Dead Turtle Walking

I usually stop and help turtles, technically terrapins, cross the road when I see them, but I had to draw the line at I-85.  He was about a quarter of the way across the first of two lanes on the northbound side when I swerved to give him a wide berth.  I watched behind me and noticed the car about a hundred yards back ease over to the right to straddle the little fellow.   I wonder what that’s like for the terrapin, seeing a car barrel down on you, only to zoom over your head at 80 miles an hour.  Does he freak and go into his shell?  Or does he just keep on trucking, balls to the wall?  Well, I guess I should say balls to the shell.  When I went past him he never slowed down, and he was moving much faster than his reputation would imply.  I wonder if he knew the risk when he started this suicide mission, or if he just thought, “Hmm, this is different.”  I think he knew.  From the look on his face, and the effort he was putting into his ‘run’, I think he had an idea of the danger.

The bad news is, there was a large group of cars well behind the one car behind me.  I think he could have beat them to the median if he kept up his breakneck pace…Maybe.  But if he hesitated, well, that would be bad.  I like to think that he knew what he had to do, and he made it across.

As far as the southbound lanes, that’s anybody’s guess.  I didn’t see any turtle remains on the way home, so maybe he’s okay.

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