It was a beautiful, sunny, and warm afternoon. Perfect for a family jog. We took a break by the lake to let the kids play a bit. I stood looking at the water with Judah next to me.
“Schau, Mama, eine Schildkroete,” (Look, Mama, a turtle) he said nonchalantly and pointed next to him. I looked. And I screamed a high-pitched, panicky-kind-of scream.
It sure was a turtle. It actually was an enormous turtle with 3-inch claws and a tail that “looked like an alligator tail” (Judah’s words). So, being the protective mother that I am, I grabbed my firstborn in a hurry and ran away.
We’ve never seen a turtle that huge before. Judah was puzzled with us as we tried to guess what species it was. “Maybe it’s a Ninja Turtle,” he said thoughtfully…”but it doesn’t have a mask.”
So that option was ruled out.
Turns out it was a “Snapping Turtle” that must have either lost its way or was finding its way to somewhere unknown when we stumbled across it. While Judah wouldn’t even let his feet touch the ground within 50 feet of the turtle, Elias was desperate to touch (and probably ride) him. But we figured letting him get close to an animal that has earned the title “Snapping” before its name was probably not the wisest parenting decision ever.
Random fun fact: The very next day, the boys found a tiny turtle outside of our apartment! Weird.