You’re Not the Woman I Thought You Were

A few weeks ago I scheduled a wellness visit at with a herpetologist for Speedy, our Eastern Box Turtle. I was concerned that her beak was too long and that her nails might need a trim. At the advice of a turtle owners group on Facebook and a somewhat reputable YouTube video, I tried to file it down myself with an emery board, but Speedy wasn’t on board with this concept at all.

Before the appointment, I psyched myself up for whatever news the doctor had to share, whether good or bad. Overall we are doing a fine job with Speedy, who is the right age, weight, coloring, and so forth. Speedy is very active.

Speedy’s beak should not be filed, as it will work itself out in due time. (And if it doesn’t, then we should bring Speedy back.) Filing it down with an emery board could give poor Speedy a migraine, so no wonder the attempt was ill-received.

And then we got the startling news. Speedy is a boy.

Sir Speedy, Teenage Ninja Turtle Extraordinaire

Apparently the red eyes are a huge giveaway. Another is the convex shape of the lower half of his shell. Somehow I managed to keep a straight face during the vet’s hands-on demonstration of how the shape of the bottom half of a male turtle’s shell might help during the mating season.

(Just…think about it. Right? It does explain why Speedy seemed to enjoy all those belly rubs I’ve given him over the past year. I mean, he really, really seemed to enjoy the attention…and now I know why.)

So there is my update on Speedy, our family’s ninja turtle. It’s good to know he wasn’t PMSing after all, and that we’ve given him a safe, healthy, happy environment. May he enjoy many more decades with us, as turtles are apt to do.


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