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A Turtles’ Tale

foto tortuga

Two Saturdays ago, we treated ourselves to a visit to the Goldfish market. This is the place in Hong Kong where you go if you want to buy a pet. We all deserved it. My Lovely Husband had been travelling like crazy the whole week for work and I had been swamped by penguin bag related issues the whole week and had not been able to dedicate enough time to my children.

My sons loved it! As expected, the children fell for the adorable puppies there but, since we have only recently graduated to Nappiless Family, I strongly objected to bring home anything that would need pee training.

So, we settled for a pair of turtles. They are small (the size of a euro coin), live in a small self contained space and, better of all, we have a pond just below our flat where all sorts of turtles happily live. That would be a perfect place for them to vacation while we go away!

The children loved them. The poor turtles have been lovingly but roughly handled by my two children for ten days now and have managed to survive. And this is a great achievement if you take into account that one of them disappeared by one hour to appear diving in a cup of lemonade, and the other one spent one night inside the living room sofa where she hid after being held upside down by her tail by Gabriel. Javi’s one woke up one day with her eyes swollen. Presented with the question of whether or not I should spend 600 Hong Kong dollars to save the life of a turtle worth 20 Hong Kong dollars, I surfed the net and found she was probably enjoying her swimming sessions in water with too much chloride. I treated her to a bottle of Evian and her eyes where so grateful about it that went back to their natural size within hours.

Thanks to them, my children learned that turtles cannot easily be taken off their shells, no matter what Eric Carle, my favorite children’s book author, says in his book ‘The Foolish Turtle’. They also learned that there is a limited amount of food they can eat, even if you spill the whole tub of turtle food in their turtle bowl.

But I think the time is coming for them to live in a more stress free environment. Taking them to the pond next weekend would be a great treat for them, I am sure.


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