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                      A Wise Guy’s Funny Family Story


Alyssa and I had our grubby 4-year-old hands wrapped around the turtle before it had taken more than a few steps into our play space. At lunchtime, we carefully placed it in a little yellow basket and ran into Alyssa’s grandparents’ house to show everyone our discovery.

Alyssa’s mother, Kara, and Grandma Sandy only feigned interest, and they insisted we take our shelled friend back outside. Grandpa Ron, however, was enthralled. He peppered us with questions while our food grew cold.

When the excitement finally wore down and we returned to our plates, Grandpa Ron disappeared from the room.

After scarfing down our food, Alyssa and I hurried across the yard to our turtle. It was gone! The little sunshine-yellow basket lay tipped over, and our new pet was nowhere in sight.

We searched high and low. Desperate, we ran inside, hoping to engage the adults in our efforts.

Grandma Sandy and Kara didn’t seem concerned, but Grandpa Ron gave us his full attention. Solemnly, he suggested that maybe our turtle was a she, and that perhaps she had left us to lay her eggs. He explained that turtles lay their eggs in sand, and suggested that maybe our turtle had been heading to our sandbox when we found her.

We scrambled outside and began frantically digging. Sandy whirlwinds flew through the air behind us.

Suddenly, Alyssa stopped, her eyes wide. Right there in front of her, two eggs lay nestled together deep in the moist sand.

What luck! Now we’d each have our own turtle. We filled a sand-toy pitcher with sand and carefully placed the eggs inside. We agreed that Grandpa Ron was a very wise man.

“Let me see those eggs,” he said, spying our pitcher. After studying the prizes for a moment, he said thoughtfully, “Why, those eggs look cold. You should probably put them in the fridge to keep them that way.”

We reached in and felt the eggs. By gosh, they were cold! Without a word, I ran to the fridge and opened the squeaky door. Alyssa followed, ready to place the pitcher inside. As she reached in, she stopped at the sight of the open cardboard egg crate. It was nearly full, except for two empty spots. Suddenly, our turtle eggs looked remarkably like chicken eggs.

Grandpa Ron began chuckling behind us. With the same dawning realization, my friend and I suddenly understood we’d misjudged the difference between a wise man and a wise guy.


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