Overtom's weblog

TURTLES  (15 march 2004)

When my children were small, there was a petshop close to our home. One day, when we went there to buy catfood, there was a glass tank on the counter with small turtles in it.

My children were enraptured about these cute little green animals. Could daddy please buy some? The price per turtle was one rijksdaalder (just like their size!), which was not too expensive. I bought a pair.


I put them in a big glass jar, which already housed some goldfish. But turtles not only need water, they need a dry place as well. So I put a little wooden raft in the jar.

But small turtles grow bigger. And after a while, the raft had become too small; it got immersed when the reptiles tried to mount it. The jar was, however, too small to contain a raft that would stay afloat under their weight. So I moved turtles and goldfish to a real glass aquarium.


One evening, while the family were having supper, I saw the goldfish swimming nervously, their tails squeezed together, like nuns pressing their legs together in the presence of a rapist.

The turtles had at last discovered that goldfish are edible. I left supper in a rush, put the goldfish in a jam jar, jumped on my bike and went out to see if I could buy a second aquarium. After crossing the streets for some twenty minutes I was lucky: one petshop was still open and had a (second-hand) aquarium for sale.


After I'd come home, the turtles were moved to their new residence.

        * * * * *

Now, the turtles are ten inches long. They have moved three times and live in an aquarium of 30 by 18 by 18 inches - which has to be cleaned every four weeks, and also when they have laid eggs. If they lay eggs during our holiday, I have to return to Amsterdam.

  (latest turtle residence)

So my advice: think twice before you buy those cute little turtles!

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