The Case of the Missing Turtle

Esperanza, our red eared slider turtle, is missing.
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She’s not a large turtle, about the size of a human hand. She was last seen sloshing around in a small Tupperware bowl while her terrarium was being cleaned. One morning she was there, but by the evening, she was gone.

I found it coincidential that she would be missing on the first day of fall break, when my kids were home all day. When I left that morning for work, she was on the counter by the kitchen sink, safely tucked into her temporary home. When I returned that evening, she was nowhere to be found. I quizzed each of my children and got the same response: no one was talking. For all I knew, they all enjoyed turtle fricassee while I was gone, or they sold Esperanza on E-Bay, or one of the dogs had used her for a chew toy. No one fessed up to moving the turtle and there were no solid clues to her whereabouts.

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I thought that Shannon would be the most upset, since she has had Esperanza since she was just a tiny shell.  Shannon was the one who named her Esperanza, the Spanish name for “Hope”, and called her “Espy” for short.  Shannon also has the uneviable task of cleaning Espy’s tank.  Could the chore of cleaning the tank have gotten to be too much for Shannon, and she released her into the wild, otherwise known as our backyard?

My suspicions also included Daniel, who had just read the Judy Blume classic, “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing”.  In the book, the older sibling has a turtle that the younger sibling unceremoniously eats.  Could Daniel have thought that Espy was a little snack, left out on the kitchen counter?  He IS in the fourth grade…

Then there’s Ryan.  Ryan could have easily knocked Espy’s bowl into the sink while putting his dishes in the sink and then inadvertantly sent her the way of potato peels, egg shells and various other garbage disposal items.  I quickly discounted this theory, however; Ryan never puts his dirty dishes in the sink, let alone know how to turn on the garbage disposal.

The mystery looms.  It has been an entire week since Espy has disappeared and the slow and steady search for her continues.  I have literally turned the house upside down trying to find one little turtle, but to know avail.  I realize she has been out of her element for awhile, but I know that she’s as tough on the inside as she is on the outside.  And I have to believe that she will turn up ok because I have always concluded that where there’s faith, there will be Esperanza.

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