“My great-grandma´s Turtles” (Daisy Alvarez)

The turtles of my great-grandmother were her pets, they were two and they always were in the garden she used to have besides her room, they were the only two things she remembered. She always lost them between the multiples green plants on the courtyard, but she found a solution to her problem, with red paint she draw a cross on their shell, and since that day she never lost them again, she would only search for the big red sign and she would see them, between her ferns. When we were little and visited her, she would be excited to have someone who would loved to play with her turtles as much as herself. She fed them with tortillas, she spent all her days with them, and she enjoyed showing them whoever went to visit her. There were two turtles, one bigger than the other, both of them were mud turtles and always hid in the ground, I remember them every time I see a picture of my grandma. With their big green shell, red ears and strange skin, they were frightening at the beginning, the slow pace they move at, the way they hid their head when you were near them and even the bites they gave you when you tried to give them fruit. Then they became the principal attraction, we just wanted to go to visit her to see them, to play with them, to feed them, until they would bite us and we would cry, to what my grandma would simply laugh. We would even beg my grandma to take us to her house, to which my great-grandma would be waiting to take us to see the turtles. I remember that sometimes you could see them and even they were slow they would just disappear, and my great-grandma would say; “Who know when they will come back again? It could be days, weeks, even months”, but the funny thing was they always returned, no matter how much time have passed. I don’t know if they were always the same two turtles, but I hope they were. They were an important part of my childhood, to me they represent the little times when my great-grandma was consent of who we were and why we where there. (She had Alzheimer) But she never forgot about her two pets, even if they didn’t have a real name, she just called them her “hicoteas”.

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