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From Mike Shaw - 22 June 2003
Dear Brother Bernie,
Thank you for taking the time to write me back. I will print off your book from the web-site.
Bernie, I live in London, Ontario Canada. My wife, son and daughter are all vegetarians and animal rights activists. We fight for animal rights by writing letters to all levels of government, other churches who sponsor BBQs, fur stores, leather stores, various institutions that perform animal experiments... We have also protested various activities like the Canadian Seal Hunt, Rodeos, the Circus and related events. We rescue animals both domestic and wild when ever we see one in distress.
Here is a cute story that happened once to a friend and myself. I had to go and meet one of my students to give him a video tape of my class. He asked if we could meet him at one of our local recreational parks. This park is quite large and runs beside a famous river in our area. Once in the park, we were chatting at the park's edge where a bicycle path takes one outside the park grounds and into an un-kept field full of trees and tall grass. While chatting, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a huge black turtle slowing walking across the bicycle path. Not wanting it to get run over, or should I say collide with a bike, I ran over and picked it up. Bernie, it was huge... I would say about an easy 2 feet from tip of the nose to tip of the tail.
Now, Bernie, I might be an animal rights person, but I do not know my turtles. I took the turtle off the path and noticed that it had a number of leeches on its legs. I told my friend who had driven me to the park to meet my student, that we should take the turtle to a phone booth so that I could call for assistance in finding out what to do about the leeches.
We got in the car. The turtle was so big that I pushed the passenger seat back as far as it would go. It was a sporty two seater, so the seat went back quite a ways. I placed the turtle on the floor and I got into the little back seat. While driving, the turtle climbed up off the floor, over the stick shift and had it whole body on the driver's lap with its face only inches from the drivers face. The driver, by the way, was Barb. At this point, Barb calmly but firmly asked me to get the turtle off her. I was already attempting this.
To make a long story short, we found out that the turtle needed to go back into the water and that the leeches would come and go as a part of a turtle's life.
We got back to the park and I took the turtle to the river's edge and placed it on the ground... It ran quite fast to the water and swam away.
The turtle was black with a very long dinosaur looking tail... I went home and looked in my son's reptile book and found the exact picture. The turtle we had been handling turned out to be a Snapping Turtle. I have found out since, that we are lucky to have kept all our fingers and noses.
The turtle was very lively and yet, very friendly. It would stay still if I stroked its back, but as soon as I stopped it would start trying to move around again... So, it was very healthy and I wonder if it somehow knew we were not going to hurt it and that is why it didn't hurt us.
Now that I know what a snapping turtle looks like, I would likely be afraid to pick one up again.... Well, lucky for that turtle, I didn't know and I got him or her off the bicycle path and eventually to the river. I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss....
Reply from Bernie - 27 June 2003
Dear Brother Mike and Wife and offspring.
Coral (my Wife) and I visited expo '67 for a week in Montreal - is that anywhere near where you live?
Did you see the beautiful animal that I rescued in part 4 and Marie Parsons amazing response in readers comments?
I am very interested to know from where you found my website?
If you look at the bottom of any page of my book, you will see Frank Hoffman's animals rights pages - there are now nearly 7000 of them. Why don't you and your family join the vc (veg.christian) discussion group, we all would love to have you.
In Jesus' name:
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