The dreary weather did not impede the progress of the two little explorers. The walkie talkies were busy all afternoon as they excitedly relayed what they were doing and seeing. I quickly realized that my hopes for a nap were dashed because of the constant ringing on the walkie talkies, but I thoroughly enjoyed being part of their adventure from the comfort of the living room.
At one point the kids began frantically screaming into the walkie talkie, but I couldn't understand what they were saying. Just as I was about to ask them to repeat the message I heard the front door open and slam shut. Robby was bouncing up the stairs and grabbing my hand for me to follow. He led me outside, where he revealed "the bestest discovery in entire planet earth." He had found a box turtle.
Robby and Rowan were so enthusiastic about finding the Koopa (their name for turtles) that neither could speak. Their faces beamed with pride and excitement as they took turns holding their newest shelled friend. Before I knew it, I was fetching a box from inside and Robby was pulling carrots out of the garden. We made a nice little outdoor home for Cooper the Koopa (yes, they gave him a name) and, although I told Robby it was temporary, he spent hours planning a deluxe habitat for him.
I haven't seen Robby this excited in a long time. He woke up early on Sunday and immediately went to check on Cooper. (To my chagrin my husband taught him how to unlock the front door. Until now I had found it reassuring that Robby did not know how to operate the locks.) Robby was delighted that Cooper ate the homegrown carrots. Seeing him so happy buffered the frustrations that the organically grown carrot, which I had watered and nurtured throughout the summer, were munched by a reptile.
Robby spent all day Sunday playing with Cooper. He carefully relocated all of the landscaping rocks, which I had painstakingly placed around my flower bed, in order to create a play area for the koopa. He dug a deep hole which he filled with water so his new friend could go for a swim. A large section of my front yard has been turned into a turtle refuge, but at least the little guy will be safe and happy.
Personally, the shelled critter doesn't seem like a compatible playmate, but I'm sure that Robby would disagree. He had a blast creating a new environment for his turtle friend. Cooper will not be a longtime member of our family, but rest assured he will be very loved, well fed and protected during his visit.