Saturday, April 21, 2007

We like the Turtles

Within our Pond and the Land of the Flowered Bed, we have discovered our very own pond. While the ducks still languish in my bathtub until they get their private backyard pond, I can at least content myself with visiting another pond.

Ben's work is a very nice, landscaped building and has lots of areas of greenery and landscaping. Imagine his surprise to find a large pond with catfish, turtles and DUCKS! It also has a bench and several cute tables, perfect for picnicking or daydreaming on a cool crisp evening. Needless to say, we enjoy escaping to the pond and feeding the critters within it.

The Invisible Friends interrupt. "Excuse me," they bellow, "Don't you have enough critters to feed at home?"

My response to this is there is never too many critters. I could live in a zoo and I'd still add more critters.

Anyway, we enjoy visiting the pond after work. We take a baggie full of old bread slices and creep quietly to the pond. By the time the first crumb hits the water, the catfish have begun to froth the water about. Their giant mouths open to the sky as they grab for the tiniest crumb, greedy to eat as much bread as they can. Their flopping tails knock aside the turtles, who are swimming as fast as their stubby limbs can. The turtles adore the bread.

We stand on the edge of the pond, feeding the turtles. Ben has mastered the art of holding a large chunk of bread down and having the turtles bite chunks off. Their small pink mouths open wides as they delicately tear off a chunk, then pop back in their shells to eat it.

My eyes widen as Ben turns to deal with the three ducks who are waddling towards us as quickly as their webbed feet can go.


"Oh my God, these ducks are greedy," Ben laughs as the ducks fight over the small chunks of bread, quacking loudly and wiggling their tails. I tug on his sleeve.

"Hey Ben--"

"Now come on, that was hers," he scolds a particularly greedy duck.

"Ben!" I yell, rolling my eyes. "The turtles are invading us!"

"Huh?" Ben says, whirling around. Then he sees what I see and grins. "Holy crap!" he yells happily, forgetting about the ducks to get a closer look. The turtles are crawling slowly on land towards us, and at least 20 are hobbling our way. The catfish are thrashing about in the water, sending turtles flying and almost drowning the small ones. The bread has sent the animals in a frenzy.

I turn to see three expectant ducks staring at me.

"Quackquackquackquack," one says, coming toward me closely. I throw bread at them as the draw nearer and nearer. Soon, I'm on the edge of the bank, where the turtles are unsuccessfully pawing at the thick tree roots with their stubby limbs. I'm surrounded, and I'm out of bread.

Ben has also run out of bread. We look at each other, and nod. "Run!" Ben yells, as we run from the shore, a frenzy of ducks, fish and turtles behind us.

"We're sorry!" I yell behind us, distraught at the looks of utter desolation on the ducks and turtle's faces. "We ran out of food!"

As we head home, we're both smiling happily. "We should do that again soon," I said, gently patting Ben's arm.

"It's a lot of fun," Ben said. "I like the turtles."

"I like the ducks," I said. "I like the turtles too. Don't like the fish so much."

"We like the turtles," Ben grins humming to himself. "We like the turtles."

Next time, we'll bring more bread.