It was the last day of April and the guardian was very keen to take Herman outside again. Although the weather had been ideal for a little Hermann’s tortoise like him – a lovely 22 Celsius, snow was predicted to arrive the following day and the guardian was eager to get in as much sun as she could. She knew from experience that it was important to take advantage of the sun while you could when you lived in Canada.
As they spent more time together, it seemed that Herman and Lucy were able to find some common ground. They both enjoyed cuddling up with the guardian while watching TV, they both felt it was their duty to watch out for intruders, and it appeared that they both enjoyed grazing in the park. Fortunately, Herman preferred weeds while Lucy would only eat grass, so there were never any disputes over food.
Herman throughly enjoyed the radicchio that he’d been given after undergoing a careful examination by the guardian. It was a treat to thank him for putting up with being turned this way and that while the guardian got a closer look at his shell. Particular attention seemed to be paid to some ridges forming on the top. At least, that’s the impression he got from what she was muttering. It also sounded like this might be the last time he’d get to enjoy radicchio for a while. He wasn’t sure, of course, but weeds and flowers sounded like a pretty fair exchange.
Herman did not always find Lucy to be an easy companion. She was loud. She was quick. And she had an inquisitive nose that Herman found to be inappropriate at times. But every now and then, Herman found himself in synch with her. On this particular day, there were workers outside the patio doors and both Herman and Lucy felt that it was their duty to keep an eye on them.
When Herman woke up on Saturday morning he noticed that he hadn’t quite made it all the way into his home the night before.
It was Friday and after a week of different new foods, Herman was unsure what to make of the wheatgrass in his food bowl. He tried a bite just to be a good sport, but quickly decided that it wasn’t for him. On the other hand, it was very comfortable to lie on. So, not wanting to seem ungrateful for all her efforts at bringing him some variety to his diet, Herman decided to placate the guardian by taking his post-meal nap on top of it. Perhaps, thought Herman as he was drifting off, that’s what she had intended all along.
Herman was beginning to wonder what the guardian was up to. First there were micro-greens on Monday, which were an interesting garnish, but not that filling. And now she had introduced Brussels sprouts. He thought they were probably more filling, but Herman couldn’t be bothered to put the effort into finding out. Especially when there was dandelion leaves to eat.
There was a sale on micro-greens at the grocery store, so the guardian thought she’d see if Herman would enjoy munching on the miniature clover or kale. It took Herman some time to sort out the best way to eat the greens because they were still planted in the soil, but in the end he went with his usual method of lying on top of the food and reaching down. Ultimately, the kale was disappointing, but the clover went over well. It helped that in subsequent meals the clover was chopped and served in his food bowl.
His disappointment was almost palpable. Herman didn’t mind collard greens, but they weren’t his favourite either. So, when he saw that there was nothing hiding beneath the huge leaves of the collard greens he sighed. Fortunately, once he’d resigned himself to eating them, he found the escarole hiding on top and his mood improved considerably.
Herman was not as enthusiastic about being outside as the guardian was. Although he knew she’d been looking forward to this for a while, there was nothing for him to eat and the ground was still too cold to burrow in so Herman was not impressed. As far as he was concerned, the fact that he could wander further was only an advantage if he could play his favourite game, hide-and-go-seek. But with the guardian and Lucy keeping a close eye on him, it was hardly worth the effort.