“Every Sunday morning I run a little in the park near my home. There is a pool located in one corner of the park. Every time I run near the lake, I see this same old woman sitting on the water’s edge with a small metal cage sitting next to her.
This past Sunday my curiosity overcame me, so I stopped running to him. As I got closer, I realized that the metal cage was actually a small snare. There were three tortoises, unharmed, walking slowly around the base of the trap. She had a fourth tortoise on her thigh that she carefully rubbed with a sponge brush.
‘Hello,’ I said. ‘I see you here every Sunday morning. If you don’t mind my laziness, I’d like to know what you do with these tortoises. ‘
He smiled. ‘I remove their shells,’ he replied. “Anything in a tortoise shell, such as algae or a scarf, lowers the tortoise’s ability to absorb heat and impairs its ability to swim. And it can damage and bend the shell over time. ”
‘Hey! Very good for you! ‘I shouted.
He continued: ‘I spend a few hours every Sunday morning, relaxing by the beach and helping these little boys get out. It’s my strange way of making a difference. ‘
‘But most freshwater turtles don’t live their whole lives with algae and snails hanging in their shells?’ I asked.
‘Yes, sadly, they do,’ he replied.
I scratched my head. ‘Well, don’t you think your time can be better spent? I mean, I think your efforts are kind and all, but there are new sea turtles living in lakes all over the world. And 99% of these tortoises do not have kind people like you to help them clean their shells. So, no offense … but how much difference has your efforts made here really made? ‘
The woman giggled loudly. Then he looked down at the tortoise in his lap, scratched the last piece of his shell, and said, ‘Sweetie, if this little boy could talk, he would tell you to make a difference in the world. ‘”
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