Life Lesson: The Day I Became A(n Accidental) Murderer

A few days ago, I was reminded of the day I became a murderer. I decided to tell the story and explain how I learned that animals are very different from people.

I love animals. I have a real soft spot for them. I always have. That’s what happens when you are raised around all sorts of creatures.

I shall start my story as Sofia from The Golden Girls would.

Picture it.

Roughly 1991.

I was about five years old.

(Are you reading in Sofia’s voice?)

I had the cutest pet turtle. He was one of those very small ones with a bit of red on the side of his head.

Picture this little guy because mine was about that size and equally cute.

My turtle lived in an aquarium with water and rocks. It was a very happy place where he was fed and able to lay on the rocks all day.  I loved to watch him and take him out to let him crawl around the living room floor.

We were pals.

However, aquariums need to be cleaned.

One day, my mom said that we needed to clean the turtle’s home, and I was going to get to help. Yay!

She asked me to please put my turtle in a jar with some water so that he could swim around while we cleaned his aquarium.

Well, my very young mind thought, “Hmm… this is a treat. He gets to swim around and get clean. I like to take baths and get clean. I like my bath water pretty hot. So, I will give him hot water to give him the spa experience.” I had never been to a spa, but I had watched such things on TV.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t yet learned the difference between warm- v. cold-blooded creatures, and I wasn’t aware that animals really don’t care about spa experiences.

I accidentally murdered my turtle, and when I found out, I cried. My mom explained that animals, especially cold-blooded ones, don’t like that type of thing. Animals are different from people and each have their own set of needs.

To this day, I try my best to avoid running over turtles. I love turtles (and practically any other animal).

My message to you is that I accidentally murdered my turtle, and I will live with it forever. Don’t let the same thing happen to you or your loved ones. Spread awareness that animals each have their own set of needs, and a spa experience is not one of them… especially for turtles. They also don’t like being ran over.

Respect the slow and steady.


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