Failed The Perception Check On That Turtle’s Danger Level

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 13, 2020

A few years before I was born, my parents borrowed my dad’s parents’ cottage for a weekend — a cottage my dad, along with his parents and siblings, had built by hand. My mom hadn’t spent as much time in the area, but both of them are lifelong Canadians who grew up in Ontario.

They were driving along bend after bend of the single-lane road to the cottage, really a pair of dirt ruts with grass in between, crowded on either side by trees. They came around a curve and there was a car stopped, facing the other way.

There were occasional grassy pull-outs. If you met someone coming the other way, you would both stop, you’d have a brief negotiation as to who drove backward better and who had a shorter distance to go, and then one of you would back up to a pull-out and let the other guy by. And hey, this guy was already stopped! So, my parents got out to chat.

Then, they realized why the guy stopped: there was a turtle in the middle of the road! The guy was standing there watching it from a wary distance.

My mom got a stick and started trying to gently “hockey” the turtle off the road, into the forest on one side. After all, it was just some poor, helpless turtle. Right?

The guy blurted out in a thick German accent, “Careful! Ees un schnapping turtle!”

My mom was about to ask how he could tell when the turtle spun around to face her, lunged up at her face, and snapped — on thin air, thankfully. She dropped her stick and jumped back with a yell.

The schnapping turtle landed, turned back the way it was originally facing, and hurried into the forest, because f*** humans with our cars and sticks, apparently. Negotiations regarding backward driving were peacefully concluded and the cottage weekend otherwise unfolded as intended.

And that’s the tale of how some guy born and raised on the other side of an ocean beat some born-here Canucks at a Knowledge (Canada) check.

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