7-in-7 2018 SUBMISSIONS

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Growing up with turtles as pets.

NameJames Reeves

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Newberry’s was a department store located in Capital Plaza back in the 60’s. They had a pet section that was like a miniature zoo! I always enjoyed looking at the parakeets, fish, alligators and turtles. You can’t legally buy turtles anymore as they present a salmonella risk. But you could then and somebody bought me one. I don’t remember who but it seems like it was my aunt Niavaline. I kept my little red-eared turtle in a metal pot with a half broken wooden handle. The pot contained an inch or so of water and a flat limestone rock. It was like an efficiency apartment for a small turtle.

Prior to third grade we moved from Round Rock to Austin. Dad borrowed a large flatbed truck with sides and a lift from work. There wasn’t enough room for all of us to ride in the cab so I volunteered to ride in the back along with the appliances, furniture and stacks of boxes. My dog Cocoa must have been back there as well. In those days it was pretty common for kids to ride in the back of pickups, but maybe not so much the back of a large flatbed. There were no car seats or seat belt laws. In fact I use to love lying in the back dash of our ’55 Chevy looking up at the stars at night. So anyway, I positioned myself high on top of the load and did my best to stay balanced. I was holding that metal pot with my little turtle inside. As the flatbed moved down the highway the folks passing us were giving me the strangest of looks. I could just here them saying, “What’s that kid doing up there on top of all that stuff?” The heavy-duty springs on the rear axle of the truck made for quite the ride. Water continuously sloshed back and forth in the old metal pot as did my turtle. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We made it to our “new to us” home safe and sound.

Everyone had been friendly in Round Rock. I never had anyone try to hurt me. One of the first things I learned about Austin was that some kids like to pick fights. It had to do with the pecking order of the neighborhood. It was important for them to figure out where you fit in. There was also a bully on our block. He was a couple of years older than most of us and like to shove his weight around. But despite the negatives there was one good positive; there was a creek at the end of our street! It was basically a wet weather creek, but it always had at least a half-foot or so of water in it with a few deeper areas. There were crawfish, perch, minnows, frogs, tadpoles and turtles. There were probably snakes but I don’t remember seeing any. There were also storm drain pipes to explore. I know now how dangerous that was. The creek made for a wonderful place to play and find food for my turtle.

Not too far away was Northwest Park with a much larger creek and pond. It was there that I found my second turtle. This one was a solid brown mud turtle about the same size as my red-eared slider. He had the longest neck! Being my turtle family was growing, I saved up my money and bought a 36” plastic swimming pool from Kiddie City. Now my turtles had plenty of room to swim and play. It was large enough that I could increase the depth of the water and arrange the rocks so that the turtles had places to sun or to hide if the dog happened to come along.

There was a family down the street, opposite direction from the creek, with two boys and a girl. They were nice kids unlike the ones that loved to fight. They also had turtles for pets. Some of their turtles were quite large. One time when they went on vacation, I got to take care of their animals. Feeding and watering the dog, the cat and the turtles. To my surprise, they thanked me by bringing me a turtle unlike one I had ever seen. It was green but with yellow spots on it. They said it was an Amazon turtle but who knows…

Lots of kids kept turtles for pets. They were small and easy to care for. Anytime a neighbor kid’s family was moving, it seem like I was the kid they would give their turtle to. At one time I was taking care of more than a dozen turtles. Most were red-eared sliders, but I did have one box turtle that was free to roam. As a kid my plan was to one day own some land with a creek on it where my turtles could live a happy carefree life. Now I have the land so if you happen to come out, don’t ask to shoot the turtles. They are off limits! I have a soft spot for them.

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Submission TitleSliders...

Short Description (for preview in feed)

Growing up with turtles as pets.

NameJames Reeves

Featured Image (for preview in feed)Featured Image (for preview in feed)
Full Description

Sliders…

Newberry’s was a department store located in Capital Plaza back in the 60’s. They had a pet section that was like a miniature zoo! I always enjoyed looking at the parakeets, fish, alligators and turtles. You can’t legally buy turtles anymore as they present a salmonella risk. But you could then and somebody bought me one. I don’t remember who but it seems like it was my aunt Niavaline. I kept my little red-eared turtle in a metal pot with a half broken wooden handle. The pot contained an inch or so of water and a flat limestone rock. It was like an efficiency apartment for a small turtle.

Prior to third grade we moved from Round Rock to Austin. Dad borrowed a large flatbed truck with sides and a lift from work. There wasn’t enough room for all of us to ride in the cab so I volunteered to ride in the back along with the appliances, furniture and stacks of boxes. My dog Cocoa must have been back there as well. In those days it was pretty common for kids to ride in the back of pickups, but maybe not so much the back of a large flatbed. There were no car seats or seat belt laws. In fact I use to love lying in the back dash of our ’55 Chevy looking up at the stars at night. So anyway, I positioned myself high on top of the load and did my best to stay balanced. I was holding that metal pot with my little turtle inside. As the flatbed moved down the highway the folks passing us were giving me the strangest of looks. I could just here them saying, “What’s that kid doing up there on top of all that stuff?” The heavy-duty springs on the rear axle of the truck made for quite the ride. Water continuously sloshed back and forth in the old metal pot as did my turtle. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We made it to our “new to us” home safe and sound.

Everyone had been friendly in Round Rock. I never had anyone try to hurt me. One of the first things I learned about Austin was that some kids like to pick fights. It had to do with the pecking order of the neighborhood. It was important for them to figure out where you fit in. There was also a bully on our block. He was a couple of years older than most of us and like to shove his weight around. But despite the negatives there was one good positive; there was a creek at the end of our street! It was basically a wet weather creek, but it always had at least a half-foot or so of water in it with a few deeper areas. There were crawfish, perch, minnows, frogs, tadpoles and turtles. There were probably snakes but I don’t remember seeing any. There were also storm drain pipes to explore. I know now how dangerous that was. The creek made for a wonderful place to play and find food for my turtle.

Not too far away was Northwest Park with a much larger creek and pond. It was there that I found my second turtle. This one was a solid brown mud turtle about the same size as my red-eared slider. He had the longest neck! Being my turtle family was growing, I saved up my money and bought a 36” plastic swimming pool from Kiddie City. Now my turtles had plenty of room to swim and play. It was large enough that I could increase the depth of the water and arrange the rocks so that the turtles had places to sun or to hide if the dog happened to come along.

There was a family down the street, opposite direction from the creek, with two boys and a girl. They were nice kids unlike the ones that loved to fight. They also had turtles for pets. Some of their turtles were quite large. One time when they went on vacation, I got to take care of their animals. Feeding and watering the dog, the cat and the turtles. To my surprise, they thanked me by bringing me a turtle unlike one I had ever seen. It was green but with yellow spots on it. They said it was an Amazon turtle but who knows…

Lots of kids kept turtles for pets. They were small and easy to care for. Anytime a neighbor kid’s family was moving, it seem like I was the kid they would give their turtle to. At one time I was taking care of more than a dozen turtles. Most were red-eared sliders, but I did have one box turtle that was free to roam. As a kid my plan was to one day own some land with a creek on it where my turtles could live a happy carefree life. Now I have the land so if you happen to come out, don’t ask to shoot the turtles. They are off limits! I have a soft spot for them.

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Submission TitleSliders...

Short Description (for preview in feed)

Growing up with turtles as pets.

NameJames Reeves

Featured Image (for preview in feed)Featured Image (for preview in feed)
Full Description

Sliders…

Newberry’s was a department store located in Capital Plaza back in the 60’s. They had a pet section that was like a miniature zoo! I always enjoyed looking at the parakeets, fish, alligators and turtles. You can’t legally buy turtles anymore as they present a salmonella risk. But you could then and somebody bought me one. I don’t remember who but it seems like it was my aunt Niavaline. I kept my little red-eared turtle in a metal pot with a half broken wooden handle. The pot contained an inch or so of water and a flat limestone rock. It was like an efficiency apartment for a small turtle.

Prior to third grade we moved from Round Rock to Austin. Dad borrowed a large flatbed truck with sides and a lift from work. There wasn’t enough room for all of us to ride in the cab so I volunteered to ride in the back along with the appliances, furniture and stacks of boxes. My dog Cocoa must have been back there as well. In those days it was pretty common for kids to ride in the back of pickups, but maybe not so much the back of a large flatbed. There were no car seats or seat belt laws. In fact I use to love lying in the back dash of our ’55 Chevy looking up at the stars at night. So anyway, I positioned myself high on top of the load and did my best to stay balanced. I was holding that metal pot with my little turtle inside. As the flatbed moved down the highway the folks passing us were giving me the strangest of looks. I could just here them saying, “What’s that kid doing up there on top of all that stuff?” The heavy-duty springs on the rear axle of the truck made for quite the ride. Water continuously sloshed back and forth in the old metal pot as did my turtle. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We made it to our “new to us” home safe and sound.

Everyone had been friendly in Round Rock. I never had anyone try to hurt me. One of the first things I learned about Austin was that some kids like to pick fights. It had to do with the pecking order of the neighborhood. It was important for them to figure out where you fit in. There was also a bully on our block. He was a couple of years older than most of us and like to shove his weight around. But despite the negatives there was one good positive; there was a creek at the end of our street! It was basically a wet weather creek, but it always had at least a half-foot or so of water in it with a few deeper areas. There were crawfish, perch, minnows, frogs, tadpoles and turtles. There were probably snakes but I don’t remember seeing any. There were also storm drain pipes to explore. I know now how dangerous that was. The creek made for a wonderful place to play and find food for my turtle.

Not too far away was Northwest Park with a much larger creek and pond. It was there that I found my second turtle. This one was a solid brown mud turtle about the same size as my red-eared slider. He had the longest neck! Being my turtle family was growing, I saved up my money and bought a 36” plastic swimming pool from Kiddie City. Now my turtles had plenty of room to swim and play. It was large enough that I could increase the depth of the water and arrange the rocks so that the turtles had places to sun or to hide if the dog happened to come along.

There was a family down the street, opposite direction from the creek, with two boys and a girl. They were nice kids unlike the ones that loved to fight. They also had turtles for pets. Some of their turtles were quite large. One time when they went on vacation, I got to take care of their animals. Feeding and watering the dog, the cat and the turtles. To my surprise, they thanked me by bringing me a turtle unlike one I had ever seen. It was green but with yellow spots on it. They said it was an Amazon turtle but who knows…

Lots of kids kept turtles for pets. They were small and easy to care for. Anytime a neighbor kid’s family was moving, it seem like I was the kid they would give their turtle to. At one time I was taking care of more than a dozen turtles. Most were red-eared sliders, but I did have one box turtle that was free to roam. As a kid my plan was to one day own some land with a creek on it where my turtles could live a happy carefree life. Now I have the land so if you happen to come out, don’t ask to shoot the turtles. They are off limits! I have a soft spot for them.

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Submission TitleSliders...

Short Description (for preview in feed)

Growing up with turtles as pets.

NameJames Reeves

Featured Image (for preview in feed)Featured Image (for preview in feed)
Full Description

Sliders…

Newberry’s was a department store located in Capital Plaza back in the 60’s. They had a pet section that was like a miniature zoo! I always enjoyed looking at the parakeets, fish, alligators and turtles. You can’t legally buy turtles anymore as they present a salmonella risk. But you could then and somebody bought me one. I don’t remember who but it seems like it was my aunt Niavaline. I kept my little red-eared turtle in a metal pot with a half broken wooden handle. The pot contained an inch or so of water and a flat limestone rock. It was like an efficiency apartment for a small turtle.

Prior to third grade we moved from Round Rock to Austin. Dad borrowed a large flatbed truck with sides and a lift from work. There wasn’t enough room for all of us to ride in the cab so I volunteered to ride in the back along with the appliances, furniture and stacks of boxes. My dog Cocoa must have been back there as well. In those days it was pretty common for kids to ride in the back of pickups, but maybe not so much the back of a large flatbed. There were no car seats or seat belt laws. In fact I use to love lying in the back dash of our ’55 Chevy looking up at the stars at night. So anyway, I positioned myself high on top of the load and did my best to stay balanced. I was holding that metal pot with my little turtle inside. As the flatbed moved down the highway the folks passing us were giving me the strangest of looks. I could just here them saying, “What’s that kid doing up there on top of all that stuff?” The heavy-duty springs on the rear axle of the truck made for quite the ride. Water continuously sloshed back and forth in the old metal pot as did my turtle. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We made it to our “new to us” home safe and sound.

Everyone had been friendly in Round Rock. I never had anyone try to hurt me. One of the first things I learned about Austin was that some kids like to pick fights. It had to do with the pecking order of the neighborhood. It was important for them to figure out where you fit in. There was also a bully on our block. He was a couple of years older than most of us and like to shove his weight around. But despite the negatives there was one good positive; there was a creek at the end of our street! It was basically a wet weather creek, but it always had at least a half-foot or so of water in it with a few deeper areas. There were crawfish, perch, minnows, frogs, tadpoles and turtles. There were probably snakes but I don’t remember seeing any. There were also storm drain pipes to explore. I know now how dangerous that was. The creek made for a wonderful place to play and find food for my turtle.

Not too far away was Northwest Park with a much larger creek and pond. It was there that I found my second turtle. This one was a solid brown mud turtle about the same size as my red-eared slider. He had the longest neck! Being my turtle family was growing, I saved up my money and bought a 36” plastic swimming pool from Kiddie City. Now my turtles had plenty of room to swim and play. It was large enough that I could increase the depth of the water and arrange the rocks so that the turtles had places to sun or to hide if the dog happened to come along.

There was a family down the street, opposite direction from the creek, with two boys and a girl. They were nice kids unlike the ones that loved to fight. They also had turtles for pets. Some of their turtles were quite large. One time when they went on vacation, I got to take care of their animals. Feeding and watering the dog, the cat and the turtles. To my surprise, they thanked me by bringing me a turtle unlike one I had ever seen. It was green but with yellow spots on it. They said it was an Amazon turtle but who knows…

Lots of kids kept turtles for pets. They were small and easy to care for. Anytime a neighbor kid’s family was moving, it seem like I was the kid they would give their turtle to. At one time I was taking care of more than a dozen turtles. Most were red-eared sliders, but I did have one box turtle that was free to roam. As a kid my plan was to one day own some land with a creek on it where my turtles could live a happy carefree life. Now I have the land so if you happen to come out, don’t ask to shoot the turtles. They are off limits! I have a soft spot for them.

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Submission TitleSliders...

Short Description (for preview in feed)

Growing up with turtles as pets.

NameJames Reeves

Featured Image (for preview in feed)Featured Image (for preview in feed)
Full Description

Sliders…

Newberry’s was a department store located in Capital Plaza back in the 60’s. They had a pet section that was like a miniature zoo! I always enjoyed looking at the parakeets, fish, alligators and turtles. You can’t legally buy turtles anymore as they present a salmonella risk. But you could then and somebody bought me one. I don’t remember who but it seems like it was my aunt Niavaline. I kept my little red-eared turtle in a metal pot with a half broken wooden handle. The pot contained an inch or so of water and a flat limestone rock. It was like an efficiency apartment for a small turtle.

Prior to third grade we moved from Round Rock to Austin. Dad borrowed a large flatbed truck with sides and a lift from work. There wasn’t enough room for all of us to ride in the cab so I volunteered to ride in the back along with the appliances, furniture and stacks of boxes. My dog Cocoa must have been back there as well. In those days it was pretty common for kids to ride in the back of pickups, but maybe not so much the back of a large flatbed. There were no car seats or seat belt laws. In fact I use to love lying in the back dash of our ’55 Chevy looking up at the stars at night. So anyway, I positioned myself high on top of the load and did my best to stay balanced. I was holding that metal pot with my little turtle inside. As the flatbed moved down the highway the folks passing us were giving me the strangest of looks. I could just here them saying, “What’s that kid doing up there on top of all that stuff?” The heavy-duty springs on the rear axle of the truck made for quite the ride. Water continuously sloshed back and forth in the old metal pot as did my turtle. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We made it to our “new to us” home safe and sound.

Everyone had been friendly in Round Rock. I never had anyone try to hurt me. One of the first things I learned about Austin was that some kids like to pick fights. It had to do with the pecking order of the neighborhood. It was important for them to figure out where you fit in. There was also a bully on our block. He was a couple of years older than most of us and like to shove his weight around. But despite the negatives there was one good positive; there was a creek at the end of our street! It was basically a wet weather creek, but it always had at least a half-foot or so of water in it with a few deeper areas. There were crawfish, perch, minnows, frogs, tadpoles and turtles. There were probably snakes but I don’t remember seeing any. There were also storm drain pipes to explore. I know now how dangerous that was. The creek made for a wonderful place to play and find food for my turtle.

Not too far away was Northwest Park with a much larger creek and pond. It was there that I found my second turtle. This one was a solid brown mud turtle about the same size as my red-eared slider. He had the longest neck! Being my turtle family was growing, I saved up my money and bought a 36” plastic swimming pool from Kiddie City. Now my turtles had plenty of room to swim and play. It was large enough that I could increase the depth of the water and arrange the rocks so that the turtles had places to sun or to hide if the dog happened to come along.

There was a family down the street, opposite direction from the creek, with two boys and a girl. They were nice kids unlike the ones that loved to fight. They also had turtles for pets. Some of their turtles were quite large. One time when they went on vacation, I got to take care of their animals. Feeding and watering the dog, the cat and the turtles. To my surprise, they thanked me by bringing me a turtle unlike one I had ever seen. It was green but with yellow spots on it. They said it was an Amazon turtle but who knows…

Lots of kids kept turtles for pets. They were small and easy to care for. Anytime a neighbor kid’s family was moving, it seem like I was the kid they would give their turtle to. At one time I was taking care of more than a dozen turtles. Most were red-eared sliders, but I did have one box turtle that was free to roam. As a kid my plan was to one day own some land with a creek on it where my turtles could live a happy carefree life. Now I have the land so if you happen to come out, don’t ask to shoot the turtles. They are off limits! I have a soft spot for them.

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Submission TitleSliders...

Short Description (for preview in feed)

Growing up with turtles as pets.

NameJames Reeves

Featured Image (for preview in feed)Featured Image (for preview in feed)
Full Description

Sliders…

Newberry’s was a department store located in Capital Plaza back in the 60’s. They had a pet section that was like a miniature zoo! I always enjoyed looking at the parakeets, fish, alligators and turtles. You can’t legally buy turtles anymore as they present a salmonella risk. But you could then and somebody bought me one. I don’t remember who but it seems like it was my aunt Niavaline. I kept my little red-eared turtle in a metal pot with a half broken wooden handle. The pot contained an inch or so of water and a flat limestone rock. It was like an efficiency apartment for a small turtle.

Prior to third grade we moved from Round Rock to Austin. Dad borrowed a large flatbed truck with sides and a lift from work. There wasn’t enough room for all of us to ride in the cab so I volunteered to ride in the back along with the appliances, furniture and stacks of boxes. My dog Cocoa must have been back there as well. In those days it was pretty common for kids to ride in the back of pickups, but maybe not so much the back of a large flatbed. There were no car seats or seat belt laws. In fact I use to love lying in the back dash of our ’55 Chevy looking up at the stars at night. So anyway, I positioned myself high on top of the load and did my best to stay balanced. I was holding that metal pot with my little turtle inside. As the flatbed moved down the highway the folks passing us were giving me the strangest of looks. I could just here them saying, “What’s that kid doing up there on top of all that stuff?” The heavy-duty springs on the rear axle of the truck made for quite the ride. Water continuously sloshed back and forth in the old metal pot as did my turtle. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We made it to our “new to us” home safe and sound.

Everyone had been friendly in Round Rock. I never had anyone try to hurt me. One of the first things I learned about Austin was that some kids like to pick fights. It had to do with the pecking order of the neighborhood. It was important for them to figure out where you fit in. There was also a bully on our block. He was a couple of years older than most of us and like to shove his weight around. But despite the negatives there was one good positive; there was a creek at the end of our street! It was basically a wet weather creek, but it always had at least a half-foot or so of water in it with a few deeper areas. There were crawfish, perch, minnows, frogs, tadpoles and turtles. There were probably snakes but I don’t remember seeing any. There were also storm drain pipes to explore. I know now how dangerous that was. The creek made for a wonderful place to play and find food for my turtle.

Not too far away was Northwest Park with a much larger creek and pond. It was there that I found my second turtle. This one was a solid brown mud turtle about the same size as my red-eared slider. He had the longest neck! Being my turtle family was growing, I saved up my money and bought a 36” plastic swimming pool from Kiddie City. Now my turtles had plenty of room to swim and play. It was large enough that I could increase the depth of the water and arrange the rocks so that the turtles had places to sun or to hide if the dog happened to come along.

There was a family down the street, opposite direction from the creek, with two boys and a girl. They were nice kids unlike the ones that loved to fight. They also had turtles for pets. Some of their turtles were quite large. One time when they went on vacation, I got to take care of their animals. Feeding and watering the dog, the cat and the turtles. To my surprise, they thanked me by bringing me a turtle unlike one I had ever seen. It was green but with yellow spots on it. They said it was an Amazon turtle but who knows…

Lots of kids kept turtles for pets. They were small and easy to care for. Anytime a neighbor kid’s family was moving, it seem like I was the kid they would give their turtle to. At one time I was taking care of more than a dozen turtles. Most were red-eared sliders, but I did have one box turtle that was free to roam. As a kid my plan was to one day own some land with a creek on it where my turtles could live a happy carefree life. Now I have the land so if you happen to come out, don’t ask to shoot the turtles. They are off limits! I have a soft spot for them.

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Submission TitleSliders...

Short Description (for preview in feed)

Growing up with turtles as pets.

NameJames Reeves

Featured Image (for preview in feed)Featured Image (for preview in feed)
Full Description

Sliders…

Newberry’s was a department store located in Capital Plaza back in the 60’s. They had a pet section that was like a miniature zoo! I always enjoyed looking at the parakeets, fish, alligators and turtles. You can’t legally buy turtles anymore as they present a salmonella risk. But you could then and somebody bought me one. I don’t remember who but it seems like it was my aunt Niavaline. I kept my little red-eared turtle in a metal pot with a half broken wooden handle. The pot contained an inch or so of water and a flat limestone rock. It was like an efficiency apartment for a small turtle.

Prior to third grade we moved from Round Rock to Austin. Dad borrowed a large flatbed truck with sides and a lift from work. There wasn’t enough room for all of us to ride in the cab so I volunteered to ride in the back along with the appliances, furniture and stacks of boxes. My dog Cocoa must have been back there as well. In those days it was pretty common for kids to ride in the back of pickups, but maybe not so much the back of a large flatbed. There were no car seats or seat belt laws. In fact I use to love lying in the back dash of our ’55 Chevy looking up at the stars at night. So anyway, I positioned myself high on top of the load and did my best to stay balanced. I was holding that metal pot with my little turtle inside. As the flatbed moved down the highway the folks passing us were giving me the strangest of looks. I could just here them saying, “What’s that kid doing up there on top of all that stuff?” The heavy-duty springs on the rear axle of the truck made for quite the ride. Water continuously sloshed back and forth in the old metal pot as did my turtle. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We made it to our “new to us” home safe and sound.

Everyone had been friendly in Round Rock. I never had anyone try to hurt me. One of the first things I learned about Austin was that some kids like to pick fights. It had to do with the pecking order of the neighborhood. It was important for them to figure out where you fit in. There was also a bully on our block. He was a couple of years older than most of us and like to shove his weight around. But despite the negatives there was one good positive; there was a creek at the end of our street! It was basically a wet weather creek, but it always had at least a half-foot or so of water in it with a few deeper areas. There were crawfish, perch, minnows, frogs, tadpoles and turtles. There were probably snakes but I don’t remember seeing any. There were also storm drain pipes to explore. I know now how dangerous that was. The creek made for a wonderful place to play and find food for my turtle.

Not too far away was Northwest Park with a much larger creek and pond. It was there that I found my second turtle. This one was a solid brown mud turtle about the same size as my red-eared slider. He had the longest neck! Being my turtle family was growing, I saved up my money and bought a 36” plastic swimming pool from Kiddie City. Now my turtles had plenty of room to swim and play. It was large enough that I could increase the depth of the water and arrange the rocks so that the turtles had places to sun or to hide if the dog happened to come along.

There was a family down the street, opposite direction from the creek, with two boys and a girl. They were nice kids unlike the ones that loved to fight. They also had turtles for pets. Some of their turtles were quite large. One time when they went on vacation, I got to take care of their animals. Feeding and watering the dog, the cat and the turtles. To my surprise, they thanked me by bringing me a turtle unlike one I had ever seen. It was green but with yellow spots on it. They said it was an Amazon turtle but who knows…

Lots of kids kept turtles for pets. They were small and easy to care for. Anytime a neighbor kid’s family was moving, it seem like I was the kid they would give their turtle to. At one time I was taking care of more than a dozen turtles. Most were red-eared sliders, but I did have one box turtle that was free to roam. As a kid my plan was to one day own some land with a creek on it where my turtles could live a happy carefree life. Now I have the land so if you happen to come out, don’t ask to shoot the turtles. They are off limits! I have a soft spot for them.

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Submission TitleSliders...

Short Description (for preview in feed)

Growing up with turtles as pets.

NameJames Reeves

Featured Image (for preview in feed)Featured Image (for preview in feed)
Full Description

Sliders…

Newberry’s was a department store located in Capital Plaza back in the 60’s. They had a pet section that was like a miniature zoo! I always enjoyed looking at the parakeets, fish, alligators and turtles. You can’t legally buy turtles anymore as they present a salmonella risk. But you could then and somebody bought me one. I don’t remember who but it seems like it was my aunt Niavaline. I kept my little red-eared turtle in a metal pot with a half broken wooden handle. The pot contained an inch or so of water and a flat limestone rock. It was like an efficiency apartment for a small turtle.

Prior to third grade we moved from Round Rock to Austin. Dad borrowed a large flatbed truck with sides and a lift from work. There wasn’t enough room for all of us to ride in the cab so I volunteered to ride in the back along with the appliances, furniture and stacks of boxes. My dog Cocoa must have been back there as well. In those days it was pretty common for kids to ride in the back of pickups, but maybe not so much the back of a large flatbed. There were no car seats or seat belt laws. In fact I use to love lying in the back dash of our ’55 Chevy looking up at the stars at night. So anyway, I positioned myself high on top of the load and did my best to stay balanced. I was holding that metal pot with my little turtle inside. As the flatbed moved down the highway the folks passing us were giving me the strangest of looks. I could just here them saying, “What’s that kid doing up there on top of all that stuff?” The heavy-duty springs on the rear axle of the truck made for quite the ride. Water continuously sloshed back and forth in the old metal pot as did my turtle. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We made it to our “new to us” home safe and sound.

Everyone had been friendly in Round Rock. I never had anyone try to hurt me. One of the first things I learned about Austin was that some kids like to pick fights. It had to do with the pecking order of the neighborhood. It was important for them to figure out where you fit in. There was also a bully on our block. He was a couple of years older than most of us and like to shove his weight around. But despite the negatives there was one good positive; there was a creek at the end of our street! It was basically a wet weather creek, but it always had at least a half-foot or so of water in it with a few deeper areas. There were crawfish, perch, minnows, frogs, tadpoles and turtles. There were probably snakes but I don’t remember seeing any. There were also storm drain pipes to explore. I know now how dangerous that was. The creek made for a wonderful place to play and find food for my turtle.

Not too far away was Northwest Park with a much larger creek and pond. It was there that I found my second turtle. This one was a solid brown mud turtle about the same size as my red-eared slider. He had the longest neck! Being my turtle family was growing, I saved up my money and bought a 36” plastic swimming pool from Kiddie City. Now my turtles had plenty of room to swim and play. It was large enough that I could increase the depth of the water and arrange the rocks so that the turtles had places to sun or to hide if the dog happened to come along.

There was a family down the street, opposite direction from the creek, with two boys and a girl. They were nice kids unlike the ones that loved to fight. They also had turtles for pets. Some of their turtles were quite large. One time when they went on vacation, I got to take care of their animals. Feeding and watering the dog, the cat and the turtles. To my surprise, they thanked me by bringing me a turtle unlike one I had ever seen. It was green but with yellow spots on it. They said it was an Amazon turtle but who knows…

Lots of kids kept turtles for pets. They were small and easy to care for. Anytime a neighbor kid’s family was moving, it seem like I was the kid they would give their turtle to. At one time I was taking care of more than a dozen turtles. Most were red-eared sliders, but I did have one box turtle that was free to roam. As a kid my plan was to one day own some land with a creek on it where my turtles could live a happy carefree life. Now I have the land so if you happen to come out, don’t ask to shoot the turtles. They are off limits! I have a soft spot for them.

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