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No Good Deed Goes (Almost) Unpunished

I have a love for most of God’s creatures: dogs, cats, cows, bugs, frogs, turtles, and many more. Except mosquitoes and spiders.I’d be convicted of murder one in a court of law over the thousands of mosquitoes I’ve killed in my life. I hate ’em. And spiders somewhat freak me out, all those little legs and their tenacity of spinning webs in record time. I digress…

Yesterday, as I drove home from picking up one of my children from her daycare, I spotted one lone turtle on Hwy. 412. Seeing that this turtle was in danger of losing it’s life, I decided that I would turn around to get out and save lil Turt-baby, my name for it. Must be the love of creatures coupled with the hormones.

I pulled off to the side of the road about 100 yards past the turtle, checked traffic and U-turned to go back to my rescue in progress. I felt good. I was going to save this little creature. However, when I pulled up, I gasped in disbelief. I felt sadness. Some jerk, and yes, whoever you are, you are a heartless jerk, had run over the poor turtle and it was a terrible sight to see. I made me feel sick to my stomach because Turt-baby wasn’t right in the line of one’s wheels, it was almost to the center line. Which led me to believe that said jerk intentionally killed Turt-baby. On the spot.

So, I’m not telling this story to make myself sound like some saint or heroine, but I believe in helping. Helping to take care of the beautiful things God put on this earth. While my good deed intentions didn’t save this turtle, I can tell you that God knows who did this and Jerk will have to answer to Him for it. And though Jerk may have never thought twice about it, I have.

Right after my attempts, I decided to call my husband to vent about how cruel people are, and in the process, I was going to make another U-turn to go back home. Using cell phone + making U-turn = Disaster waiting to happen. I looked in my rear-view mirror, nothing. I briefly looked ahead to see if there was anything coming in the lane that I was going to get in. Never saw it.

It. The small car full of people, kids in the back, not in seatbelts. Once I made the U-turn, for some reason, I realized I had pulled out in front of oncoming traffic, then I floored it into the median, watching what I thought was about to be a horrible wreck. I’ve replayed in my head a million times.

Fortunately, the driver slammed her brakes enough and I sped fast enough to avoid what would’ve been a terrible wreck, and totally my fault. I was in total disbelief, once again. I gained my shocked composure and got out to apologize profusely to this woman. She was very nice and laughed, I’m sure out of shock also, but her passenger friend, looking stunned and speechless, just looked at me, probably wanting to kill me right there. On the spot.

I looked in the backseat with about five kids, out of seat belts, and then it hit me. To save one turtle, I almost altered some lives. I stupidly explained to this unbelievably nice driver what I had been up to, pointing to dead Turt-baby right next to us on the highway. I’m sure she thought, “You idiot, all of that for this?!?”

After I saw that everyone was okay, physically, I walked back to my truck and sat there for a minute. My daughter was oblivious to the trauma caused and the would-be tragedy that was averted, for she was wearing her headphones, happily watching a movie. I let my potential victims go ahead of me and waited for the other cars to pass.

I then called my husband to tell him about my misadventures. He sighed, then said, “Stephanie, leave the turtles alone. And please be careful out there,” as if I were in a jungle of hungry animals looking for human flesh to eat. But I understood his concern.

So while I tried to exercise a good deed, I also wreaked havoc in the process. The jerk who carelessly killed an innocent turtle also led me to traumatize a few other people because I was upset and didn’t pay attention.

But I will press on, hoping good works can still be done, with a lot more caution and attention. Because there are many good deeds that go unpunished.

Rest in peace, Turt-baby.

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