I’m in love with turtles! My daughter had a pet turtle (she named him Tad) when she was younger and we loved watching him swim in the tank. Until, one day, my husband mentioned that he needed a place to rest! Poor thing, we didn’t realize, he was supposed to have a landing zone. We quickly went out and purchased a larger tank and a little bridge that came out of the water for him to rest on. The tank came with a light and the light would make his shell shine with many iridescent colors! His shell was like a prism, just beautiful.
He was so funny! He would climb up on that bridge and jump off into the water. My, how we laughed! He was definitely entertaining.
We would clean out his tank frequently and while we were washing out the tank, we would put him in the kitchen sink. We would run water on him and he loved it! He would wiggle under the waterfall. We were always cautious to wash our hands thoroughly afterwards, though, because we heard turtles could carry salmonella.
Well, he grew in the larger tank and not realizing that turtles will grow to the size of the tank, we thought he needed a bigger tank. My husband got a big round pot and filled it with water. He loved his new home! We, of course, made sure he had a nice landing spot. But, this time, we added live water plants. We didn’t know he was going to eat them! We thought he would just enjoy swimming in and hiding underneath them.
And then we thought he needed some friends.
We added some goldfish, maybe 5 and a sucker fish to clean the bottom. Well, to our dismay, he ate the sucker fish. We didn’t realize he was carnivorous. We had always just fed him “turtle food” out of a box. We worried over the goldfish but they seemed fast enough to get away and he left them alone.
Goldfish are notoriously dirty, so we knew we needed another way to clean the tank because we didn’t have a filter. We bought a snail thinking that his hard shell would keep him safe. Maybe a day or two after we got the shell, we found the snail outside of the tank. We thought, ‘silly snail’, and picked him up and put him back in the tank. You guessed it, the turtle bit right through his shell and ate him too! Poor snail had been trying to get away and we plopped him right back into danger.
Well, you can see, we weren’t the best pet owners for our little turtle but we did learn as we went and enjoyed him immensely. Our turtle was the inspiration for my children’s chapter book called, a Turtle’s Magical Adventure.
The turtle in the book is named after our turtle, Tad. He goes on a grand adventure trying to rid himself of his shell because he thinks it makes him too slow. He meets many interesting characters and learns a lot from other slow animals about the benefits of being slow. He travels to meet a wizard who can rid him of his shell and solve all his problems. But, that, is where all the trouble begins. Your children will love this delightful tale of a cute turtle struggling to find self-acceptance.
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