Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Blacksmith and the Tortoise

Today's title sounds like it's straight out of Aesop's Fables.   Goodness knows what the story would be like though.  Perhaps it would have something to do with the smithie forging tiny little shoes for his reptilian customer to give him a greater chance of competing on equal terms in the race with the hare.

Way back I asked where all the tortoises, that were so ubiquitous in my seventies childhood, had gone.  So it was delight that we discovered this breeding pair at love summer 2012 sharing the enclosure with the blacksmith. An entirely logical pairing of shell and steel.  These creatures aren't the cheap and cheerful pets that they once were.  The owners told us that the two of them cost £250, they have to be bred in the UK and you have to keep a licence to keep them. No wonder that Louis has never had the chance to handle one before or go foraging for their favourite food, a thick plantain-like grass.
Time for a another photo but before I change subject, let's talk a bit about tortoise sex.  We reckoned the male was a feeder as his 'wife' was about three times the size of himself.  Apparently he has been observed to mount her gingerly and then end his exertions with a satisfied squeak!

On that note we'll turn to the blacksmith and a example of his lovely work on the end of a poker. There was an owl too that Louis was rather taken with but seeing as this is my blog I can choose what I put on it!  I forgot to ask his name and have tried to find him on Google to no avail.  But if anyone out there stumbles across this and knows the blog who makes gates, owls and sheep let me know who he is and I'll be more than happy to give this nice guy a mention.

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