‘Diane the turtle’ celebrated her milestone 50th birthday wearing a tiny hat at a party thrown by her brothers Jim and Brad Tonner at their store TwinDesigns Gift Shop in New Hampshire.
Diane’s story goes back to the year 1968, when a 12-year-old Jim was sick because of arthritis. His loved ones tried their best to cheer him up and used to send things up to him in a basket tied to a string on the second floor of his home while he was recovering.
“One day I pull up the basket,” Jim said, “It’s this little tiny green turtle in the basket, and it’s Diane.” She has stayed by Jim’s side since then and her popularity has grown so much that she has appeared in newspapers and attracted visitors from all over.
Jim said, “People come from all over and they bring their parrots and their dogs and cats. She has friends from — you name the country.” Jim and Brad have also written books on her and have a livestream of her tank on the website DianeTheTurtle.com.
Diane is 50, and has outlived the normal turtle life expectancy which is 40 years, her secret diet-homegrown romaine lettuce and strawberries says Jim. “She loves strawberries,” he added, “She comes over the side of the tank and kids bring her strawberries and it’s wonderful.”
But it’s still a mystery who gave Diane to Jim, as he says, “We’ll never know who did it,” and added, “It was a surprise. That generation is all gone now. It was an act of kindness that probably cost 25 cents and it spread to thousands of people over 50 years.”
Nobody should undermine the value of a single act of kindness as it can be a lifesaver.