The Time We Almost Got You a Free Turtle

Dear Judah,

The other night, your dad and I (and Ruby…who was eating) were laying in bed. Your dad was checking on the “Free” section of Craigslist (as per his bedtime ritual). And he said, “Uh-oh,” (meaning he had found something that I would probably want and try to talk him into but wasn’t necessarily a “good” idea).

I said, “WHAT IS IT?!”

And he said,”Someone is giving away a free turtle on Craigslist.”

Now, let me insert here the fact that you have for a few months been sighing on a regular basis and saying with a mournful voice of regret: “I wish I had a turtle.

We have no idea where this idea came from.

And let me preface my response with this little tidbit: when I was a kid one of my favorite things to do was to wander around the petshop and daydream about which of these animals I needed in my life. My grandpa would take me to the local petshop when we went to visit him, and it was the best. On each of these special occaisions I would say, with a mournful voice of regret: “I wish I had a _____ (turtle, dove, mouse, hamster, gerbil, etc).” [As a point of reference, none of these daydreams included realities such as cleaning cages and smelly animals].

So I said, “Email him. Email him now. We want that turtle.”

And I happily imagined the population of our house increasing: two adults, one two-year old, one baby, one dog, two chickens…and one turtle. What would be next!?

That was when a little reminder go off in my mind about something I had heard about turtles and germs.

So…I googled. And what I found was an article from the Center for Disease Control asking people to please, please not buy turtles as pets…because they carry SALMONELLA in their skin. Especially don’t own a turtle if you have elderly people or children under five in your house.

Children have actually died from owning a turtle.

And that, Judah, is why you do not and will not own a turtle.



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