Amazing Grace! A Box Turtle Autobiography

Be, the Box Turtle in her private backyard!
Hello Again Surfer!!

           I've been asked to tell my story.... isn't that a kick?.... so I'm gonna do it!  I'll begin by telling you about that catchy little title Amazing Grace.   They actually told Toni (she's my owner) at the pet store that I was a Chinese Box Turtle, (Toni didn't know one turtle from another then) so she gave me a Chinese name!   She researched it and came up with P'i which actually means Grace but is pronounced "Be" and that probably tells you I'm a girl, but if it doesn't I'm letting you know! Anyway, getting back to this Amazing Grace thing... I'm not Chinese, I'm a Three-Toed Box Turtle... but my name is Grace and it is Amazing that I lived!

My Beginnings
           I honestly have no idea where I was born.  I only know I was very small, about 4 inches from the front of my shell to my tail, when I was trapped (my first encounter with a human!) and shoved into a box with about a dozen or so BIGGER turtles.   We were in there tight--one right against the other--and it was dark, and there was no water or food.   I was so scared.  To this day, I don't like other turtles, I'm scared of them, can't help it.  But anyway, after a few days in that box, I found myself living in a glass cage with all those turtles, in a Pet Store!!   In Oregon.  Where in the world was Oregon??

           Well, I just couldn't compete with the BIG turtles, so I kept to myself--in the corner, with my head and my legs pulled in, shell closed.   And I stayed there, in that glass corner, for about 3 weeks before I came to live with Toni.   I know exactly when that was .... August 13, 1994 at 3:45pm PDT.  (Did you notice she likes astrology?   That's why I know all that...I'm a turtle, what do I care?  Middle of August is what my seasonal clock says...) I've kinda adopted that as my birthday though, cause that's when my life, as I know it, began.

RAPHAEL, a three-toed box turtle
          Things weren't all that great in the beginning.   I found myself in another glass cage (this one was nicer... actually had some grass and stuff in it) but there were two BIG turtles in there too!  (When I say BIG, I mean twice my size, at least!)  Their names were Raphael and Sally, and they didn't like Me moving in on their territory, either.  Well Raphael did, actually, but I was too young to appreciate it....I just thought he was a terrorist!

SALLY, a three-toed box turtle
          But guess what?  In a couple days, they left!  I found out they didn't really live here, they belonged to Toni's grandkids and she was turtle-sitting.  In fact it was the grandkids that talked Toni into rescuing me from the pet store.

          As soon as Toni saw that I was afraid of turtles I got my own glass cage, complete with underglass heating pad, a dish of water to soak in, leaves and grass to crawl under, and I wandered around in about half an inch of corn cob bedding (WRONG!) which she finally about a year or so later, discovered wasn't the best idea.   We're lucky I didn't accidentally eat any of it.   It might have gotten lodged in my digestive tract and that would've been the end of me, for sure!   But my world turned into a ten gallon environment.   Hmmmm.   I was not a happy turtle.

          So I refused to eat for about a month.   I don't remember what I was used to eating, but it wasn't showing up here!   Toni tried everything she could think of, and she read everything she could find on box turtles. (She needed the Internet :)  I got offered everything from meal worms to chow mein.  She thought I was going to die, and so did I.  But she never gave up....she's like that, thank heavens!   I believe I've heard her husband call it stubborn ....but it worked for me.smily  Well, I finally got hungry enough to try a water chestnut, and I've been eating ever since.

BE, soaking!
          I've discovered, however, there's not much I like to eat.  Worms and grasshoppers totally disgust me.. I pull my legs in and give her that turtle totally disgusted look, every time she tries it!   And she keeps on tryin, to this day!   But I don't like fresh veggies and fruits either... they are also on the menu from time to time.  In fact, I get offered a lot of variety, but I'm stubborn too,
Be loves her yard!
I only like cantalope.  Only.  She puts a lot of other stuff with it now (actually mixes it in) and I know it's probably stuff I need so I eat it.  But if there's no cantalope in the mix, forget it, I don't want any.

          Well, that was my life, for the first year and a half. Ten gallons of space, a daily bath - she used to haul me out every single day and soak me!  But at least I had plenty of water in my system, no chance of getting dehydrated, and I got to take an occasional walk in the back yard.  Life was pretty confining.


SoulTones.com is the homepage of this site.
Home | Neil Diamond | Neil Diamond WebRing | JIM-BILL..Keyboardist | Jeanine | My Photos | Postcards
Tom Sadge | Dream Catchers | Astrology | Web Page Help