Probably. You never know about these things. Anyway, I had forgotten to buy cat food and that is what allowed me to be there in time to save a life. Taking my daughter to school this morning, I had to turn south on Nolensville Rd because Old Hickory was backed up. I was running late, and there’d be no way to make up time taking my usual route.
I cut through the Bradford Hills neighborhood – they’re having a community yard sale this weekend, by the way – and I was careful to keep at or below the speed limit. I’ve actually seen old ladies out there in the past, writing down license plates of anyone speeding. I don’t know if that’s admissible in traffic court, but why take a chance? Besides, if I lived there I’d appreciate people keeping their speed down, for safety.
Traffic was still backed up coming into the school zone from this direction, but we eventually made it to the school’s curb. Elizabeth’s school is having yet another “assembly” today, and after climbing out of the car, she was at my rolled-down window reminding me that the “after party” was in the multipurpose room – which is where I’m supposed to drop off the vegetable tray – but the assembly itself is in the “FABA” (auditorium).
Walking past and behind Elizabeth with her own two kids was a female celebrity who shall remain nameless for the sake of her kids’ anonymity. She’s in a show I never watch because it’s just a nighttime soap opera. I don’t know how big of a part she has. She smiled politely. Sort of. She’s obviously constantly worried how people will react to her. I smiled and nodded, and told Elizabeth I’d see her later this afternoon.
Coming home, I almost went back the way I came, down Edmondson Pike, but instead decided to take the usual Old Hickory route. And that’s what put me on the path to saving that life. I had meant to stop at either one of two Krogers along the way and get cat food for Sunny. She had given me that look and a long drawn-out meow last night when she noticed her “auto-feeder” food dish was down to its last few kibbles. But as I said, I forgot. I think she’ll survive until I can get back to the store.
So, I’m driving back home down Old Hickory – the winding, hilly, rural, “Cane Ridge” part – when I came around a turn. I saw something dark and small on the road up ahead. I wasn’t sure if it was a rock or a dirt clod, but I slowed down to get a better look.
It was a turtle! I quickly slowed to a stop, jabbed my thumb into the emergency flashers button, and jumped out of the car. Luckily, there were no other cars around … yet. The turtle was in my lane, just barely, and headed to my side of the road. As I ran toward him, he tucked his head and legs inside his shell.
I picked him up and set him down in the grass on the other side. He said thanks as only a turtle can, and – okay, so he didn’t say anything – but I’m sure in his own way he appreciated me. Where I had stopped, it was just after a curve in the road, so I ran back to my car before anyone plowed into me. There was a small gray sedan coming up on me, but he was going slow enough to stop, no problem. Cows often get loose in that area, so most drivers know not to go too fast.
I jumped back into my car and came home. And that is how I saved a life today … probably.