I know this isn’t your favorite turtle. Of the various turtles that live with me, your preference is for green, small, and pretty. The snapping turtle is dark, blind, and admittedly kind of scary looking. He’s the nicest turtle you’ll ever meet, however. He’ll cuddle (yes, cuddle) with total strangers. He’ll let you hand feed him without taking your fingers off. He’ll even let you touch his tongue, a endearing gesture of trust given the power of his jaws. To his great credit, he always seems to know when I just need a turtle to sit next to me. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get half the appreciation he deserves. We don’t want snapping turtles. We want baby red-eared sliders and sea turtles 24/7. They’re cute; I understand.
Let me digress for a moment: last week I found out my ex had been hit by a truck.
It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds, but apart from one person, I kept this information to myself. I’ve been kind of sad lately, and probably have alienated people with my misery, else convinced them that I am irredeemably crazy. So last week I pretended like nothing was wrong. But I could see my feelings and petty insecurities creeping into conversations anyway. Unable to prevent this, I stopped talking to most people.
What I did, however, is let the snapping turtle comfort me. I don’t feel guilty about being sad in front of him. He’s always available when I need him. He never minds and never judges. He may seem like an ugly bastard to the rest of you, but I am grateful for his unconditional kindness.