This morning we had a dilemma on our hands.
My Willie Nelson, went missing. We looked everywhere and could not find it. First, I looked in the obvious place. Not there!
Not in the garden, not in
the cupboard, behind the sofa, under the bed, or anywhere in the house; inside or out. Not in the garage, not in the car, or indeed not anywhere.
Willie Nelson went missing.
I knew my Willie was not hiding in some orifice or corner somewhere because he is totally claustrophobic. He does not like the dark!
He is the only tortoise I know who
gets really stressed about going back into his own shell. He hibernates
in winter with his head and legs hanging out of his natural home. He
prefers the outdoors. We have to wrap his head in a small scarf we've
knitted for him and put his legs in home-made socks to keep him warm.
We've had Willie Nelson for two years and he shares the garden with Don Williams the rabbit and Johnny Cash the hamster.
They often lunch together and have picnics as they wander about always under the watchful eye of someone in case they get through the hedge to the neighbour's garden.
At night they are put in their cage for safety.
Willie is always out in the garden early in the
morning jumping and running around with his friends Don Williams and Johnny Cash, whilst Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette watch them from their perch by the window.
I suspect that last night we forgot to put them in their cage. This morning Don Williams and Johnny Cash were there in the garden ready for breakfast; but no Willie Nelson.
We asked Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette if they'd seen him and they kept repeating, "Pretty Dolly ... Happy Tammy ... Pretty Dolly ... Happy Tammy ..."
Being a tortoise, we did not think Willie Nelson had gone very far. We searched everywhere as already mentioned and we could not find him.
leaflets with his photo, (the tortoise, not the singer), and we pinned the leaflets to trees and
lamp posts in our area. We posted leaflets in neighbours' houses asking
them if they'd seen Willie; but to no avail. No one had seen him.
Then this evening he was found.
He was up a tree in our garden. There he
was. Sitting on a branch some twenty feet up from the ground. Totally
unperturbed and happy with his surroundings.
How did he get up there? I thought. Tortoises don't usually climb trees do they?
More to the point, how do we get him down? It's certainly not
something I'd want to do, climbing all the way up there.
Perhaps if we called him down and we all held a large sheet into which he would fall safely? No use. He is as deaf as a deaf bat ... sorry, only simile I could think of on the spur of the moment.
I phoned the pet shop. The man there told me that perhaps he took fright at something he saw and ran up the tree. Now I'll admit that last evening I did venture in the garden with my skin softening and conditioning cream on, and a curler or two in my hair; but that would not have frightened Willie, would it?
Eventually, a friend who is not afraid of heights came
round and brought Willie safely down to terra firma. You should have seen
him waggling his little tail and jumping at our legs in delight. I mean Willie Nelson was jumping at our legs, not our friend! Don Williams and Johnny Cash were so happy to see Willie that they chased each other
round the garden as they often do when playing whilst Dolly and Tammy sang in unison.
Totally exhausted, we put them in their cage with extra food to celebrate.
We still don't know how Willie got up the tree. Any ideas?