Writing For Your Turtle Carrying Protagonist
Driving home from work yesterday I noticed a lady standing in the middle of the road. I slowed. At her feet rested a larger snapper.
“Nice turtle.” I said.
“Can you help me get it across the street?”
So I pulled off the road.
photo showing proper way to handle a snapping turtle
As I hopped out of the jeep, I noticed a student from my school who had arrived just prior me. He was reaching down to lift the turtle... by its shell (insert gasp).
“Grab it by its tail. Its tail! I shouted.”
The snapper reached back with fire in its eye and hatred in its belly (Wow, isn’t that the worse thing you have ever read? I should write romance novels!)
I never saw hands retract so quickly as the boy stood at attention.
“Uhm, you want to do it?”
I was glad too. I live for this stuff. I lifted the snapper firmly by the base of the tail and carried it safely across the road (with no gratitude from the ticked-off turtle I might add).
The lesson learned:
Snapping turtles have powerful jaws and long necks that can reach way back. The only safe way to carry a snapper is by the tail.
If you are writing a story and your protagonist has to carry a snapping turtle, make sure your hero carries the turtle by the tail not the shell (or have your hero get bit).