Any activity taking place in the cafeteria involves a substantial amount of noise. This morning's breakfast started like any other day. But as breakfast time started to wrap up and the younger kids started exiting the cafeteria, the noise level actually increased instead of decreased. Suddenly, the third graders became especially excited and talkative in their native language. I had no idea what was going on.
And then I heard a word in English.
And I saw kids pointing at the ground by my feet.
Indeed, there was a baby turtle lumbering (can something small lumber? he was so small, but there was definite heavy-footed clumsiness...) just inches from my foot towards the edge of the cafeteria. I have a very strong dislike for reptiles of any nature. Baby reptiles are only slightly more tolerable than their adult versions. There was no way I was going to pick that baby up off the floor. Instead, I flagged down a third grade teacher, who reacted with a slight panic. And then one of the students realized what was going on, stood up and started looking into the pockets of her hoodie. She had carefully placed the turtle in her pocket and carried him from home to school. He escaped while she ate her breakfast.
We later learned (a teacher called the girl's family) that Mama Turtle had been last night's dinner and the family had no use for Baby Turtle. They didn't want it to come home with their daughter. I think the little girl was trying to save the turtle. One of the teachers at the school offered to bring it home and assured the girl that the turtle would be okay. I think she was pleased to know that he was in good hands.
Cute story, eh?