You know those neighbors you hate? The ones whose dog never shuts up, who paints their house lavender, or is just a plain witch, bless her heart? I had one of those. Hated her. She drove like a bat outta hell, swerving her Cadillac all over the road towards dogs and children. She gossiped, but not in a fun way. She reminded me of the witch in Hansel and Gretel. Even her face was sour. When the for sale sign went up over there, there was rejoicing and wine swiggin’ at my house. I saw my prospective new neighbor out in the yard and wasted no time to try to reel her in. I was dressed cute, and, I’m sure, presented a nice respectable image. I batted my eyelashes at her husband, let my hand linger on his shoulder, gushed over her outfit and sold my family out like a, well, to put it nicely, sold us as a nice family. She had a daughter the age of my daughter, a son to go with my son and had horses too. Perfect. The trap worked, they closed and moved in. I held back some facts about us, of course, wildlife rehab being one, but certainly not the worst.
She probably wasn’t expecting it, then, when a stranger walked in and popped a bloody giant snapping turtle into her new sink. Let me back up. Her house is white with a front porch, so is mine. They both have long driveways. Sometimes I don’t give really accurate directions… anyway, whatever the mix up was, I got a call for an injured turtle and wasn’t home. If someone is kind enough to bring something with a boo boo to me, they’re probably not going to steal my 8-track technology level stereo, so I usually just tell them to go in and put whatever it is on the counter (in a box, gosh, I’m not a barbarian). So, I might have been at dinner and might have had a wine or two. The poor guy just got the wrong house. Linnie wasn’t home and they gentleman just walked in and left the turtle. When they got home from their dinner, they just continued through their lovely kitchen (with fabulous moss green marble countertops, I might add) and headed in to watch tv. I’m sure they wondered, for a while, what the bumping noise was coming from the kitchen. They have dogs so I’m guessing they assumed it was one of them. I’m not sure what prompted their youngest daughter to go into the kitchen. Could have been to get a glass of water. Maybe a bowl of ice cream. The scream that came through the doors and windows of that house, across the acres to me, though, was most likely heard through most southern states. Knowing and loving their youngest, Kinz, I know the drama factor was biblical in proportions. Their sink looked like a scene from Carrie. So many turtles come to me after being hit on the road and it’s not pretty. I happy that I was the only neighbor she knew yet and we’ve laughed many times over her “welcome to the hood” gift. I’m thankful she turned out to be a cool girl, totally down with the entire thing and took my explanation, blinked once or twice, and just moved on. I retrieved the turtle, worked on his shell, released him and all was well. Linnie has been around for years now, through gazillions of animals, sucked into our oddball vortex and bringing her own version crazy to become exactly the neighbor I’ve always wanted.