Image © Deborah Whittam (Used with Permission)
It was on their morning walk that Miss Marble and her friend and neighbour Mansur Stigglefod saw a sight in the Grimace Street pond that was somewhat alarming. While the pond was a haven for all sorts of wildlife the number of turtles they saw was not what they expected. Crowded onto the fallen log the turtles were bustling for position, some falling into the water, others fighting to maintain their position.
The pond had been one of Miss Marble’s projects, and over the years she had nurtured it to provide a safe place for both the creatures that inhabited it and the people of the neighbour to find a quiet respite from the rigours of life.
Miss Marble had long marvelled at the beauty of nature and had helped to propagate as many different varieties of plant, shrub and tree as was possible around the perimeter of the pond. For Miss Marble it different matter if the varieties were both native and tropical, if she liked the look of them then in they went.
She and Mansur would often sit on the seat beside the pond and chat about one thing and another, all the while watching the goings on in the pond. Mansur loved frogs and would shout out in glee when one surfaced or jumped by as they sat there shaded by a massive weeping willow.
But today there appeared a problem with the turtles. Too many at any one time created a problem, Miss Marble knew a lot about the ecological balance needed in nature and any sort of excess was a reason to be alarmed.
She reached down and picked up one of the more pushy turtles and turning it over examined its underbelly. The two women looked intently at the upturned turtle.
“Pond rash,” stated Miss Marble, “they get this rash on their underbelly, and it makes them all frisky, and so they breed more like rabbits than turtles.”
“You’ve something for that?” asked Mansur.
“Oh yes, there’s always something for most problems,” announced Miss Marble. “I’ll go home and make up some turtle talc, a light dusting and things should go back to normal, and the turtles will be relieved I am sure as mating for them is an exhausting business on any day, the poor things must be worn out, no wonder they are all so agitated.”
So later that day Miss Marble and Mansur Stigglefod returned to the pond and gathering up the turtles they dusted them with turtle talc which Mansur observed had an immediate effect with the turtles looking far happier than they did earlier in the day.