When my Bruce came to me, he had been out wandering the dangerously busy urban streets around our neighborhood.
I didn’t know anything about his history, except that he had at one time been plucked out of a wild area and transported to a neighbor’s backyard (the perpetrator in this case was the neighbor’s grandson).
Before that, I really have no idea where or how he lived.
But Bruce didn’t waste any time communicating with me. The moment I brought him inside our casa, he began to move around authoritatively as if he owned the place. He found every stuffed toy my then-hatchling tort, Malti, had claimed as her own, and re-claimed it as his (which he did by standing on top of it and staring at me).
It was just so clear he had decided to join us. While it took me quite awhile to get over feeling afraid that by keeping him, I was limiting his life in some way, right from the start I felt like in a way, Bruce adopted us!
Bruce has plenty of “wild” left in him, and as such he never enjoyed being picked up or handled. I try to really minimize handling him for this reason! But he is not at all shy about making direct eye contact. In fact, he is so good at it I often feel like he is looking right into my soul.
I don’t know if every box turtle does this, but I feel like this species overall is incredibly expressive. I have never once doubted that Bruce is every bit as sensitive and aware and “deep” as any person I know.