forestcats says to me: "Hunnnyyyy...do you LOOOVVVEEE MMMMEEE???"
"What did you buy?"
She quickly replies: "Nothing."
"OK, then, what followed you home?" She replies: "You're closer."
"A horse?" Uh-uh. "A dog?" Nope. She then informs me that she caught it racing down the trail behind our house, and that it won't fit in the dog door. "An anaconda?"
Apparently, while she was chatting with my mother on the phone, she saw a rock walking from the east end of our trail westbound. By the time she'd hung up, unhooked the south gate, walked through the corral, chasing away horses, donkey and dogs, and then exiting out the back gate, closing it behind her, the rock had managed to make it almost all the way across the width of our yard, going at full speed.
Initially, once she'd caught it, she thought she had a full-grown California Desert Tortoise, out for a stroll in Montclair, just for a constitutional. However, after a discussion with one of our veterinarian friends, and a bit of a search online for photos, she thinks it's an African Spiked Tortoise, and though it's around ten kilos in weight, it isn't full-grown yet. Oh, boy.
It's sex is yet to be determined, and I gather that she's posting signs announcing the finding of the tortoise, in case it's somebody's pet, but she's going to insist on seeing photos of the beastie before she gives it up to just anybody.
I really don't think it's a good idea for us to keep it, since we have dogs, and someday brushette will figure out how to eat it, and corveys won't protect a reptile. Still, I'm armed with names, just in case. If it's a she, I suggest "Lini", and if a he, "Lino". But that's just in case, mind you. I'm not advocating keeping it.
I did get a glimpse of the shell, with head and limbs retracted, asleep, in the cage in the breezeway, safe from dogs and cats and things that go bump in the night. Sleep tight, Tortoise Lini.