“Turtles represent Mother Earth as a reminder that she provides for all our needs. They are the oldest reptiles, you know.”

So she knocked on her neighbor’s door, Clair Chabot, who works in the pet department at a local store. After talking about it with other residents, many who have lived there for more than 30 years, they figured it must be the turtle that has been laying eggs in the same spot for as long as anybody could remember. The thing was, the spot where she used to lay her eggs was where Chabot’s trailer now stands.

“Last year when they were preparing the foundation (for the trailer), the eggs began to hatch. They came crawling out of the ground,” Ferguson said. “The construction workers told us we’d better move them. We must have picked up 50 of the little critters. They were so cute. We put them in a bucket and let them go, down by the lake.” Lake Auburn is a few hundred yards away.

After moving the turtle from the road last month, Chabot and Ferguson scoured the area, found some sandy soil and claimed some of it. Then they dug a hole next to Chabot’s home, loosened the dirt and mixed in the sand. They placed the turtle nearby and she immediately headed for it and buried herself. As they watched, the women decided the turtle needed a name. After kicking a few around, Terry the Turtle had a nice ring. “I can’t remember who said it, but somebody said, ‘How about Mother Teresa?’ How perfect is that!”

Since then, a fox and skunk have visited the nest and “had some fresh eggs for breakfast,” according to Ferguson. “But she has so many, I think some of them will make it. I hope.”


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