My hubby, Dude, found him on the bottom of the swimming pool and scooped him out with the net. He was just a young turtle, or perhaps a tortoise (I've never been able to figure out the difference), and he wasn't very big. He had made his home first beneath the deck, and later, in a tiny opening beneath the patio.
Dude, was the one who had named him Wild Thing because he was, well, very wild. When we would approach him--usually bearing cantaloupe or dog food--the little guy would panic and run for cover. Once, he ran straight off the edge of the deck. When I finally found him, deep down in the vinca vines, he was all right. I was afraid he'd be on his back, little turtle toes wiggling helplessly, but he had landed, cat-like, on his feet.
The very first time I saw him, I assumed he was our other turtle, Piggie. She is very calm and will eat anything you give her. She lives under the deck but often makes the arduous journey from the back yard to the front, to visit with us under that patio, too. I think she is Wild Thing's mother, but I'm not certain. There could be a whole passel of turtles under the deck for all I know; but if so, they're sharing space with a stray mama cat named Oscar, and her half-grown, half-wild baby, a tortoiseshell named Mittens. (No, I don't think there's a connection between the color of the kitten and the herd of turtles, LOL.)
I just wonder what frightened little Wild Thing and made him run off into the pool. It could have been Rocky, the dog, or one of the aforementioned cats, or even Maggie Mae, the indoor cat who is learning to use the doggie door. I suppose it could have been a large bird that plucked him out of the yard and dropped him in the pool.
Whatever it was, I just wish we had spied him before his little turtle legs gave out and he quit swimming. But that's what panic and exhaustion will do. Even to a turtle.