Last Friday, I think it was, the weather was very hot and the baby tortoises, Anastasia and Natasha, were scrabbling around in their pen looking dissatisfied. It’s not small – they’re only a couple of inches long and weigh a couple of ounces, so a run that’s the size of four full-sized seed trays side by side is quite large enough – but they wanted out. So I put them out to have a run round in Edweena’s pen, which is about ten feet square. And they were very happy and set out to explore. Later, I could only find Natasha and later again, neither of them. But a pot of lamb’s lettuce had been knocked over and the ground around it disturbed, so I reckoned that they’d buried themselves.
I was going to leave it at that, but a Facebook friend and fellow tortoise owner mentioned that rain was due overnight, so I went out to put a shelter over that area. In doing so, I found Natasha hunkered down, safely under shelter, so I rigged up some Perspex and left Anastasia to it.
Days went by and I didn’t see her. Today, I thought I’d better have a look and I carefully dug in that area, with no luck. I rootled around a bit – Edweena and Natasha were basking in the sun, but I couldn’t find Anastasia for some time, until I looked under the hebe bush and there she was, trying to dig under a large stone.
I’ve lifted their original run onto four bricks, so that they can get under and inside it if they want to, but Edweena can’t. And I’m letting them roam free, or as free as I feel I can, in Edweena’s run.
I’m not really a tortoise person at heart, actually. But what’s a woman to do?