I was on my way to the Berkshire Dance Theatre’s opening night.

The performance was only five or ten minutes away from my house, so I decided to just do my dressing up at home rather than try to find a place to change into costume once I got there.

It was raining a little bit, and it was that no longer day but not yet night time when the light plays tricks on you — so when I saw what looked like a gigantic monitor lizard crawing across the road I was pretty sure it wasn’t actually a monitor lizard. (Besides, I’m notorious for shouting “Moose!” and swerving the car around for a better look, only to discover it’s just one of those cardboard silhouettes people put in their backyards for some reason. I only did it once, but apparently that’s enough to cause notoriety. If your wife frequently making fun of you can be considered notoriety. Which it probably can.)

Anyway. It wasn’t a giant lizard, of course; it turned out to be a basketball-sized tortoise that by the time I had backed up and gotten out for a closer look had made it not quite halfway across the road. He looked up at me quizzically. I stood there for a little while, trying to decide whether to see if I could safely lift the guy and carry him to safety, or if I should just leave him to make up his own mind about which direction he wanted to go.

It was at this point that a crusty new england pickup truck, presumably carrying an equally crusty new englander, rounded the corner on this rural new england road to find a tall white guy wrapped in brightly colored and patterned African garb, standing in the road holding an umbrella over a large tortoise.

I hope he appreciated the moment as much as I did.