Little things in life matter. A little thing warmed my heart on Friday morning. It was most welcomed.
Rounding a curve on Turkey Creek Road as it nears Virtue Road in Farragut, there, upside down in the middle of the road, was a nice-sized turtle trying to turn over. His or her legs were working hard but making no progress. My best guess is that he was crawling across the road toward the backwaters of Fort Loudon Lake and a car nipped him and he flipped over.
Just in front of me was a white pickup truck. As I was about to turn around and help the turtle, the man in the truck did a U-turn and we exchanged hand motions. He stopped just short of the turtle, his warning flashers going, jumped out and saved the turtle.
I kicked myself for not stopping and snapping a picture and getting his name. Other cars were coming and going and a creating an accident scene was not on my to-do list. I did watch until I knew the turtle was safe. Job well done. It is a busy road and on that curve, the turtle, in probably short order, would have been road kill.
Perhaps people do this sort of thing all of the time, and no one sees them. Today I saw it. Chalk one up for the man and the turtle.
In the background of this little rescue is the depressing and horrible news in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, a man dead, a police officer arrested and charged with third-degree murder, then the demonstrations, the fires and the looting fueled by people fed up with police brutality and racism aimed at the minority population. I’ve visited Minneapolis several times. Beautiful city, especially in a snowy Minnesota winter, and I have a few friends who live there. Things are not good in Kentucky. But too many are reacting in the wrong way – burning buildings, looting, trashing stores, simply making it all worse.
COVID-19 is still active everywhere, and more serious tensions are ramping up in the division between China and the U.S. over Hong Kong and other issues. Plus, the sordid and heartbreaking news from the couple in Roane County and what they have done to those children, and why, a story that has now spread into Knox County and Halls. And the bad news beat goes on.
What the cop did roils my insides and I keep wondering why, why, why?
But what this Roane County couple did sickens me. Outrage. Innocent kids. Buried in dirt graves, one confined underground for four years in an unfinished basement with no bathroom, with water on the floor, with human feces and mold everywhere. Reports of other small children kept in animal kennels. It is sobering that we have people like this living amongst us.
As the adage says, “there are no coincidences.” Coming up on that turtle was no coincidence. Watching a little ol’ turtle being rescued made my day, maybe my week. There are good and caring people in this world. The man I didn’t meet is one. We need more of them. I hope there’s a turtle rescue ahead for one and all.
Tom King has served at newspapers in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and California and has been the editor of two newspapers.