Dora’s tale starts with her arrival. An arrival so unexplained -- so miraculous -- it could only have begun in Mexico.
Dora is a turtle. A Mexican mud turtle. A title so bland it could be borne solely by the most dignified of animals.
My friend Anne discovered Dora in a fountain at her house. That does not sound very miraculous. After all, where else would you find an amphibian other than in a water place?
The miraculous part is Dora is no more than two inches long. And the fountain walls are about two feet high. Lined with tile. Escaping Alcatraz would be a piece of cake compared to Dora’s appearance in the fountain.
Of course, there were all of the usual theories of human and avian agency. But we will stick with the magical appearance theory. After all, it is Mexico.
Anne rescued Dora -- named, I suspect, for explorer fame -- and kept her in a special tub outfitted with a brick, lettuce, and fancy imported turtle food.
But, all good things must end. Anne flew north this afternoon and dropped off Dora at my place – tub and all – with instructions to do as I saw fit.
Now and then, I am lucky to face issues we have already worked through in my mind. When Gary of the mexile left Mexico to return to England, he was faced with the problem of finding homes for his turtles. At the time, I suggested my laguna would be a good home. After all, quite a few turtles live in and around it.
I let Dora wait in the garden for a few hours while I completed some other tasks. We then walked shell and hand to the edge of the laguna where I placed her on a rock. She poked her head out once or twice. Probably trying to get a sense of the huge world that stretched to her horizon.
And then with one push, she was off into the water. Putting her natural Dora exploring skills to good use.
I suspect her life outlook is the same as most animals. Woody Allen said it best: “To me nature is … big fish eating little fish, and plants eating plans, and animals eating … It's like an enormous restaurant, that's the way I see it.”
Well, I hope Dora can enjoying more years of eating than being eaten.