How do you keep turtles?

When I was younger I wrote a letter to Santa asking him for 2 terrapins. Because apparently when your good ol uncle called to ask what is your Christmas wish list, instead of asking for toys, I asked for 2 turtles. That’s when I realised my uncle is not really Santa. Santa does not ask you to pass the phone to your mum and tattle to her about you asking for a pet for Christmas. This happened twice, first time I asked for a hamster, same thing happened where my uncle tattle to my mum and my mum came after me for blood. I’m joking, she just gave me a telling off, which was quite the same for a little kid.

I got my 2 terrapins, but I did not get it from my backstabbing uncle, my Dad bought it for me. I placed the letter in a box on the balcony thinking Santa can access to it easily (I am planning the logistics for Santa). My sister saw it and brought it to my Dad and my Dad just went and bought it for me. They were babies so they lived in a little acrylic tank. Soon they grew, my Dad placed them in a little plastic tub. And guess what, they grew bigger again but we do not have any more tanks or tubs big enough to fit them both. So my Dad said “Let them sleep in the porch then!”.

So they did, under the shoe cabinet on our front porch no less. Not sure if its normal for terrapins to sleep for days but mine did. Do they hibernate? Anyway when they got hungry, they crawled out from under the shoe cabinet and look for humans to asked for food.

Sometimes they crawled past the kitchen window and my Mum manage to spot them and yelled “The turtles are hungrrryyy!!”

Once my turtle saw my Dad as he was washing his car and crawled towards him. My Dad did not notice and continued to wash his car (he has very low sense of self-awareness). What does a turtle need to do to get some food? It continued to crawled after my Dad for a good 15 mins until my Dad noticed and said “Oh you are up! Hungry now right?”

After they ate they went back to sleep under the shoe cabinet. How simple life was then.

There was a time where we could not find one of our turtle and we worried if it had manage to escape from our gates. I will never forget the night where we held torchlight in pitch dark and carefully trotted about our garden and calling out “turtle…turtle…”. We whispered because we did not want our neighbours to think we are nuts and apparently we thought that our turtle has amazing sense of hearing.

Guess where we found it, she dug a hole in the soil and slept there. When we pulled her out and shone the light in her face, she looked pissed.

My Dad did not want that to happen again decided to spray painted their shell in metallic gold (just imagine JLo’s bronze skin). My Dad said that way we can easily spot them in the soil and if they were to cross the roads, they will be visible to cars.

Really Dad?

Anyway fast forward 15 years later, we have another set of turtles and we lived in another house with no garden. My Dad decided to let them lived in our back porch. I have to remind guests not to be shocked to see a turtle crawling in our kitchen because they love to roam my Dad says.

I was complaining to my friends recently about what my Dad has been feeding them. He fed them cooked rice. It was accidentally mixed with some water so now its a porridge. After my turtles ate, they look like they have a white beard. When I  tried to wash they mouths, they hid their faces in the shell and refused to come out.


I very much like to know how do other people keep their turtles because I do not think my home (my Dad especially) is doing it right.


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