Tortuga & Pancake

Allie Massey, Online Reporter

Green, scaly, cold-blooded. No it’s not a monster, it’s just my pet turtle. Imagine walking out of your elementary school, getting in the car,  and seeing a turtle in your brother’s hand.  Well that’s exactly what happened to me in the fifth grade.

My brother has always loved animals. So, him wanting to get a turtle wasn’t surprising. The fact that he got the turtle wasn’t surprising. However, finding out that he got it from one of the sixth grade teachers was.

Mr. Knobe wasn’t my teacher, but it was a known fact that he had a lot of pets in his room. He had two turtles, fish, and a lizard. He was a really cool teacher, probably one of the more popular teachers at the school. Everyone wanted his class for 6th grade. He was really chill, but had some rules you had to follow.

He had to get rid of the turtle for some reason. He never said why, but some thought it was because of the new principal and her new strict rules. Also, there was a rumor she had already made one of  the second grade teachers get rid of the baby chicks she hatches every year.

No matter the reason, the turtle was up for sale. And in high demand. There was multiple students who wanted the turtle. Mr. Knobe didn’t really care who got the turtle as long as it went to a good home.

We ended up getting it and we found out that he actually got the turtle in Mississippi. He found it at a garage sale (or something like that) and took it home with him. We got some fish and a new tank for it. The only pet we had before was a dog, so it was a completely different experience.

I mean a dog is warm, fluffy, and cuddly. A turtle however is scaly, rough, and definitely not cuddly.

When you have a turtle you need a lot of things: a tank, heat lamp, timer for said heat lamp, conditioner for the water, feeder fish, and more. So to say we were under prepared was an understatement. We decided to rename her Tortgua, which is Spanish for turtle.

Over a period of a couple months, she got bigger and bigger. We decided we should get her a new tank. My dad ended up ordering a custom made tank. It was so big that we couldn’t kept her in my older brother’s room. So we got a table and put the tank in the living room.

We got some sticks and rocks to decorate the tank, and then we realized something. It was really empty in the tank, so we decided to get another turtle!

The story behind our second turtle isn’t as exciting. My dad and brothers went to a pet store and were looking around. My little brother saw Pancake and feel in love with him. So they bought him and took him home.

Since Pancake was bought at the store, we knew what kind of turtle he is. He is a species of musk turtle, which means he sprays you like a skunk. And we found that out fast.

We never thought about having turtles before but now that they are in our lives we can’t imagine being without them. They are an unusual pet but they honestly fit in our family so well. At parties everyone loves to play with them, they are actually extremely social and love attention.