The Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
I’ve heard truth is stranger than fiction. Sometimes, I agree. Years ago, I attempted to write my first novel. The working title was The Great Sea Turtle Rescue. It was about a young girl who loved sea turtles and was unhappy that they were an endangered species. However, I knew nothing about the craft of novel writing, and the story became a millstone tied around my neck. I’m not sure how it happened, but I lost the whole sorry manuscript to cyberspace. I was stunned and disappointed but also relieved. But the writing bug never went away, so I began writing devotionals, then short stories, and even had a couple published by Chicken Soup for the Soul. Eventually, I tackled another novel, but this time I put forth earnest effort to learn how to write fiction.
Cut to the present. My husband and I took advantage of a short getaway. He needed some metal-detecting time, and I needed an escape from my PC for a day. So we rose early and headed to the Port Aransas jetties for a hike. It wasn’t searing hot yet, and the skies boasted a bright perfect blue with fast-moving clouds. The ocean was a mossy green color and mildly choppy. We hadn’t gone far when my husband said, “A turtle!” Sure enough, a foot-long sea turtle, weighing about five pounds, was wedged between granite boulders. He was trapped, unable to move forward or free himself. On closer inspection, we spied fishing line wrapped around his head and front flippers.
Ever the brave one, my husband climbed between the boulders and rescued the little guy. Then a couple vacationing from Kansas saw the turtle and sent a teen to their car for medical scissors. Armed with a tool, Dave cut away the fishing line from the turtle’s neck, but several strands had wrapped tightly around one flipper. A man appeared with a pocketknife, saying he’d rescued another turtle in similar straits the day before. We dubbed him the surgeon, and he carefully snipped the lines. Once we poured ocean water on the turtle, he became mobile again, but the one flipper bled where the fishing line was the tightest.
In addition to standing around taking pictures and warning Dave that sea turtles bite, I called Friends of the ARK, a rescue/rehabilitation facility. They directed me to the ARK (Amos Rehabilitation Keep) at U.T. Marine Institute. Fortunately, I knew the location, so we abandoned our walk on the jetties and hiked back, carrying a wounded, but very much alive, sea turtle. It was slow-going because everyone wanted to see and takes pictures of the turtle. We felt a bit like heroes on a mission.
At the Institute, we drove through a gated area where a volunteer waited for us with a form. She was delighted to receive the turtle. First, I filled out contact info, and then the volunteer asked if I wanted to name “our” turtle. It didn’t take long—I said, “His name is Lucky,” and we all smiled. Yes, indeed.
The choice of name was strange because I don’t believe in chance or coincidence. The opportunity to rescue that sea turtle was a gift from God. But I love the word lucky, so there you have it. When I use the word lucky, it has the same meaning as blessed.
That said, my great turtle rescue story finally made it into print—in a way I never imagined.
Life is chock full of mysteries, but this one thing I know…
It’s good to be Lucky!