Most turtle eggs and hatchlings are eaten by rodents, canines and snakes so on the bright side I figured the boys were preventing him from being eaten. I also figured the boys only had an hour or so to make a home and care for the turtle until we went in for dinner and then the baby would most likely crawl away. I remember playing with worms and other small creatures I found when I was a kid and I think sometimes I have to let them try. It's a huge learning experience for them to care for another creature and I just didn't have the heart to tell them no. I searched the Internet for 30 minutes trying to read up about turtles in order to help the boys care for him properly telling them all about everything I was reading.
|Putting a home together for the turtle|
But, I figured wrong. The boys brought out Alec's animal habitat and set that up as a temporary home for the turtle; promising to set him free after dinner. They filled the basin with muddy pond water and put the turtle in. I told Alec to keep an eye on the turtle and to make sure he still looked happy and healthy for the duration. While painted turtles are very cold hardy I wasn't sure how much warmth a plastic terrarium filled with cold water could be; it's not like he could burrow down into the mud. Alec wanted to add mud to the terrarium but was afraid it would never wash back out and ruin it so they decided to just use the water, some leaves and tiny twigs. They walked that turtle all around and even through my house until I calmly explained that if it tipped at all I would have muddy pond water on the rug. They kept him outside after that but worried that he didn't have mud to bury himself in for sleeping and keeping warm. They were sad to say good- bye and while I don't mind the thought of them having a painted turtle as a pet, we're not ready for one just yet.