Monday, March 16, 2009

The Return of Patton

Our little preschool has a pet, a little desert tortoise named Patton. This little guy is on loan from Mrs. M's son, and he lives in our garden. The kids take great joy in watching him walk around the garden, feeding him lettuce, and being told "Look with your eyes, not with your hands!"

Last November, Patton went missing. Now, desert tortoises usually hibernate during the cold part of the year, and most of us assumed that Patton had simply dug himself a cozy place way down deep in the garden, and had settled down for his long winter's nap. But Mrs. M was worried...what if he had escaped? What if he was trying to make it on his own in the cold, cruel, world? How would she explain his absence to her son?

Mrs. M brought Mr. M to school, and the two of them dug around in the garden for hours, but their was no sign of Patton. Distraught, Mrs. M decided to tell her son that Patton is hibernating, and deal with the consequences later.

I, on the other hand, was confident Patton was in the garden somewhere. I helped install these gardens, unless he grew really long legs and walked away, or hired a backhoe and tunneled his way out, he was in that garden somewhere.

Months pass. The weather starts to warm up.

One sunny afternoon, Mrs. A and I were outside, sitting on the garden wall, when Mrs. A asks me, "So, do you think Patton will ever show up again?"

And, at that moment, right on cue, out pops Patton from the dirt! He was dirty, and hungry and thirsty, but seemed pretty happy to see us, and once again become the focus of lots and lots

(that's him right in the middle)

and LOTS of attention.


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