I see dead things.

Driving home from Brisbane on our recent microwave buying adventure, Mr FD had to slow on the highway to avoid contact with a turtle (turtle, tortoise, I never remember the difference, or even if there is one!).

Driving home at the end of first day of term. in almost the same spot and in heavy traffic I was unable to slow or avoid a turtle (the turtle?) trying to cross four lanes of traffic. The clunk as the car tyres hit its shell was sickening.

I would like to imagine, that like the turtles in all those looney tunes cartoons of my childhood, that it actually pulled its head and limbs inside its shell and merely spun around on the road before recommencing its trek. But I know…


No doubt, in some culture, somewhere, killing a turtle tortoise is a summons for bad luck that will last a lot longer than the bad omens attached to the shattering of a mirror. I am not sure I want to know if it is.

I am a killer of turtles. It may have been a stupid turtle trying to cross a four lane highway at peak hour. I mean couldn’t it have considered itself lucky to have made the trip once and not chanced a second throw of the dice? Well, actually if it was the same turtle, it had crossed the highway, crossed back and then was back for a third journey. Either that, or it was one damn slow turtle, and maybe it deserved to be road kill. Those genes didn’t need to be passed on!

I am gutted… well, I guess, so is the turtle! [Black humour is a coping mechanism, honestly].

Should I perform some sort of cleansing ritual? Should I go conduct a smoke ceremony over my car? My name is Flamingo Dancer, I kill small, slow , dumb creatures.


14 thoughts on “I see dead things.

  1. I shared that wretched feeling with you whenever a critter dies. But, even worse if I hit one…chipmunks have committed suicide under my car tires. The only ritual you need is to let time pass, and the pain and guilt will dull. And to know that you did the best you could.

    Isn’t it amazing that there are people who feel no sadness killing critters or even people?


  2. Dear FD, how sad. But it sounds like the poor thing was gonna get squished by one car or another. Just so happened to be you. I see a lot of “road kill” it turns my stomach, always hoping they went quickly without pain.
    For me, that sound would haunt me for days. Alas, these things happen. Most people don’t set out to kill things on their way to purchase microwaves. (Unless of course they’re hungering for something different for dinner with their new microwave.) Don’t be so hard on yourself.
    And I think Turtles depend on water, Tortoise are dry land dwellers. Could be off a bit on this – not an expert.


  3. I vaguely remember reading in a college cultural anthropology class that a Mexican Indian tribe thought it was bad luck to eat a tortoise, which I suppose translates into not killing the poor things. But what can you do if they insist on creeping in front of your moving vehicle? At my former workplace, which was located in the middle of a marsh, we saw huge snapping turtles crawl across the road during the spring and summer months. It was impossible to avoid them once they were in the lane, so they often ended up squished under one’s tires. I once tried to save one that had crawled out into the staff parking lot, but the wretched thing hissed at me and began snapping its proverbial jaws at me. So I left it to its fate: the next morning, it was found next to the delivery bay, flattened by some office supply truck.


  4. To cheer you up, I will surely go into a worse turtle hell than yours. A few years ago our housekeeper brought home a turtle she had found on the side of the road, while it should have been hibernating. The kids were elated. Me, a bit less so. I bought a book on turtles, set the thing up in a crate, with some lettuce, to let her see the winter through and put the whole thing in the backyard. It rained for a few days, those Californian downpours, and we all forgot about the hibernating turtle. Which drowned in a few inches of water. If it weren’t sad, it would be funny.


    • Reminds me of the time SIL fish sat a friend fish. Day of their return she took it home, but they were not there yet, so she left it on a window sill to await their return. When they did come home, they found that their pet fish had boiled in the summer sun.


  5. Well … a friend of mine did hit a turtle (and who really cares – other than them – which is correct?) and it did spin off like one of those cartoon images, and SMACKED right into the side of a police car that had someone else stopped on the side of the road.

    Lucky day for the turtle, for it survived.
    Lucky day for the stopped motorist, for the officer let him go to go after my friend.
    Luckyish day for my friend, for he only got a stern warning to slow down when passing an officer who has someone pulled over on the side of the road. (It’s the law now, wasn’t at that time).


  6. At least yours was an accident. I kill deliberately. I kill at least two a day. And in summer, the number can go as high as five per day.
    Cockroach hell is reserved for me.


  7. In my first house I think I managed to help spiders evolve into wall dwellers by stomping on any floor travellers. To the day we left my wife was sure she never saw a floor spider.


    • Best laugh of the day, well except for maybe GOM’s police car smashing turtle. Mr FD is a wee frightened of spiders so I deal with those critters. I must remember your evolution powers though, they may come in handy for my plan of total world domination. Either that or I will have to kill you if you spider powers stand in my way…


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