About this time every year, female turtles drag themselves out the lake in order to lay their eggs. They seem to have no fear.
If a turtle survives for five or six years, its shell has become rock hard.
When danger threatens, the turtle merely retracts its head, tail and four stubby legs.
The top and bottom of the shell fit so perfectly that the turtle is safe from any enemy (except, perhaps, a moving vehicle).
Though a shell offers support and protection, it also presents a few problems. For one thing, there is no such thing as a graceful turtle.
And, as is the case for many of us these days, a turtle really shouldn’t overeat.
Suppose a turtle swims or waddles up to the plentiful supply of food. It feasts until it is overstuffed.
If this glutton is lucky, no enemy is in the area, because an overstuffed turtle cannot retract.
If its tail and hind legs go in, there is not room for her head. If it manages to cram its head end inside, its rear parts pop out.
The hapless, albeit well-fed, turtle must hide until it fits in its shell once again.
Can a turtle get out of its shell? No.
The shell is an outgrowth of the rib cage, and it serves as the skeleton.
Anyway, why would a turtle want to give up a shell?
A shell to a turtle must be like my knickers have been to me, until this summer. I’ve worn them for so many years, they seemed like a part of me.