* But I save my best hunting, haunting, and manipulating skills for the people in my life who allow me to get close for a while and then pull back and choose to stay hidden in their shells. Unwilling to accept that everyone has as much right as I do to withdraw, to withhold, to pull back, to hold back, to be elusive, to be alone, I prod and probe and pick and pull and beg and plead and pester until, you guessed it, the friend in question retreats into the shell that each of us has been given in order to protect our soft underbellies, our tender and sweet spots.
I have given up chasing the turtle-friends that want to hide.
I have given up rescuing the wounded and sick ones.
I have given up trying to join teams of turtles that turn and dive underwater when I approach.
I have given up protecting the thrill-seekers.
To all my turtle friends out there, please forgive me for any and everything I have done to cause you harm or make you feel endangered. My turtle hunting days are behind me. I say it again: I come in peace.
Here's my current story: I have turned my turtle-friend-people hunting skills to the far more enjoyable and rewarding pursuit of turtle statues and turtle welcome mats. Here are two I found in Rome a couple of years ago.