis on the "silly." She smiled. I thought I had pulled off a successful and even happy turtle farewell, but then her face lit up even more. "Maybe his family is in the way back of our yard! Maybe he will bring all of them to see us and we will have lots of turtles!" I thought the idea of his family would soften the blow of one turtle leaving, but now she was pining for the whole lot of them. Way to go, Mom. "Maybe, honey, but I think his family lives somewhere else and he went to go find them. I don't think he's in our yard anymore," I scrambled. But she was in love with her theory and clung to it. The sun set on Turtle Tuesday at Camp Amy with Ella dreaming of the day when the turtle family in her backyard would come to play.

While Ella clung to her hopes for Franklin, I clung to mine; Our mascot may be gone, but Turtle Week at Camp Amy would go on! Tomorrow we would get books about turtles and learn all about them. And who knows, maybe Franklin would turn up before the guy came back to level the yard...

Does Franklin live to be colored on and poked in the eye another day? Find out when Turtle Week continues at Just Barely! If you would like to be notified when Franklin is found, and even if he isn't, sign up in the subscription box in the upper right hand corner!


  1. Franklin the Turtle and his experiences sure sounds like the beginning of a children's book series.....hmmm...give it some thought toots. Oh to be a kid in your are the funnest mom!!! xo AK

  2. I really hope you end up finding Franklin laying eggs in TC's litterbox or under your bed...that would be a fun twist wouldn't it :) love ya, megs