The weather was fantastic yesterday (unlike today, so I am glad that we went out, all things considered) so I took the guys out to hang on the lawn for a while. I was going out, so we couldn't stay however long we felt like it, I had to watch the clock. When it got to be so late that we really needed to get back in, I did what I usually do, put all my stuff back in the bag and gather up the little fellows and get them into the travel cage. I usually pick up Raphael last, partly because he's usually the furthest away from me (longer legs cover more distance :-) and partly because he hates being in the cage so much that I try to avoid making him stay in it any more than he absolutely has to. So, the usual routine.
I put all my things in the bag and looked around for Raphael. He was on the lawn, walking towards some bushes that are up against the side of our building - he really loves these bushes for some reason and is very often trying to go over to them and burrow in underneath them. To get to them he has to cross a narrow ... it's not even a road, it's really just for pedestrians and cyclists, but every so often there will be a car there, when someone needs to drive all the way up to somebody's front door for whatever reason. When I looked for him I didn't see a car, but there was one, coming along the front of our building. This tiny road is so narrow that there's only just room for one car. But I didn't see anything, and he wasn't that close to the road anyway. But he is soo fast ... !
I turned away to get the little guys, got Henrik first and then Herman and put them in the cage. Picked it all up and started to walk towards Raphael. That's when I noticed the car, it had just turned the corner ... and that's also when I realized, in the same split second, just how far Raphael had gotten - almost out into the road. And he just kept moving. I was so scared ... !! He was too far away for me to reach him before the car would have already passed him. I just ran over there, and every second I expected to hear some awful crunching sound from his shell being run over and smashed. It was such a horrible feeling ... !!!
But he was fine - the car missed him, but it really can't have been by more than a couple of centimeters. I could hardly believe what a lucky escape he had. Of course he was really scared too ... but I think just as much by me as by the car. :-) He was frightened by the car - this was the closest he's ever been to a moving car except the few times he's been inside one - but then I scared him just as much by running over to him and snatching him up and turning him any which way to see if he was alright, touching his head all over, examining his feet and pulling his front legs out to see if he'd been hurt anywhere. But no, nothing. Not a scratch.
It didn't take long to calm him down either, so he really got away entirely scot free. But I was really shaken. Just a few centimeters and ... oh, I don't even want to think about it. I would seriously never ever have forgiven myself. My little grouch. :-) Next time maybe he will have to go in the cage first after all. :-)