I leaned against an ageing wooden fence with my family staring past the overgrown foliage at the murky green, neglected waters of a man made stream. My sister claimed to see the dark heads of red eared sliders peak out of the water, but by the time I found where she was pointing, they would have dipped back down into the waters to escape the heat. Finally, I saw an oval shadow appear inches from my spot on the fence. Its graceful moves propelled it forward in the still water, leaving a trail of green ripples. It drifted peacefully, unaware of the destruction of humans, content to stay in the murky water. I began to see turtles scattered throughout the river. A small one with a algae covered shell appeared beside the big turtle, frantic ripples disrupted the still water as it struggled to keep up. Just when the small turtle seemed to lag too far behind, it dipped below the surface, an oval shadow, and the large turtle glided on. It bobbed up inches from the big turtle. Just as they were about to touch, the green ripples pushed it away. The turtle tirelessly struggled to keep up, as if this were a game of tag that only the he was aware of. After a few more rounds, my family decided it was time to leave. I turned away from the murky river, the foliage, and the broken fence wondering if the turtle could ever pass the larger one. Wondering if they ever stopped gliding, and if the green ripples ever caught up with them.
July 22, 2012