Turtles Do Climb Fences by Daniel Moran - HTML preview

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Chapter one


In the late spring of that year, after the snow had melted off the roads and hills, the rains came and the turtles woke up from their long winter sleep. Early in the morning, as the sun rose in the sky, Dad drove to work down the long crooked road called St. Mary’s Pike.  The rains would flood the nearby creek and the waters often overflowed the road.  The air was damp, cool but fresh.  This day the road was dry.


As he made his way to work that sunny morning, dad saw a turtle resting in the middle of the road.  Turtles die on roads.  Dad was worried that the turtle might be hit by a passing car.  He stopped and put the turtle to the other side of the road.  He went to work.


The next morning while driving back to work, once again he saw a turtle on the road.  Dad stopped the car and got out to pick the turtle up.  The turtle was warm, even though the air was cold and wet. The paved road was almost hot from the morning sun.  The turtle was warming itself on the road in the cool early morning air.  


Concerned it might walk back onto the road, Dad rescued the turtle. He carried the turtle back to the car and placed him on the floor.  After work, he brought the turtle home to show the children, Katie and Michael.  He told the story of how he found the turtle. 


Michael and Katie looked at the turtle with excitement.  The turtle pulled his head into his shell. He pulled in his legs and his tail as well.  Dad said he was called a “box turtle” because the turtle was able to pull all of his body into the shell and close up any opening, as if were a box. 


They set the turtle down on the grass.  Slowly, carefully, he stuck out his head and looked up at the children.  He stared at them for a bit. He was thinking hard, maybe wondering what kind of funny thing these two legged creatures were!  He tilted his head and looked up at Michael with one eye.   He seemed as curious about the children as they were of him.  They named him TRACY.  Tracy the turtle!


They made a home for him on the front porch.  Using a cardboard box and some grass clippings, a rock and some twigs, the new home was complete.  They fed him vegetables like lettuce, tomato, and fruits like banana.  He was hungry and seemed happy with the meal.