Dieaw May He Rest In Peace

Ten months ago I made a blog post about a strange day for me here in Ubon Ratchathani. I entitled the post, “A National Geographic Day”. On that day I discovered a small turtle had magically appeared in my small cement pond in my front yard.

Sadly, I must now report that after nearly 10 months of hanging out here, the turtle has died.

I named this particular turtle, Dieaw, Thai word for “alone”. I named him this because he was the only turtle around here. I have no idea where he came from or how he came to be inside that pond.

When we moved to this place the pond was full of water but had several months that it was totally dry. Can turtles survive outside of water? I know tortesoises can.

Dieaw became a passive member of the family. Whenever we were leaving we would look for Dieaw sitting on a rock or just poking his head up to get some oxygen. When we didn’t see him for a time we would become concerned over his well-being.

One time I came home to find him on his back laying on a ledge in the pond. I guess he tried to climb up and fell over backwards. Seems he accepted his fate because he wasn’t fighting to rollover. Another time I found him lodged between two rocks. He has misjudged the clearance and was stuck.

I was trying to clean up his home and also the water had mostly evaporated so I fixed him up a temporary residence while I took care of business. Unfortunately, I seemed to have cracked the cement and the pond would no longer hold water.

He seemed at home and would spend time sunning on the rock I supplied him with. At night I would take him inside to protect him from birds and snakes.

A few days ago, Dieaws habits changed. He appeared to be floating with one of his legs in contact with the rock. Then yesterday in the morning he was just floating and wouldn’t move when I tapped on him home. I could see air bubbles arise from time to time but no movement.

Nature must have decided he have been on this earth long enough. Early afternoon, he moved no more, he breathed no more. I was saddened.

I am grateful for the time Dieaw hung around. He brought many smiles to my face and also was the topic of many conversations between me and my wife.

I have no idea what caused Dieaw to leave us. At the petshop we were told that turtle often die for no reason. Maybe the water is contaminated which creates a virus or infection. We shall never know for sure.

Yesterday afternoon I went out back in the shadow of a large mango tree and created a final resting place for my friend Dieaw. I placed the rock he spent many hours on at the site so he would have something familiar near him. I also placed a clay turtle we had bought at last year’s Candle Festival to give him the impression there might be other turtles around.

I don’t know if it means anything but the day I discovered Dieaw in the pond I saw a snake having a frog for breakfast. Yesterday as I was sitting at my PC I heard a bird screeching just outside my window. As I looked up I saw the reason for the birds antics, a snake was crawling along on top of the cement brick fence. Hmmmm, an omen?

So I know Dieaw was only a turtle but I believe it is a good thing to be grateful for anything in our life that makes it better. In his small turtle way he contributed value to my life.

Good-bye Dieaw, may you Rest In Peace.


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  2. I really enjoyed the story about Dieaw, Darwin… Turtles were always some of my favorite pets and they just really intrigued me.
    I know that certain sadness that can be felt at the loss. Take care! ~Billy A, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia

  3. Appreciate the comments Bill. Didn’t really consider him a pet, he just shared our space. I do miss having him around though. Thanks again.

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