Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise, Photo by Aron Visuals from Unsplash

Gopher Tortoise

“Young man!…Hello!”

The boy was carrying

a gopher tortoise

toward the Gulf of Mexico.

“Don’t put that tortoise

in the water, please!

It’s not the kind of turtle

that travels the seas!”

“That’s an endangered

gopher tortoise, protected by law.”

“I didn’t know,” replied the boy.

“It’s the first one I ever saw!”

The boy put the tortoise

gently down on the sand,

and it crawled very slowly

up the beach to dry land.

I wish I had told the boy,

“Find ‘gopher tortoise’ in Wikipedia,

and tell your friends back home

how you found one in Florida!”


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

46 Comments

  1. Sweet Story Cheryl. We found some tortoise once and actually brought in when the kids were little. I think that’s how we accumulated so many “Pet’s”. Recently we had a huge one in our yard and I posted and funny enough my neighbor called and was over the moon happy as they have 8 and 2 were missing. It was huge. What are the chances. Lol

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  2. Well Cheryl… you happened to be in the right spot at the right time….yes it’s easy in hindsight, to think about the extra things you could’ve done….
    “I wish I had told the boy,

    “Find ‘gopher tortoise’ in Wikipedia,
    and tell your friends back home
    how you found one in Florida!”…… maybe if you happen to meet the lad again, you can let him know… Cheers. Ivor

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    1. Thank you, Ivor, for your kind comment. I appreciate you for letting me off the hook! Maybe I will do a little better next time. I don’t often intervene with children when parents are nearby, but people from out-of-town are not always informed about Florida wildlife.

      Stay safe and be happy! Cheryl

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    1. I hesitate to get involved with guiding other people’s children, but there are some things you just can’t ignore! We get a lot of tourists, and I doubt if the parents knew either. Thank you Kate for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate your support. All the best! Cheryl

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    1. Thank you, Laura, for taking time to read and comment. I will check out your post on the desert tortoise. I agree with you about how ancient they seem. The gopher tortoises here are threatened by loss of habitat. They dig long burrows used by many other animals. Their extinction would have wide-ranging effects. All the best! Cheryl

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      1. The interconnectedness of the natural world and our lives is deep. I get tired of those who dismiss that simple fact. We may not be able to ultimately prevent extinction, but we can chose to not aid in its excelleration.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, ankushmaster, for taking the time to read and comment. I don’t like to intervene when parents are nearby, but often vacationers know little about Florida animals. We have to protect wildlife when we can. I am glad you enjoyed the poem. All the best! Cheryl

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    1. Chris, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am glad you enjoyed the poem. Our gopher tortoises are only about 18″ across, but very heavy for their size. I’ve only seen the huge ones in the zoo! You are lucky to have them living near you. All the best! ❤ Cheryl

      Liked by 1 person

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