Do Not Look a Gift Turtle in the Mouth

May has been a busy month for Quincy the Horse Books and I have been looking forward to being home this week and relaxing for a few days. I have been a bit jaded with publishing this Spring. A crash course in eBooks and eReaders, work with our designer on an ad campaign for BEA and events every weekend have not left much time to work on a new writing project I am starting.  I have even struggled to find inspiration for blog posts.

There is nothing like being able to ride and garden to regain one’s center. I not only rode but gave the horses a bath and a “deep grooming”. Quincy’s big brother, Silver, is actually white again! Next I started catching up in the asparagus patch and harvesting some spinach and lettuce. I have a good quiche recipe and produced both an asparagus and a spinach version. I planted some impatiens; and, last but not least, I did some much needed weeding.

By today I was feeling that the world is a better place. This afternoon I was on my way to the barn when I encountered quite a surprise. A good-sized turtle was headed our way. He was walking along the grass not too far from the turnout behind the barn. I was taken aback at first because he/she was definitely big and definitely a snapping turtle, and I was not sure what to do with this particular guest. Actually as I reflected on it’s arrival, I was puzzled because we do not have a pond or lake nearby.

Once I thought about it, I remembered that turtles are a good omen. I called a friend who does have a pond nearby and she agreed to come and get the turtle. I went inside to wait for her and could not resist Googling “turtle as omen”.  Turtles signify determination, strength, endurance, patience, going within, and reconnection with spirit. Turtle is patient, determined and strong. Turtle medicine teaches patience with ourselves and others and gives us the determination to finish whatever we start. It also gives us the ability to be strong during difficult times. These are certainly things I have been struggling to do this Spring.

What came to me as I read this was a variation on one of my favorite horse proverbs, “Do not look a gift horse in the mouth.” This relates, of course, to not looking at a gift horse’s teeth to determine his age and value but instead accepting the gift with gratitude. I was left with this thought, “Do not look a gift turtle in the mouth, especially if it is a snapper.” I went back out and gave the turtle the only appropriate thing we had on hand, an apple.


About Pathfinder Pursuits

Camille is a licensed clinical social worker and writer. She is the author of the Quincy the Horse children's books.
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