Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: January 2011



January 6, 2011

Perfect Gentleman

I've really wanted to write another Frankie Tortoise Tails. Really. Lately Frankie hasn't done anything to inspire me. He's been a perfect gentleman. I can't make up the stuff I write. It's all true and it's all Frankie's doing.

Frankie has been spending a lot of time inside in the gecko room. I have expected the worse. Frankie has not obliged. He's just been good.

"Good" may be the oddest activity of all. This is the sulcata responsible for much hilarity in my life. But Frankie hasn't eaten any socks lately. Frankie has not brought the whole city police force to my front door again. He has not tunneled to Mexico.

Frankie is outside this afternoon basking. He didn't go out yesterday so I was really happy that he could get outside in the sun today.

Now that Frankie is a BIG sulcata, he can go outside in cooler weather and for longer periods. Getting out for sun seems to be a big catastrophe prevent-er. Not going outside seem to instigate the bad behavior in Frankie. Not going outside means he has to tear up the gecko room. So now he is outside. Sunning. All is well.

Oh, I just remembered! There was a catastrophe that directly related to Frankie. At this very moment I don't think it very funny but by the time I finish writing this I am sure I will feel much better.

The gecko room is totally arranged for Frankie. He has an area set up just for him. There are boards against the walls so Frankie doesn't scratch and tear those up. Huge pieces of cardboard surround his indoor shelter so he doesn't destroy any furniture while burrowing at night. Tall pieces of plywood board are set upright blocking Frankie's access to the other more vulnerable side of the gecko room.

All this creates a bit of an obstacle course from one side of the gecko room to the other side. During the many hours I spend everyday in the gecko room I really have to keep my wits about me so I don't trip and fall breaking my leg or arm or hip .....I am the most clumsiest person that I know.

It was going to happen one day.

The other evening I went down to check on the geckos and Frankie. I first checked on Frankie. He is fine. I turn to go further into the gecko room taking three steps when time slows down to what seems to be an eternity as I find my left leg at a stand still on Frankie barrier #1 while the rest of my body is flung over like a catapult.

My foot stays in place as my shin comes into full contact with the rough plywood that is reinforced with all kinds of heavy objects to keep the 75 pound Frankie from pushing it over. The reinforcements work: the plywood does not budge as a 7" x 1" piece of shin skin is peeled off my leg as my body soars to the other side of the board.

Time is moving oh-so-slow as my mind buzzes several thoughts: "You're falling and this is going to hurt", "Wow, you haven't fallen this far since you were a kid," "This is exactly how little old ladies break their hips," and finely, "You are a little old lady".

I hit the floor: First the left hip followed by the shoulder and finely my head which falls on a hand that was uselessly attempting to stop the fall.

Time resumes its normal pace as I consider that I have never really looked at the floor this close before.

My mind springs into First Responder training from long ago and I answer a few questions to ascertain the damage:

Heard no cracking sound. Probably didn't break anything.
Look down at my left leg still poised on the top of the plywood. Wow, that's a bloody mess.
Can you move at all? ....Really don't want to move.

I don't even bother screaming or yelling. Greg built the gecko room with 10" of insulation. Greg isn't gonna hear me.

Frankie has witness the whole event. He is just sitting there. He is a perfect gentleman.

I slowly crawl to my hands and knees. I assist myself to a standing position. Oddly enough, I am not in any pain. Nothing seems to be working right but I am standing. I am smart enough to know tomorrow I will be in pain.

After wrapping the bloody shin in paper towels (really, the band aids in the gecko room are not gonna cover this wound), I make my way back upstairs.

"What the **** happen to you?" asks Greg. (Pardon his language)

I barely get out the words "gecko room" and "fall" before Greg interjects "Frankie barrier?"

"I've done that before," Greg says, "At least I manage not to fall."

It does seem a little funny to me now.

Frankie is gonna be the death of me yet.