“Tommy the Terrible” Tomato Eatin’ Turtle

The following is a true story, originally written by Bill, a couple  of years ago, when we had an organic micro-farm in a place called Chunn’s Cove :

 

Snoopy patrolling the rows- checking for varmits

Snoopy patrolling the rows- checking for varmints

Sometimes you meet the strangest creatures in the field.

It was a warm and windy day in early September (2011) and I was mowing between the rows of tomatoes. The tomato crop was a good one and there were plenty of “grounded” tomatoes that had fallen off the vines before we were able to pick them. I noticed that there were a number of tomatoes on the ground with a mysterious triangular chunk missing. Not just one or two of these, but a dozen or more.

Mysteriously  bitten tomato

Mysteriously bitten tomato

Whatever could have made those strange bite marks? Wild turkeys? A one toothed serial tomato vampire? A tomato sucking Chupacabra?

And then I saw him… “Tommy the Terrible” Tomato Eatin’ Turtle. Slowly, he emerged from his shell and approached his next “victim”. I sat patiently, camera in hand ready to document the “criminal”. And then… CHOMP!

This is Tommy, a painted Box Turtle

This is Tommy, a painted Box Turtle

How Tommy evaded discovery by Snoopy the ever-vigilant (but somewhat near-sighted) Urban Farm Dog is a mystery. Well, maybe not a total mystery, but by moving very slowly (and most of the time not at all), Tommy probably would be hard for Snoop to detect. Plus he looks a lot like a rock.

Snoopy the Ever Vigilant Urban Farm Dog

Snoopy the Ever Vigilant Urban Farm Dog

 

As I thought about it, maybe old Tommy wasn’t that terrible after all. Just a turtle looking for the perfect tomato? Or maybe just a turtle doing turtle things. Hmm…

For his own protection he was relocated across Ross Creek down into the reeds by the water in the shade where he would be safe and cool.

So as you drive down Chunn’s Cove Road, take it slow, you never know when “Tommy the (not so) Terrible” Tomato Eatin’ Turtle might be crossing the road.

Bill, Mia and Snoopy the Urban Farm Dog (UFD)

 

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