Monday, September 17, 2007

What a tale my tub could tell.

While a teenager I was the nature counsellor at a summer camp in Ontario. The owner of the camp lived in Toronto’s posh Rosedale neighbourhood, and one day arrived in front of the lowly nature shack , optimistically renamed “The Ecology Centre,” with a ceramic and cast iron bathtub in the back of a truck.

“I brought you a turtle pond,” he said. We hauled it out and let it fall to the ground without injuring ourselves. Then he said, “Guess who it used to belong to?”

I had no clue. “I give up.”

“Gordon Lightfoot.”

No kidding. Apparently Ol’ Gord was renovating, and his old tub was out in front of his house with the rest of the debris, free for the taking. Quite a find!

We dug a hole, which was no easy task as the soil was all glacial rubble, and sunk the tub. Over the summer it was temporary home to (not all at once) Midland Painted Turtles, a Blanding’s Turtle, a Musk Turtle, and a small Snapping Turtle.

The picture shows the tub at the end of the summer, post chelonians, with what look like young cedars nestled inside. I cannot remember who put them there, or why. I wonder if the tub is still there. A cast-iron tub sunk in rocky soil would seem to embody an especially daunting inertia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's something fascinating about those old tubs - perhaps just the memories they bring with them, as both of my grandmothers had them in their houses. I always wanted to turn one into an aquarium with a glass top (dual purpose, aquarium and coffee table).