See the amazing video Farmer Lu took just minutes after I called him out to the garden.
We interpreted the turtle’s presence as an auspicious omen for the coming year.
Given the number of snails in our Urban Micro Garden, we though seriously about closing off a section of the yard to keep the little reptile as a pet.
Since the turtle had been hibernating, we put it in a little box under a lamp in the living room to spend Chinese New Year in peace.
Then we decided to release it in the wild at nearby Wat Umong, the forest temple just a few minutes’ walk from our home. Given that the weather was already starting to warm and the frogs had started to sing, we decided that the turtle would probably be happier in a wetland, rather than in Beaffin’s heavily-patrolled domain.
Here’s the video by Farmer Lu of me (Farmer Jack) releasing the turtle in the turtle and fish pond at Wat Umong.
We named her (we think it was a she) “xiao ma gui“, which means “little (year of the) horse turtle” in mandarin Chinese.