Look what I found!
As I drove up to the horses this morning, I spotted something in the middle of the road just outside Reillanne.
Was that a — ? Surely not! They are found wild in this area, but…
I stopped, as did a car which was going in the other direction. The driver reversed back to me, passing the ‘thing’ on the way, and said
“Oui, c’est une tortue!”
I said I would move it into the woods and he continued on his way, leaving me to deal with it.
There was a part of me which would have LOVED to bring this guy home, but I don’t think he would live a happy life in our garden with Cookie there to terrierise him.
So I lifted the him (her?) up.
He was very confident being handled, which is what our friends whose garden is regularly visited by tortoises said – they have no predators here, so they are quite unafraid.
I set him down in the woods at the side of the road…
…wished him Bonne Route and carried on up the hill to the horses.
A large truck came rattling down the hill as I went up, and I was glad that I had moved him to safety. I am pretty sure he wouldn’t have survived it.
Mr and Mrs Endurance arrived at the farm ten minutes after me.
“Guess what we found on the road?” they said.
Yes, you guessed right.
They, however, had picked him up and put him in their jeep, thinking that he was probably a lost pet. Surprising how many of the locals don’t know that tortoises are native to the region. Hermann’s Tortoise, to be precise.
They put him in a stable with water and some carrots while Mr Endurance shod their horses (he’s a farrier), and they planned to release him in the woods on the other side of the road on their way home. We’re assuming that was where he was heading all along until I picked him up, you see.
Hopefully I will not see him squished on the road tomorrow morning.