Did Hannah come calling?
When I lived across the street and down a few houses, a big gopher tortoise just like this one would visit my yard every day and eat whatever of our plants she liked. Often times if I had bananas in the house I would put one out for her. We became as much friends as a human and a tortoise can.
Some mornings when I would forget her bananas, she would come to our screen door and bang her head against the kick plate of the door. The noise would get my attention and also a banana for her. I began calling her Hanna because it rhymed with her favorite food.
After I moved from across the street (almost ten years ago), Hannah stayed behind. When people rented that house we would tell them about Hannah and her bananas continued to come to her.
We sold that house was sold in April of this year and I saw no more of Hannah. That is until possibly yesterday.
I was washing up some dishes while gazing out the kitchen window. That’s when I saw the tortoise in my back yard. I grabbed a banana and my camera. What were the odds the tortoise would wait for me to take a picture? So I approached my visitor while softly calling, “Hannah”. The tortoise stopped and looked at me. I kept talking and not once did the tortoise draw itself into its shell. She watched me as I peeled a bit of the banana, all the while still talking to her. I knelt down and held out my hand with the banana in it. Slowly she moved her head nearer my hand and then she carefully took a bite of the banana. I laid the rest of the banana on the grass for her. I waited as she continued to eat. As she ate, my camera clicked away. You can see banana bits on her mouth in the picture.
Was it Hannah? Could a gopher tortoise remember me, my voice and my treats for her? I don’t know, but I sure would like to think so. I sure would like to believe that it was Hannah who came calling yesterday.