Teapots and Turtles
I noticed that the little town of Hertford nearby Edenton uses turtles on their souvenir shirts and mugs. The turtles, I thought, were sea turtles. I didn’t understand why because Hertford isn’t actually on the seacoast. Why, I wondered, would Hertford use that as their logo?
I signed a book for a little girl at the Museum of the Albemarle who wore a half scallop shell on a necklace chain. It appeared to have five little “gemstones” in the shell. I remarked about it and the mother said, “Oh, we live in Perquimons County, so of course, there must be turtles.” I looked closely, and the little faux gemstones had tiny gold legs, and a knobby little turtle head.
“Isn’t Hertford in Perquimons County?” I asked.
“Yes, ma’am it is.”
“And the sea turtle is your symbol?”
“It isn’t a sea turtle,” the little girl said. “They’re sliders!”
The mother explained to me that by the bridge that crosses into Hertford is a large log in the water. Turtles are always on the log, even in bad weather. People come to see the turtle piles and take pictures. Biologists come to count them and study them.
“They’re some kind of bog turtle that happen to like our log,” she explained.
I suddenly realized I had seen that! The day we went to Nags Head we drove through Hertford just to look at the town. Dave was driving and I, looking out the window, laughed aloud and said, “There’s a heap of turtles!” And it was a heap! I described to him the turtles are stacked several deep on a log that sticks out of the water; shiny, black, flat turtles. “Like a stack of black pancakes!” I laughed. I saw them as we crossed the bridge, just like she said. I didn’t realize I was looking at their town mascots.
What is unique about your town? What is your town’s symbol? I’d love to know.