Today, Frankie and I are sitting under the porch and witnessing another backyard invasion...of a better kind. Months following the Alabama tornadoes we enter the final phase of yard clean-up. We are not complaining. The clean up of a yard is very low on the tornado recovery list....unless you are a tortoise who wants his yard back.
When our tree team arrived the crew leader warned all the other men to watch out for the baby turtle that is in the yard....ha ha! Um, more like a monster!
"How big?" They all asked.
I say, "How about, you-can't-miss-him Big"
On cue walks out the 85 pound beast of the yard, master of the grass, the one whom you offend by your imagined brute-presence. You may think you are tough. Frankie is tougher.
But fear not, the quick moving shell is a vegetarian and not looking for a tennis shoe breakfast.
Frankie takes a quick look at the men in jeans and decides it's just too hot to show them who is master of the yard. I don't think the guys questioned who is master of the yard, they are just shell shocked.
I love hiding under the porch with Frankie watching the backyard activity of a bunch of men who spend the next 30 minutes discussing the biggest dang turtle they've ever seen. ....have I warned the guys that Frankie has a web-cam? Watching the web cam one would catch the men seeking glimpses of Frankie every time they walk by the patio.
Frankie knows these are strangers. Frankie recognizes people. He knows me. He knows Greg. He knows visitors. He knows when he is being introduced.
Greg's mother, Fran, is here for the week spending time with us. When she met Frankie, his regard towards her was simply amazing. There was no distant consideration of what she was doing in the yard as Frankie did with the tree men. Oh, no. Frankie came right up to Fran, stretched up his neck just as high as he could, his eye's brightly shiny. She was very welcome in his yard.
When it comes to sulcata language it's all in the shell and the eyes.
Back to the yard. Frankie is sitting under the porch, his back shell toward the crew and head turned away. Now and again he will turn his head but mostly he is listening intently to the going on's of the men. Frankie's eyes are not fully open but instead shifting to and fro. He is on alert.
If those rolling logs put down feet, Frankie will be ready for them.
If that roaring chainsaw tries to take up residence, there will be trouble.
Suddenly, Frankie gives me a Big Frankie Yawn. Mom has things under control. Wake me up, will ya Mom, if there's any butt kicking to do. Until then. I'm taking a nap.