Joe Porter lived at my parents’ home. He had the run of the small yard, where he liked to crawl among the lemon trees (when he wasn’t trying to get into the house). But one year there was an earthquake and a mudslide, and the backyard was seriously reduced. It wasn’t safe for Joe anymore.
Joe was just then coming out of hibernation, that is, he was stirring in his box in the tool shed. He wanted to go outside–he was hungry after six months of not eating! What to do? Mom said her plumber loved and kept desert tortoises, and he was happy to take Joe in while we sorted out the landscaping. However, he had more than a dozen female tortoises. We worried: Joe hadn’t even SEEN another tortoise since the 1930’s. Would he have a heart attack if he suddenly was around all those females?
In the end we decided to take him to this new temporary home anyway–at least he would die happy. But no heart attack happened. In fact, Joe knew exactly what to do, if you take my meaning. Before we knew it he had sired 75 eggs that spring! When we went to visit Joe, he seemed like a new tortoise. As the plumber said: “What guy wouldn’t be?–all those women!”