the terrapin…..well….after, what felt like a long and tortuous road/current to death, and having lost, I can’t quite remember how many at this stage…let’s just say it was a lot (!) of terrapins, we assumed Soni was well on his way to terrapin paradise. And, rather than see him (and we have no idea if Soni is a boy or a girl! Soni was a boy because DS1 named him) deteriorate and suffer a slow, and I have no idea how painful a death, we decided to pre-empt Mother Nature and bury him.
He had not eaten for weeks and hardly moved. His legs were in the same outstretched position for what seemed like forever, and there seemed to be skin peeling from his shell. To say the least, he looked far from healthy. Google only seemed to advise on what to feed terrapins, and the environment in which they should live. We had been doing everything according to the book, or rather, according to Google.
So, DH gently removed him from his filtered water tank. Under the cover of night, and safe from the kids’ awkward questions and innocent eyes, he brought Soni to his adopted sister’s grave (again, we have no clue if Sparkie was a girl. She was a girl becaused DD named her). I couldn’t watch, but said a little prayer, and actually shed a few tears. With Sparkie, I felt so sad because we had to break the painful news to the kids and handle the ‘death talk’. This time was slightly different. Yes, it would be difficult to tell the kids but, I was crying because I felt DH and I had been such failures. How could we let so many terrapins die? I do not like all animals by any stretch but, I would never harm any. I felt we had let Soni down, and worse, we had let the kids down.
That night, I hardly slept a wink.
The next morning, after breakfast, DH explained to DS1 that Soni had not made it through the night and asked him if he would like to see where we had buried him. A shocked and bewildered DS1 followed Daddy to the garden. His siblings clutched him on either side in a show of unified support. A UAE flag marked the spot. They hunkered down. I watched from afar, tears brimming.
Within seconds, the kids came running back. Still bewildered with an added dose of confusion. Thinking they were inconsolable, I cracked. I looked to DH who was gesticulating wildly to get the kids in the house.
‘No, it couldn’t be’ I thought. ‘What I am thinking is not possible’.
But….what I was thinking was possible.
Turns out, when DH had taken the kids for a graveside visit, Soni was not dead. In fact, he was burrowing his way upwards through the depths of the sand….and at that very moment , his bald, leathery head was wiggling through the surface!
Cue – confused, freaked out kids and incredulous (and all the while guilt ridden) DH!
Our theory…..the fancy, expensive filtered water tank was too cold and Soni went into some form of hibernation/hypothermic state which slowed down his heart rate. Burying him in a natural habitat with two important elements in terrapin world: sand and heat, he came back to life with a vengeance!
Since then, he has been living in a tupperware container with room temperature tap water. Needless to say, he is THRIVING and eats at least a can of tuna a week!
Moral of the story: DO NOT MESS WITH THE BIG MOTHER NATURE or avoid pets at all costs…..safer that way!