I was walking the Sulphur Creek Trail from 4th St. to Walnut Ave. in Heber Springs, AR this morning, alone, as usual. I had crossed both bridges without seeing a snake this time, despite the near shoulder-high grass. I’m 5 foot, 6.5 inches tall according to my Primary Care Provider’s nurse.
I have walked that trail every day when it wasn’t raining constantly and have seen snakes on the bridges over the creek, on the bridge, and crossing the trail. But when the grass is that high, you can’t see where the snakes are. And that’s not safe.
As I got closer to the Walnut Street entrance, I heard a riding mower. I flagged the driver to stop and saw a young man with small children on the mower.
“Are you going to cut the grass for the trail?”
He smiled and said, “We like to walk here, too. I considered it my duty to contribute and make it safe.”
I thanked him and continued until the end where I usually do a backward yoga stretch but something said “Turn around and go back now.” And so I did.
Sure enough, as the mower approached me on the opposite side of the trail from the one he had just mowed, I saw a small turtle that had just crossed the trail. It was not going to make it in that tall grass if he got hit by the mower that was coming our way.
I’ve never picked up a turtle before except the tiny ones someone in our family had as pets. I kept thinking, “What if it bites me?” But I had to do it because it would break my heart if it were killed.
My realtor ran over one with her SUV when she was parking to show me yet another house here. She ignored it, had no feelings of remorse, and said, “It’s just a turtle. They get run over all the time.” She broke his shell and killed it. I remembered that she had dogs and wondered how she would feel if someone ran over them.
The man saw what I was doing, and he killed his engine. I set the turtle down in the tall grass on the side it just came from, the one where he had just mowed a double-wide strip. The man’s children came over to see it.
When the man approached me, I said, “I think it was heading for the creek.” I didn’t add “to avoid getting pulverized by the mower.”
He smiled and said, “He’s a box turtle and he’ll enjoy the tall grass there, too.” I asked him for his name and gave him mine. I told him I would write about this, post it on Facebook, and asked if he was okay with that. He flashed another big smile. His name is Nolan McEntire, an excellent example of “being kind”, being generous, and contributing what he can to make life better for his family and community.
A few days later, he did the other end from 4th street to the bridge.
Thanks, again, Nolan!
Till next time,
Please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have or hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi