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May 11, 2010

Frankie & the Birds & the Bees

This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the birds and the bees and sulcata tortoises so if you are frail of heart or expect the facts of life to be private and not a topic of discussion, please stop here. Find something else to read besides this. If you grew up with horses, goats or various farm animals like me, this is mostly straight forward animal sexuality. I am sure anyone who grew up around a farm know just like me that if one hangs around with re-producing animals, sexual education happens early in life.

Turtle sexuality is just another animal. Really. Right, Frankie?

So this morning I saunter out to visit Frankie and find him in his pool standing on his tippy toes. I have owned Frankie since he was the size of an apple so I know standing on tippy toes either means he is constipated or he is exercising his manhood. By the time I am within five feet of him, it's obvious that he is exercising his manhood in a nice pool of water and is beyond simple happiness. Frankie is....well....having the time of his life.

Frankie notices me and after a moment he decides my presence is not going to interfere with his joy. He goes about his business.

Just like male horses occasionally "let it all hang out" so do male tortoises (sometimes refer to as flashing). It seems the difference is tortoises (maybe I should just say Frankie) really gets into the happiness of the "all hanging out" thing.

I decide to go about my business in the yard while Frankie continues to swish his alien penis about the pool. Then I think of how very smelly and yucky Frankie's underside and vent tends to be and how it's near impossible to wash the area now that he is near monster size (Frankie not his alien). With horses, we often had the necessary task of washing a males horse's penis. It's just something only farm kids would know needs to be done and we do it best we can without much fuss.

So I am looking at Frankie in the pool with his alien penis all pushed out and think to myself, "maybe I should clean his underside and the alien with some clean water." So I turn on the hose and start over to Frankie.

Now Frankie sees my approach and for a moment looks as if he will tuck everything back in and see if I happen to have a carrot. But I start spraying under his shell before he completes the task. To my surprise, he resumes the extension and allows me to wash him up under there.

Then things get a bit creepy. Frankie stretches as high as he can on all of this toes and to my cringe, he closes his eyes in deep rapture. Farm girl or not, the moment is just a bit much for me but in the pursuit of cleanliness, I complete the task as best I can.

Having completed my good deed, Frankie settles back down in the pool in what seems to be complete contentment.

Horses never act so pleased to be cleaned at all. Their attitude is "you better just handle that real careful or I will kick your teeth in." This is one bit of tortoise sexuality I just didn't expect! Frankie acted as if he wanted to pencil the activity in every day for the rest of the week.

Just when I think Frankie can't do anything more outrageous, he does. I am going to need to put a privacy fence around his pool!

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