I walk into the backyard after a long unhappy morning of chores and errands.....(be honest, chores and errands are rarely 'happy').....instead of entering the front or side door because a mile from home the thought of Frankie pops into my mind and it's the first happy thought to arrive today.
Frankie has been settling into his summer life in the yard. He is busy selecting basking spots, checking out new plant growth, looking over new man-made items that landed there over the winter, and re-establish his dominance over boulders and tubs lest they forget who is the king of the yard.
I catch Frankie examining a pile of wood leaning against his shed. He spies a suspiciously evil looking white pipe that seems to have returned after he firmly expelled from the yard last fall. He is having difficulty getting to it as there are three plastic patio chairs lined up in front of pipe.
I see whats going on.
Frankie does not plow through the chairs to reach the offending pipe but instead he sits. It's a pitiful looking sit. Frankie knows that pipe is there but lacks the "umph" to do anything about it. He finally turns around and crawls under the chair I am sitting it. Wisely, I abandon the chair.
Frankie just sits there. 3/4 of him is under the chair and the rest of him (legs and head) jut out from under the chair. Sulcata tortoises take up this position when they plan to haul said furniture across the yard. This is why we call sulcata tortoises Furniture Movers.
But Frankie just sits.
Sensing some discontent in that sit, I sit down next to Frankie so we can not communicate about what's wrong. We both stare out into the yard. Me because I am miserable that there is no juice or ice tea to refresh me after errands, and Frankie, well, I don't know what's got him so preoccupied. He just stares out into the yard just like me.
I get an idea.
"Frankie. Is it Miss Umbrella Stand? Are you missing her?"
I dive under the patio where all kinds of yard items are stuffed during the winter. Half the stuff should have been thrown away but it was too cold to go outside and throw anything away. Those kinds of things are sitting under the patio along with Frankie's stuff I just haven't pulled out yet.
There she lay: back against the house and covered by a garden hose. I retrieve the umbrella stand bought five years ago yet it has never held an umbrella.
I drag out the umbrella stand and set it under the Golden Rain Tree.
Frankie gets up and walks calmly to the umbrella stand. He stops right next to it and considers it for several minutes. He rams it. He then half walks over it and stops so his back leg still holds on. A quick pivot and Frankie is on top.
He sits there. Maybe savoring the moment.
He sits there. Or he has forgotten the umbrella stand's purpose.
And sits there.
Maybe he its the six inch taller vantage point of the yard and he is enjoying the view.
Maybe I just need ten minutes of peace and quiet to recover my Zen.
Then Frankie leans his head down to see if the umbrella stand is still under him and then "Whooooooomp"
1) Family version: "Frankie hits the ball outta the park and makes a clean home run. Game Over. Frankie wins" The End.
2) Adult version; For the rest of the afternoon Frankie humps Miss Umbrella Stand stopping only to graze a few bites of fresh green summer grass. Again and again, he returns to hump Miss Umbrella Stand.
I dunno. After round two I was too embarrassed to watch any more.
Frankie is back!
[Frankie Tortoise Tails hit a milestone this last weekend: 20,000 unique hits. This is the second time as Frankie Tortoise Tails had that many hits when it was hosted at Turtle Times.]