The large shell-less being here….
Bruce joined our little flock during a very tumultuous time.
Malti had spontaneously taken off on what was to be a six-day wilderness adventure – announcing her plans to no one, least of all her overprotective, anxiety-prone, first-time tortoise mama.
After six days of nonstop searching, literally beating bushes, crawling underneath dumpsters, trash cans and vehicles, nearly swimming up and down the streets in what was to later be nicknamed the “Memorial Day floods,” Malti was still missing.
During this time, Bruce was rescued to me not once, but twice.
The first time it appeared that he belonged to a far neighbor in our neighborhood, and when she offered him to me (as in literally holding him in her hand and saying, “do you want him?” – EW, like he is anyone’s to give!), it just didn’t feel right.
On the sixth day, around mid-morning, I got a frantic call from a young couple who swore they had just found my missing turtle. They said they picked the turtle up while it was trying to cross an exceptionally busy street not far from where I lived at the time. They told me they were headed my way to reunite us.
I rushed out, so ecstatic, to see…..a rather familiar-looking shell. But it wasn’t Malti’s shell.
The couple was so disappointed he wasn’t my missing turtle!
They didn’t know what to do with him so I said I would foster him and figure something out. I took Bruce inside and checked my Facebook. There was a message from a FB friend (who lived in India!) telling me to go north and look for Malti near the neighbor’s houses. He assured me I would find her that day.
I donned all my gear, grabbed the long bamboo stick I had been using to poke around here and there and headed out. I walked north. Then, barely 20 minutes into my search, there she was!
I have shared this story so extensively in other places here on this blog, although for anyone who is reading this who is new to our little flock’s history, I couldn’t resist to sharing a tidbit or two again now.
But all that to say, sweet Bruce came to us at a time that was both so tumultuous and so joyful, and from the moment I held him on that sixth day and he actually willingly un-boxed himself in my cupped hands and opened up to look up at me, I just knew.
It was meant to be.