The woman edged her car closer. Still not believing what she saw, she emerged cautiously. There in Pasadena, taking up the whole road, was a dark brown snapping turtle with a long saw toothed tail. His elongated thick neck swiveled his head to survey her. They stared eye to eye. He did not move, but she did. Schoolchildren would be walking this way. This turtle looked nasty, bad tempered, and was enormous, waiting patiently at the school bus stop.
Returning home, she told her husband. “You’re exaggerating,” he said. “It can’t be that big. I’ll go down and move it on its way.”
She followed him down the lane; the turtle had not moved. He got out of the car to investigate.
“Oh, yes. He’s a big snapper. I bet he weighs a good forty pounds. Let’s call Animal Control.” He dialed the number and informed them there was a large snapping turtle near a bus stop.
“Will it fit into a dog crate?” the woman asked.
“It’s huge. Bring something big.”
The man grabbed a large tree limb to push the snapper to the side of the road. The snapper’s head lunged at the limb and the man jumped back but continued to push the grouch. He stood guard to keep any children away. Soon Animal Control pulled up in a truck. A confident young woman jumped out and retrieved an animal crate and a stick with a loop to capture animals and control their movements. She ambled towards them with the crate meant to hold a small dog or cat.
“You’re going to need something larger than that for this turtle,” the man said pointing to the edge of the road where the snapper sat and glared at them.
The Animal Control Officer was visibly surprised to see a snapper whose shell’s circumference was larger than a car tire. Not sure what to do she turned, walked back, and placed the empty crate into the truck. Mustering up her courage, she put on a pair of work gloves and cautiously approached the snapper. She grabbed the turtle by its tail and quickly placed the hissing snapper in the back of the truck.
“Will relocate the snapper to Jug Bay where it will be safe,” she told the man as she got in her truck and headed down the road.
Students would arrive shortly to board their bus unaware of the morning visitor. To them, it would seem like just an ordinary day in Dena. However, three people and one huge snapper knew differently.