Saturday, August 19, 2006

Gopher Tortoise Sells House in Florida

Okay, it hasn’t happened yet, but it might.

Mr. Pop and I lived in another house for several years. When we moved there, there was only one other house on the street and it was way down at the corner. The neighborhood was filled with trees, palmettos and there was still a lot of wonderful wildlife. We saw foxes, opossums, raccoons and all kinds of snakes. I have tons of stories about the wildlife, but this one is about a gopher tortoise. I named her Hanna.

Hanna got that name because she loved to eat bananas. I used to go out and call to her, “Hanna, do you want a banana?” When she saw me, she would come right up to me and wait for me to place a peeled banana in front of her hungry mouth. Hanna liked to eat other things too. She showed a fondness for the dusty miller plants in our garden. She ate them all up. She went gaga over caladiums and ate them right down to where they emerged from the earth. If I failed to give Hanna her daily banana and there were no chosen plants to consume, she would come up to our patio door and push her head against the door, almost like knocking. Yep, she was hard headed Hanna.

About five years ago, we were presented with an opportunity to buy the house we’re living in now and it was too good to pass up. We decided to buy this house and rent out the other house. I had to leave Hanna behind.

When the first renters moved in I told them about Hanna coming to the door so they wouldn’t think they were being attacked by a big terrorist tortoise. I also told them she liked bananas.

Those people lived there for one year and then another family moved in. I clued them in on Hanna too. These people loved animals, so Hanna got back on the fast track with her bananas. When these people moved out this past December we decided we had had enough fun as landlords and opted to sell that house. Yes indeed, I believe the day we made that decision the housing bubble was a burst heard around the world. So our little house, after being in the hands of an idiot real estate agent for the first six months of it’s “For Sale” life, is now in the hands of a lady who seems to actually be working for us.

New real estate lady called last Sunday and told us a couple has seen the house twice. She said, “That’s a pretty sharp trick putting a big gopher tortoise in the front yard.” She said the prospective buyers were all excited about and interested in the tortoise, as it munched away on the grass in the front yard. They are nature lovers. I told new real estate lady the story of Hanna and explained that she lived there too.

That couple has narrowed their choices down to three houses and ours is one of them. If they choose ours, full credit will go to Hanna, the gopher tortoise who sold a house in Florida.
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Have a wonderful weekend. See you back here on Monday.

33 Comments:

Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Love this story - it's a keeper, just like Hannah.

August 19, 2006 4:20 AM  
Blogger L>T said...

How cool. You get all the fun reptiles in Florida.

August 19, 2006 4:43 AM  
Anonymous Betty Cracker said...

What a cool story! I hope the nature lovers buy your house and continue to supply Hanna with bananas.

I grew up here in Florida, and I remmber how common gopher tortoises used to be. We'd see them all the time. Sadly, not so much any more since the entire state is being paved over at an alarming rate. Ditto for the hissing little ground owls.

Perhaps one upside to the cooling housing market will be a slow down in "developments." I was once in the boonies but am rapidly being surrounded with tract houses built in walled-in former cow pastures. It sucks.

August 19, 2006 4:55 AM  
Blogger Walt said...

Hurrah for Hanna!

August 19, 2006 4:59 AM  
Blogger spadoman said...

And how many bananas are you going to give Hanna for commision?

August 19, 2006 5:25 AM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

D'oh! spadoman, you beat me to it!

August 19, 2006 5:44 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Thats a great story. I do hope these people buy because I would hate to see someone buy that didn't appreciate Hanna. What a treat.

August 19, 2006 6:04 AM  
Blogger Rory Shock said...

nice story of animal kinship ... I love hearing about humans who are not into the removal of nonhuman life forms ... beautiful ...

August 19, 2006 6:39 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Great Story. A friend of mine in upstate New York had a similar story with the Raccoon that liked to go rowing. Her home was on a lake and as excercise she loved to row for a while each day that weather permitted. Whenever she headed for the lake, the raccoon would follow her, hop in the opposite end and lay back enjoying his time in the sun as a passenger.

So much for dumb animals.

August 19, 2006 6:51 AM  
Blogger glenda said...

wonderful story. hope hanna gets a great family to keep her in bananas.

August 19, 2006 7:44 AM  
Anonymous rebellious renee said...

PoP....I love that story!
As you know, I live in the woods on a dirt road in NH. We have lots of wildlife roaming around our yard. Our latest visitor is a skunk we call chunka-skunka. She's digging holes everywhere looking for grubs....it's good thing we aren't into the "suburban lawn thing"...

I really hope the nature lovers buy your house....Hanna deserves to be well taken care of....

August 19, 2006 7:47 AM  
Anonymous karena said...

That is a great story. I hope that Hanna gets a cut of the commission for helping to sell the house, paid out in bananas.

August 19, 2006 7:58 AM  
Blogger JM said...

What a nice story. A tortoise as a real estate agent is a pleasant change; so many of the ones that I've encountered have been weasels!

August 19, 2006 8:05 AM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

That's one of those keepers for sure. Great story POP.

August 19, 2006 8:21 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

What a great story....Hanna..and her bananas - I hope she gets the right family there...ones who will truly appreciate her...( it sounds like it really was her house all along)

August 19, 2006 8:22 AM  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

Strays and wildlife are totally amazing. The house we moved into when I was 14 already had a cat, Ruby by our reckonin', living on the enclosed back porch. One of her babies grew up with us and the rest found good homes with friends, etc.

I join the others in hoping the new custodians of Hannah's House are long-lived in their new and incidental occupation.

RAmen

August 19, 2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger Gordon said...

I think painting 'Century 21' on Hanna's back might have been a little over the top, but hey, whatever works...:)

August 19, 2006 9:54 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

I love the idea of a tortoise who comes calling and knocking on your door.

Have a great weekend.

August 19, 2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger Time said...

It's time Hanna gets more than bananas. What's her cut? How much % does she get? Be fair now.

August 19, 2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

Great story PoP. I knew you were a nature lover. I would think the nature loving couple might get an incentive to buy the house and assume stewardship of Hanna.

August 19, 2006 12:12 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

As a child, my mom used to hand feed a squirrel for yrs those Keebler cookies called Pecan Sandies. The squirrel would climb into the flower box under the kitchen window and tap on the glass until my mom would bring cookies. Of course, this drove our cat crazy every morning, but I saw that squirrel's big teeth up close... our kitty just might have lost that battle.

August 19, 2006 12:49 PM  
Blogger Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker said...

'Tis true that the Florida home sales have flattened of late; while we were fortunate to sell our starter home fairly quickly, friends of mine have had theirs up for sale for months now. My heart goes out to them...

...but not so much that I'm not willing to make a profit on their misery. I'm off to the state park that borders my house to did up a few gopher tortoises and sell them to my freinds as "good luck charms!"

Thanks, POP!

August 19, 2006 3:22 PM  
Blogger vanillabirdies said...

Aww, what a fantastic story!

And Hanna will still get her bananas, it definitely is her house.

In New York I tend to make friends with squirrels, pigeons, and sparrows much to everyone's disturbed disbelief.

August 19, 2006 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

What a great story. I wish you had a photo of her.

August 19, 2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger DivaJood said...

Okay, it took me a while to process that Hanna is actually, really, truly, a TORTISE; I thought for a bit that she was a gopher, who for some reason moved slowly, like a tortise. But, no. She's a real tortise. And, yes, I have a masters degree.

It is a beautiful story, and I hope whoever the new owners are, they will lavish her with bananas.

August 19, 2006 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol great now I've got a snake sharing the same name....some would say that's justice......rofl

Hannah

August 20, 2006 6:49 AM  
Blogger Sothis said...

What a wonderful story. When I told my four year old daughter about it, she told me "turtles don't eat bananas. They eat leaves. Silly Mommy!" I tried to convince her that tortoises do, but she just think I'm nuts now. :)

Good luck. I hope they buy the house!

August 20, 2006 11:31 AM  
Blogger Steve Bates said...

Good for Hanna! And as for you, PoP, perhaps you can be the next Lilian Jackson Braun, except your book titles will all begin, The Tortoise Who...

August 20, 2006 11:46 AM  
Blogger Zee said...

Excellent story, lovely!!!

August 20, 2006 4:12 PM  
Blogger Darius said...

Could signal the start of a new trend in the declining housing market...

August 20, 2006 5:39 PM  
Blogger Chancelucky said...

I know they say real estate is something of a shell game, but I didn't know it could be quite this literal. Hope you sell the house to the owners who want the animal with the house on her back.

August 20, 2006 6:48 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

Love the tortoise story!

August 21, 2006 12:18 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

What a great story. Any news yet on the house?

August 22, 2006 8:26 AM  

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