So J comes home late last night. She’s hiding something under her jacket. Her smile is wide and guilty. So pretty much I know something good’s coming.
“It was a impulse buy.” Her eyes are wide, serious. Hopeful. Which worries me.
Then she reveals it. Only…I can’t see anything. I peer closer. Then she moves into the light, angling her arm. Ah.
Wee turtles. But not normal wee. We’re talking almost invisible turtles.
We spent the rest of the night coming up with names. J wouldn’t accept my first pick: Snape and Harry. I loved the idea of mortal enemies living in loving couplehood forever…even when I heard these poor turtles don’t often make it to adulthood.
She voted for Kirk and Spock last night, foregoing their titles. Who was I to argue? She tried to connect with them, cooing at them and expressing encouraging opinions on their appearance. But they would hear nothing of it. J would open her mouth, and they would paddle away, desperate looks etched on their faces.
Well, okay, I anthropomorphize. But J had apparently spent the better part of the day looking up The Habits of Tiny Weeny Turtles and was full of wisdom that unfortunately revealed that Kirk and Spock lived in abject terror of her. For instance, when J speaks, the Turtles:
a) paddle away quickly
c) hide their faces in their shells
d) stick their necks out
e) stop looking like they’re breathing
f) roll upside down and play dead
g) submerge themselves desperately
According to J, all of these–including the polar opposite reactions–are signs that turtles are afraid. Very afraid. I mused.
It reminds me of when my mom asked me if J’s dog Axel understood my commands. “Yes, yes,” I assured her, nodding vigorously over the phone. “Well, what words does he understand?” my mom wanted to know. I thought for a moment. “Chicken.” I kept it private that I generally have to wave a piece of it in front of his nose for him to get the drift and pounce.
What can I say. When you love an animal, you tend to think it’s smart, for some reason. Or adorably dumb.
Anyway, this morning J comes back from work, a frown plastered on her face. “Ruth,” she says, “their names are all wrong. They don’t fit right.”
I think. (I mean, not at that moment, I simply think all the time. I’m just saying.) And then I answered her. “Their names are Rhyme and Reason.”
My friend P, who has turtles, had just informed me that fewer than 10% survive to adulthood in captivity. And, although this was sad news in and of itself, on the other hand it begged, BEGGED for the turtles to be named after something you’d like to say has died. And what better to proclaim dead than all Rhyme and Reason?
And how better to enjoy life than to do so while watching all Rhyme and Reason flee when J tries to speak?
Fun times. Good times. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
(These are the smiles of a happy woman. I’m on page 128, by the by! 28,168 words down on what I s’pose will come to a book about 50,000K or slightly more. First draft, naturally. Loving it!)