We love vacationing at the beach every year. My children would rather go down to the low country and sink their toes into the white sand than anywhere else. The island we stay at has one store and they sell all the tourist stuff plus turtles. Little baby red eared slider turtles to be exact. The children love looking at them and beg to get one. Every summer we tell them no. That is until I lost my mind! Knowing that we would homeschool this year, I told the kids they could each get one turtle during our summer vacation. I had a tank from my classroom that I figured we could use. The turtles would make a great science project. We could measure their weight, shell length and width, learn about turtles, etc. The kids were ecstatic and could not wait to get to the beach.
Now I had not fully done my research on these little critters. When I said we would get turtles, I did not know that they would get upwards of twelve inches when fully grown! I was thinking around four inches. So being a person to keep my word to the children, I still allowed them to pick out a turtle each. Hopefully, the turtles will grow slowly.
We went to the beach store the first day of our vacation. Egee picked out ‘Harriet’ and Little Man picked out ‘Franklin’. They were happy and we hoped that having two reptiles did not violate the no pets rule of the condo.
Franklin was finicky. He would not eat. This was not a good sign and we thought surely the little fellow wouldn’t survive the week. Harriet ate everything, so we knew she would be a keeper. However, one day after returning from an outing, we discovered Harriet a float upside down in her tank. The little bugger had died after two days in our care. Egee was devastated.
We called the shop and explained that the turtle had died. They were understanding and told us we could get another, no charge. So back in the van and off to the shop. Egee picked out another Harriet and the man encouraged us to have another one just in case Franklin didn’t make it. He said it was on the house. So now we have three turtles! We named the third little one Ozzy.
It has been nine months and the turtles are going strong. We had a rough patch during the winter when they stopped eating. I just knew it was a matter of time before one killed over. Harriet almost did! We came home one evening and she was upside down in the tank. I rushed to rescue her and we put her in a small tank with little water. She came through it and has tripled her weight.
We love watching the Three Amigos (the term we use for all three). Each has a different personality. Ozzy is still the smallest of the three. He is catching up to the others. They are growing by leaps and bounds, but still small in terms of a red eared slider. That is fine with me!
Ozzy, Franklin, and Harriet