Day 12: What’s Under the Box

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Being born a box turtle has its benefits.

For starters, you have this awesome unique hinge on the back underside of your shell. Thanks to this hinge, you can pull every single appendage (head, tail, legs – the whole package) inside your shell and active its hinge and – presto! – no more box turtle!

It’s about as close to being James Bond….or David Copperfield, come to think of it….as a box turtle is likely to get.

But this strategy isn’t always foolproof, especially when you visit the scary shell-less beings in the white lab coats (well, technically-speaking, you never visit them – as if – but your mama visits them sometimes and brings you along and that is always just a recipe for trouble).

This is because the white-coated beings are incessantly curious about what’s under the box. They can’t be satisfied until they have seen everything there is to see, so to speak.

They insist on investigating your legs, tail, head, claws, plastron…they check out each scute on the top of your gracefully curved shell….they even want to look down your long and attractive box turtle throat!

When you see them coming, there is really only one thing for it….HIDE.

A very savvy box turtle demonstrates how to locate a suitable camouflaging hiding place.

Find a nice camouflaging place – a spot where you really blend in – and just stay very still. This will handily confuse the white-coated beings because they won’t be able to find you to conduct their exam.

Then they will move on to the next unlucky victim in the room one over from yours and leave you alone.

Make sure the background is a close match with your natural coloration. Then stay very, very still until the white-coated beings leave.
Pearl, Malti, Bruce & Shannon

Watch & Listen: Pearl & his mommy read from “Love & Feathers”

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Published by Shannon Cutts

Cockatiel, redfoot tortoise and box turtle mama. Author, writer, pet & people blogger.

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