Turtles Crossing
Spider Magazine for Kids|September 2020
ALEX PEDALED HIS bike along the country lane that led to his house. As he rounded a bend, the tips of the cattails that grew around Johnson’s Pond came into view. His dad took him canoeing there sometimes, and Alex loved it. The pond was always so alive with activity. Frogs croaked along the shore, dragonflies hunted among the cattails, and sometimes Alex discovered turtles basking on sunny rocks.
Katherine Rawson

Alex was curious about the turtles he saw. One week, when it was too rainy to go canoeing, he and his dad went to the library to check out books on turtles. Alex learned that turtles don’t have warm blood like people do. That’s why they have to sit in the sun to warm themselves. Now it looked like tomorrow might be another sunny day. He decided he would ask Dad if they could go canoeing and look for turtles again.

Just then Alex saw something in the road up ahead. It looked like a big gray rock. But it was a funny place for a rock to be.

And then, as Alex watched, the rock started to move.

When he rode his bike up to get a closer look, he saw that it wasn’t a rock at all. It was a large turtle creeping its way across the road. It had a bony, beak-shaped mouth and a long, jagged tail. Alex knew right away it was a snapping turtle.

He also knew not to get too close. He had read that a snapping turtle has a powerful bite even though it doesn’t have teeth. It could even bite off someone’s finger. He stood at a distance and watched the turtle lumber over the road.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a car approaching. The turtle was still only halfway across the road. Alex knew he couldn’t pick it up to move it safely to the grass. What could he do?

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