Feelin' Genki

Thursday, February 22, 2007

So what's the deal with turtles?

It's a rhetorical question. Please don't answer that.

People don't often ask me for my thoughts on turtles (do they ask you?) but Meg did, today on my lunch hour, and I unleashed a torrent of stream-of-consciousness babble in her blog comments.

Well, I says to myself, apparently I do have some thoughts on turtles. And they're pretty chaotic and don't stand up well to sober scrutiny.

Sounds like perfect blog material to me.

So, turtles, eh? (I like saying "eh" in my blog, even though I never actually say it in real life.)

Well, according to Milo, a dog says woof, a cat says meow, a lion/tiger/bear(oh my!)/dinosaur/sea lion/dragon/jaguar/ etc. says “rrraaarrrr!”, so what does a turtle say?

Milo is almost 20 months old and he wants to know, so I’m forced to make stuff up.

While I’m on the subject, what does a rabbit say? A fish? How about a bushbaby, coati, or ukari? Kids’ books have too many freaky animals these days and they make me lie to my child.

Turtle. And what’s the etymology of the word “turtle?” A sailors’ mauling of the French “tortue” circa 1609? Yeah, right, like I buy that.

Turtle. You know, the more you say it, the weirder it sounds. Turtle.

Turtle. I once had a teacher (Olive D. Primmer, Gander Academy, grade 3) who didn’t pronounce those middle t’s in words like bottle, turtle, and rattle… she just left big pauses in there in the Scottish style. (And by Scottish style, I mean like how I’d try to fake a Scottish accent.) Tur-uhl. as opposed to turdle. Both ways, it’s weird. Turtle.

Don't get me wrong, I like turtles. I have no desire to eat them, and I know that if you feed them a lot of fresh shrimp they won't eat ALL of it and their little aquarium will stink up the entire house in a matter of days, but I still like them.

I also saw an episode of Nova that said Native Americans at a site in Gault, Texas weren't merely big game hunters, they also ate small mammals, birds, and turtles. And recent evidence indicates that many different groups peopled the continent 17,000 to 20,000 years ago, although what we know as the Clovis point was a piece of technology that spread (possibly from the Solutreans of southern France!) across North America at the end of the last ice age about 13,500 years ago. DNA from the Ojibwe peoples show the possiblity of European heritage going back many thousands of years before Columbus.

Wow. All from turtles. Thanks Meg.


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