years old!” she gasped in wonder. “What
should I do?” I suggested she find us a fat
stick in the forest. Maybe the turtle would
bite it and we could use that to drag her
across the highway.
Another car pulled over in the oppo-
site lane. “I have a rake!” shouted a tall
man as he emerged from the car. “Can
you use it?”
As I held the turtle at bay with the um-
brella, the blond woman emerged from
the forest with an appropriately sturdy,
fat stick. She presented it to the snapper,
who lunged so powerfully that the front
half of her breastplate left the ground as
she leapt and bit the edge of the stick o=.
Then I had another idea. “Does anyone
have a cardboard box?” I asked. “We can
dismantle it and pull her across like a sled.”
The first woman went back to her car
and did me one better. Thanks to her two
kids, she happened to be carting around
one of those plastic sledlike devices you
can use to slide down grassy hills. It was
even equipped with a long pull rope.
We used the rake to coax the turtle onto
the plastic sled. At the first break in traf-
fic, while the others watched for oncoming
cars, I pulled her across to the other side.
To get her well away from the speed-
ing cars, I wanted to pull her up a small
hill, but the rake guy saw I wasn’t strong
enough to do it. He took the reins and
tugged her up and over a rise in the
woods. Then, as the turtle hissed and
snapped, he gently slid her o= her sled,
safe and sound. A
Sy Montgomery is the author of more than
fifteen books for adults and children on animals and the natural world. She’s currently
at work on a book about octopuses.
Thjorsá River #1, Iceland, 2012 Photograph by Edward Burtynsky