35 years ago when I was 6, I got a little Eastern Painted Turtle from the local pet shop in Co-op City (in the Bronx, where I lived until I was 10). That little turtle, Shelvin, has been my companion for 35 years. For 35 years I’ve watched over my friend. 35 years! Have you ever had a pet for 35 years? Can you even imagine it? I hardly remember a time where I didn’t hear him splashing around his tank. He’s a part of me. You might call him my familiar if you have a head for fantasy.
Shelvin’s old. 35 years is a long time for his species to live in captivity. Usually, they live for about 25 years. He doesn’t do much. He’s as picky an eater as a cat addicted to wet food. He won’t touch leafy greens or brine shrimp anymore, only his food pellets. But when you walk by his tank, he gets excited and pecks on the glass. He’s friendly for a turtle, but only because he knows that I’m the Great and Powerful Food Giver. Maybe I’m his pet.
I don’t know if today is his actual adoption day. I know that it was in April, and today is close enough. Happy adoption day, Shelvin. You’re kinda boring, but so am I. We go together.
I like turtles…