The older I get, and the more that happens to me, the more sentimental I become. When I was nineteen, I was tough as nails. Now I cry at commercials.
We went out to dinner tonight and on our way, we saw a turtle in the middle of the road, crossing. We didn't stop, but I fretted. (And as it turned out, so did Bob.) When we were driving home again, it was at the side of the road, but had apparently turned around and was considering coming back across. This was an hour, hour-and-a-half after we'd first seen it, and I was astonished and relieved it was still alive. "Turn around!" I said. "We've got to turn around!"
"Oh good," Bob said. "I hope it isn't hit. I hope we don't get hit." Two cars had passed in the time it took us to find a place to turn around. There was something on the road, and for a moment both of us thought we were too late, but there, a little farther up, was our turtle, head stretched up as it tried to peer over the curb.
"Grab it and throw it in the pond," Bob said.
"Just throw it?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said, halting the car and putting on the flashers. It's an industrial area and there is no shoulder. Here, between buildings was just open land and a small pond and green. I hesitated a moment, wondering if it was a snapping turtle. The turtle, far more frightened of me, had decided to flee and finally climbed the curb. I picked it up by both sides, it was only about eight inches from front of shell to back, and flung it in the pond, then leapt back in the car.
We were both inordinately pleased with ourselves. For all I know, it will crawl out of the pond and head for the road again. But at least we did something to try to keep i t from harm. The world is a big place. I eat meat. Much suffering will happen, some of it I will bear some responsibility for. But hopefully, not for this turtle.