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Adding insult to non-injury


Even though government contractors mow the easement on our property on an annual basis, it gets too overgrown for darling wife’s taste. So I mow it every three months or so.

We’ve had monsoon rains for the past month. The grass in the drainage ditch was approaching a meter high. It was way overdue for cutting.

As I plowed the length of the ditch with my mechanical scythe, I stepped on something hard. Now, pine cones can be hard-ish, but not this hard. And the dog excrement that the Northeasterners refuse to pick up after their own dogs usually isn’t that hard, even if it’s dried and desiccated.

I looked down and saw a pine-cone-shaped object, but it was moving.

It was a baby box turtle. Thankfully my scythe hadn’t hit him, and he seemed no worse for the wear for me standing on him.

I picked him up and showed him to darling wife, knowing she’d know what to do with him. She placed him on the edge of the ditch, pointing away from it. He complied by crawling deeper into the vegetation on our lot, away from our ditch and the sharp metal teeth of my mechanical scythe.

I mowed backwards after that, carefully feeling through the tall grass for any other of the box turtle’s brethren, because where there’s one, there’s usually more. But I didn’t find any more.

Thankfully I didn’t hurt him, and he lived another day.

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