Patience vs. Tenacity

I saw it as an interesting experiment in dynamics. Patience versus tenacity.

The turtle saw it as a matter of life or death.

Earlier this week, I was on my way to a board meeting in Pechero Hall on our campus. A buzzard caught my eye, then I saw that there were two of them. They were standing on the front lawn of our university. Not real good PR for the school.

Then I saw that the two of them were huddled over a large snapping turtle that they had cornered. Every so often, the turtle would try to stick his head out, and they would immediately snap at it, trying to make dinner out of a very large shelled creature. So they turtle kept his head in his shell.

I started wondering who would win: the turtle whose only chance was waiting for the buzzards to leave, or the tenacious buzzards who just needed to keep watching and trying to find a soft part of him to bite.

Patience versus tenacity.

I checked back about an hour later, and there was one buzzard next to the turtle. The other had lost interest. About an hour after that, I wondered if I would find the turtle dead, another meal for the black, sharp-beaked bird. Instead, I found that they were both gone.

There is an outside chance that the buzzard had found some way to carry the turtle off. But it was pretty big, bigger than a bird like that could carry.

Instead, I choose to think that survival was more important to the turtle than a meal was to the buzzard.