While watering my garden this morning, I recalled an old friend I had not seen in awhile.  This friend would visit me at this time every few days, but that was back in the spring.  I feel sad because I would always look for her as I very much enjoyed her company.  Her name is Pearl and she is a turtle. 

I found her one day hiding near the fence.  Then a day or so went by and I found her near the water spigot.  Some time later I came upon her on the side yard, and then one day she sunned herself near my greenhouse.  I thought she was lovely.  She was small in size indicating she was a young lady still. 

I am not an expert, but I know that the markings on the shell indicate their true sex.  However, her movements were graceful and her expressions were pleasant; I felt she must be a girl.  She was very special to me for another reason; she brought back a favorite childhood memory.    

I was five years old and my brother Jimmy drove me to school one morning.  He dropped me off and I assumed he went home.  Some time later I was sitting in my kindergarten class when I saw a familiar face through the window of the classroom door.  It was Jimmy with a big grin on his face and a large box in his hands.  My first thought was, “What are you doing here?”  I ran right up to him very proudly as he was much older than me and I always felt cool to be seen with him.  He knelt down to show me what was inside the box and it was a big turtle!  He told me he saw it on the side of the road and he just couldn’t bear the thought of it getting hit by a car.  So he thought my class might want to set it loose in the woods behind the school.  

 I was thrilled!  My teacher told us that our new turtle needed a name and that we should come up with one.  I started running names through my head when a boy exclaimed, “Pete!”  I had to admit it was a good name, but I was secretly upset.  I was supposed to name him since my brother brought him.   A wee bit selfish I was. 

Before my brother turned to leave I gave him a hug and thanked him for the turtle.  You could see he was very pleased to give me and my class something we could learn from and enjoy.  He left the turtle with us and my class talked to Pete all day then as the day ended we walked to the end of the playground and released him into his new home.  

 This is my favorite childhood memory because a couple of years later my brother passed away in a motorcycle accident.  He was a very loving and giving person.  The best big brother a little girl could ever have.  So I must thank Pearl for visiting my garden and reminding me of a cherished memory.  Since it is summer now maybe she is off visiting friends.  I will be looking for her in the spring when all things begin again.