Sure, Odette the tortoise likes spending time with her owner, Thomás Tavares, but just because they’re best friends doesn’t mean she has to include him in everything she does all of the time, right?
(I apologize, Thomás.)
Normally, the 4-year-old red-footed tortoise, who lives with Thomás in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is allowed to move freely throughout the house and yard. Odette has been known to hide in a concealed area for a day or two to get away from her housemate, but she always reappears after a day or two to catch food.
At least, that’s how it generally goes (but it can also come from the dog’s dish).
Thomás was heartbroken late last month when his beloved tortoise vanished and did not reappear after several days. Then few days stretched into weeks, and she was still missing.
Was she hurt in some way? Had she gotten away and become disoriented? Thomás was worried ill since he had no idea.
Meanwhile, Odette was having the time of her life away from him, as he soon learned.
Thomás told The Dodo, “She was gone for three weeks, till last weekend.” “I was walking out the door with my mother when I noticed her crossing the street back to our house. Then I saw something was wrong with her shell.”
Odette’s shell had become inexplicably covered in stickers – gleaming gold heart-shaped stickers. Thomás was relieved to see her again, but he couldn’t figure out where she’d gone.
He laughed, “I joked that she had been at Carnaval and was just coming home.”
The reality, on the other hand, was not that far off.
Thomás was called by Bia Ruffoni, a friend who lives nearby, not long after he posted the photo above on Facebook, with many speculating about Odette’s travels. She turned out to be able to explain where the stickers originated from.
“We were cleaning the home in preparation for my niece’s 2nd birthday celebration when we noticed a tortoise in the yard. She walked right in because the gate must have been open “The Dodo was informed by Bia. “My niece was so happy that she invited everyone in to see what was going on. It was incredible.”
That’s when the small girl decided to add some decorations to the unexpected visitor’s shell. “‘Wonderful turtle — beautiful!” she said. Bia remembered something.