talking turtle

The whole weekend turned out to be lovely in the end.

Good company, friends old and new, wine, chips, excellent telly (Luther and Episodes), and an engrossingly silly but excellent book (Katherine by Anya Seton).

And there was sunshine. Quite a bit of it. Which was nice.

Tiberius the tortoise seems to be thriving.

He is, obviously, totally bonkers as befits a new member of the Boo clan. He is obsessed by climbing, and digging and zipping around in a very untortoiselike fashion. When the time comes for him to be big enough to wander round the garden I will have to have some kind of transponder fitted to his shell, because I am pretty sure he will spend most of his life busting out of the confines of the garden and going on the lam to the pub. In his head he already spends his whole life shouting: I ent doin’ no bird!’ and ‘You aint never gonna take me alive coppah’.

He is on his third log of interest in the tortoise table, due to the fact that all the books say you need to make the habitat interesting for them, and he is very keen on logs as a place to hide, but he is also keen on logs as a place to climb and fling himself backwards off of. Also they are most excellent as places you can use to leverage your way up the side of the tortoise table in a Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible style, before inevitably flinging yourself backwards off of them. It is important that he has a safe, darkish place, and he will not use the nesting part of his tortoise table. It is absolute rubbish, apparently, so a log/cave structure is fairly important, but goodness it is proving to be a nightmare of epic proportions finding something/anything he will not climb. I might have to paint the next log with anti vandal paint and lard to keep him down.

He does not know he is not supposed to jump. All the books, and the internet and all the people of the tortoise loving nations of the world are very clear on one thing; a tortoise is not meant to be supine on his back. It is a VERY BAD THING for a tortoise. He does not know this. He has not read that part of the book, and he is a tortoise of very little brain, who clearly does not equate flinging himself from a great (for a tortoise) height, and landing on his back as following one another as day follows night. We are forever righting him, and rearranging logs in a gallant but frustrated way. I have never spent so much time inspecting bits of wood for possible tortoise kamikaze points.

We thought we had found the log of his dreams until earlier today he got wedged sideways between the log and the wall he was trying to scale and had to be rescued. We have given up giving him other things to interest him. He merely figures out how they can be used to help him climb more things. We put half a coconut shell in there, which we buried in the earth as a kind of tortoise hermitage. he dug it out, upended it and then climbed on top of it, before flinging himself backwards off of it. He was biting the pebbles we put in for him the other day. Tilly says he was blunting his beak. I think he was figuring out to stack them one on top of the other so he could climb up and fling himself off.

If he did not look exactly like a tortoise I would vouch for lemming somewhere in his lineage.

Derek is unsure what to make of Tiberius for the moment (I suspect that pate may be the long term answer to this, but for now it is hein? Quoi?), but she knows that something is not quite right in her world. She is now Jason’s shadow, and flits about anxiously at his ankles, except when she goes out and ritually slaughters small birds, which she strews about the office in a cat present type way so that we will remember that she is not all about the taking, sometimes she is about the giving.

We are blessed.

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