Let me begin by saying that nestle chocolate chips taste like caca after you've been eating ghirardelli chocolate chips. I hate it when Costco gets something nice for cheap, you get addicted to it, then they pull it from the shelves and you have to go back to stuff you can afford at the regular stores. Luxury Aggravation.
Second, I need to write about my time on Whidbey Island. I think--like the blessing of the Indian elephant--it changed me in some profound ways that I'm still figuring out. When I can put words to it, I will. Or I'll beat my way around and into it. You know.
The purpose of this post, however, is to introduce you to our new family member, Green Bean. "I've got a surprise for you," Eric says in the car on the way home from the airport. "Really?" I say, thinking maybe there is sushi waiting at home for me, or that the house is super-clean, or that the remaining popcorn has finally been scraped from the living room ceiling.
"We've got a turtle! Named Elvis!" he says.
"No, Daddy! I don't like that name," pipes in Addie. "Let's call him Green Bean!"
"Okay, Green Bean," I say. "That's a nice name."
Wait. In my absence, we have gained yet another animal. In case you've forgotten, we already have two cats and had mistakenly adopted and then adopted out a third just recently (Mei-Mei, now Alley-Cat, has a new home). I'd very much like to have a little dog, a dachsund maybe, but am also very clear that we are happiest, at our most balanced, life is at its most enjoyable, when we have no more than two pets. And Prudence and Sadie tell me they're not going anywhere, any time soon.
Now we have the two cats, the sea monkeys ("Mommy, Gwande died," Addie tells me this morning. "But don't worry! Her babies are fine!") and a turtle.
Apparently the neighborhood Lolita (NOT an exaggeration) dropped Green Bean off while I was gone, saying she had found him in the yard and did Eric want one? Yes he did, he said.
And here we are.
A turtle can't be that bad, I thought in the car, thinking of the terrariums I'd seen. Might be kind of cool. Like when we had the frogs. Except the frogs died horrible deaths. Remember Stella and Stanley? Remember the fused legs, and the 2,000 flushes, and the dog bites? Oh, Lord.
Then, turns out this is not just any turtle, either. It's an "Ornate Box Turtle," though I don't know if it's Eastern or Western yet. Apparently, they don't do well in terrariums. Apparently you have to build an entire habitat for them in the backyard. They are picky eaters, and like certain temperatures, and prefer to have a river to swim in. They can be easily preyed upon by hawks and dogs, so have to be sheltered appropriately. They hiss menancingly when they're scared, and have treacherous looking claw-type feet.
They're often found in the wild, and should not be adopted willy-nilly as pets. In fact, I keep thinking the best thing would be to take him to the river in Golden and let him hang out there, while I quietly tip-toe away.
In other words: just what I did NOT want. Another high-maintenance pet.
But. But. But.
He is sort of cool looking. He's got a beautiful shell. I love to watch him burrow into his mud. He's eating already, which is a good sign that he likes his little kiddie-pool set up. The girls are enthralled. Eric's into it. And, as everyone knows, turtles are a bit magical.
So, for now: Welcome, Green Bean. Welcome to the Schneider jungle. I hope you make it.