Pablita · The Grey Tail


my Story Time Sampler is not the only thing that almost didn’t make it this month, and incidentally STS is not the only reason why I couldn’t start Maynia when it was supposed to: Pablita’s wild adventure is.

now, if you’re a new friend of ours you might not know who Pablita is. she’s our rescue Testudo hermanni tortoise, a veteran of many life-threatening expeditions in the unknown (also known as the neighbours’ garden).


in all these years we still hadn’t quite figured out how she made it, but she had trespassed a bunch of times despite the double fences, the concrete walls, the wooden boards, etc.

the real problem for her started when our long-time neighbours sold the house and the new ones moved in with dogs, big dogs. 😬😬😬

they have taken the habit to attack our pets (luckily Taras got caught only once, but the old lady has been to the tortoise E.R. 3 times so far): whenever they feel like, they jump the high fences into our garden and scare the hell out of us.

unfortunately every time one of our pets got hurt it happened on their property (Taras first and only visit into the neighbours’ garden) so there wasn’t much that could be done; you always have to be on the lookout and hope the hedges we’re growing get so thick and high that these darn dogs won’t be able to jump or bring them down ever again.

alas, a couple of weeks ago the old lady tried to climb the small walls (they’re more like high steps) that mark the end of the properties, and while she was doing so one of the dogs smelled her, dug from the other side, managed to break the hook that was keeping the fence attached to the wall, caught Pablita with his mouth and pulled her all the way through.. poor girl, she was all nibbled and dripping blood from every corner of her shell..

now she’s under antibiotics (shots I have to give her every 48h), daily disinfection treatments, warm baths and silver ointment therapy. not to mention the indoor playpen I had to make her because she couldn’t be outside while the wounds were closing up or she would get an infection and die. 😱😱😱😱


all the pink/red area is where she’s been nibbled and bitten as if she were a bone 😦

she was so scared and in so much pain, poor sweetie! seeing her like that again was heartbreaking! and at the same time I couldn’t help but crying at her you have a death wish, you fool! what are we going to do with you?!

so I’m taking a page out of Roald Dahl’s book, Esio Trot) and recite her a healing spell that will also put some good judgment into that old, thick head of hers, hopefully!

"EsioTrot" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -
“EsioTrot” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –

also on an Esio Trot vibe (Agura Trat in Italian), I just finished fixing a net on the terrace for her so that she could be in the sun now that her upper wounds are closing up; we couldn’t let her be exposed to flies and other insects from the beginning because they would lay eggs in her open shell where blood vessels were still open..

she looks much much happier now and has started eating regularly again, thank goodness!
Taras 5/15
Taras photobombed the previous shot EPICALLY
Pablita's bedroom
Pablo’s bedroom for the next weeks
Taras 5/15
perfect spot for bird watching/attack strategy planning
garden 5/15
here’s the little guy I saved from Taras a few days ago, poor chap. he was so scared! I had to put him on this tree several time because he was learning to fly and couldn’t get the hang of it. he was so small!

I have to go, I have more Esio Trot to recite:

Esio Trot, Esio Trot,

yrt ton ot teg thguac niaga,

uoy t’now eb tfel htiw yna llehs ta lla

fi uoy peek no gniod siht,

ton ot noitnem s’ti yllaer a niap ni eht ssa

gnipeek uoy ni dna latsyrc naelc.

😄 🐢

esio trot

– – –

have a nice day and many happy xxx!



16 thoughts on “ESIO TROT

  1. Poor stupid little turtle 😦 I hope she’ll be alright soon, and maybe, just maybe, she has learned her lesson *crosses fingers*
    Thanks for sharing about that book, my grandma loves tortoises, I will have to get that one for her…or I just saw they made it into a movie so maybe that 😀


    1. I LOVE Roald Dahl, I read almost everything he wrote when I was a child. yes, I know it was made into a film with Dustin Hoffman and Judy Dench, I still haven’t seen it but I’m pretty confident they did a great job, great actors, great story.. piece of cake.
      Pablita is a very stubborn, old, silly, girl: she has this tank attitude where she goes where she wants to go, period. Taras doesn’t like her too much and keeps his distances because she would rather walk on him than go around him..! with Pabli it’s always “ladies first!” 😀


  2. I am sorry you have same problems. I hope she will be better soon! Just keep in mind that dogs are animals and have insticts. Here’s the dog mama speaking!LOL!AriadnefromGreece!


    1. oh but I’m never complaining about the dogs’ instincts, really! it’s just that these two dogs are left alone ALL day, ALL by themselves. they open the bag of kibbles in the patio and eat out of it.. they use the garden as an open toilet, nobody picks anything up, and as a result we have major bug infestations as if we lived in the woods or something. this is not a responsible way to keep animals, that’s my issue, and it’s with their owners, not the dogs 🙂 the fact that they jumped the fences multiple times and I had to shield myself from them attacking me and Taras is another thing that scares me because they’re big but they’re not trained, and they’re not covered by insurance so whatever happens it’s always on me.. again, bad neighbours, not bad dogs 🙂


      1. I thought about it, here it’s not but abandonment and neglecting them is.. the thing is they’ll never proceed with any fines (because that’s the most you can et out of this) until something really serious happens and I’m not going to look for trouble if I can avoid it just so that I can prove they’re dangerous.
        also, I don’t want anything bad done to the dogs, and you never know how these proceedings go once they start. so all in all we’ll wait it out and hope the huge hedges we’re growing get so impenetrable we won’t have to deal with nothing else but the intense smell of poo when the wind carries it your way.. 😬


  3. I’d forgotten about Pablita and her adventures! Poor silly girl, hope she gets better soon. Here’s an idea to put the dogs off eating tortoises. Blow up a balloon, paint it tortoise colours and throw it over the hedge. When they bite it, it will go bang and surprise them so much they will avoid the exploding animals in future!


    1. that is such a cool idea!! if I got the balloon to smell like tortoise that would work for sure. it’s the smell they sense and feel attracted to ❤️😘🙌🏻


  4. Poor Pablita 😢, I hope she is well and truly on the mend now, what a horrible ordeal for you both! As a side note, huge fan of Roald Dahl here too 💜😄!


    1. YEEESSS! 🙌🏻 I literally grew up with Mr. D.!!
      I have to show you my Italian copies of The Witches and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The BFG, and Matilda!! they’re so battered and worn out 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
      thank you for the good wishes for Pabli, she’s on the mend now. we have a vet check-up tomorrow so hopefully she’ll be able to return to the garden wildlife soon enough, poor girl. I have the feeling she got so much stress out of this she retained her eggs.. AGAIN! 😬


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