Remember what I said about God bringing creatures our way so we could learn about them? Imagine my surprise when I found myself at the back of our yard early one morning, in my pjs, scooping up a turtle.
Now you must understand something. Our yard is three acres in the center of miles and miles of cornfields. No lakes. No rivers. Opportunistic predators abound.
So many unanswered questions, so little time.
Occasionally, we do see the Painted Turtles around here, but to be brief, this was a Three-Toed Box turtle. Non-native, which means some (insert derogatory term of your choice) probably picked it up in the south and thought they'd be clever and bring it home as a pet, got tired of it (they can live 100 years!) and let it go.
I didn't get in touch with anyone who knew what to do (we even went to Red Oak), so I put it back outside. If I had known what it was at the time, I would have known that was the wrong thing to do. But this (insert derogatory term of your choice) thought it best to leave well enough alone. If we had gotten it to our naturalist friend, he would have taken care of it until he went south later and returned it to where it belongs. Now it will wander in ever widening circles searching for familiar territory, which it will never find. I can only pray that one of it's circles will bring it back across our path so I can fix my mistake.
Yes, it's "only" a turtle. Not an immortal soul (Tuck Everlasting notwithstanding). But it brought home to me that the Stewardship that God has entrusted to us is a serious business. To have another's life in your hands, regardless of significance, is not to be taken lightly.
I draw the line at ticks though.