Recently I came across an advertisement from the 1950’s offering a free turtle hatchling with the purchase of a tabletop garden. I was instantly inspired by the novelty of such an offer and knew that I would have wanted one. Offers like these however ended in the 1970’s when the FDA banned the sell of hatchlings out of concern over salmonella. Interestingly, the ban had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that 1000’s of hatchlings died due to inadequate care and poor living conditions. Apparently baby turtles need more than a cheap tabletop garden to survive.
Inspired by the idea of the tiny baby turtle that I’ll never get to send away for, I created my own advertisement which reads:
Amaze your friends and family with the most exciting pet you’ll ever own! Imagine – your very own live baby turtle. Experience hours of quiet enjoyment watching your little one swim and relax in his semi-aquatic tabletop habitat. Notice the subtle pattern of his shell and the friendly way he greets you for feedings. You won’t believe what you can learn from this little fellow!
Through this special offer you’ll receive everything you need to create an attractive, natural looking habitat that allows you to bring the beauty of nature into your home. This includes lifelike plastic plants, simulated basking rocks and a clear acrylic container. Plus, as our special gift to you, we’ll include a jar of our specially formulated shrimp flavored turtle food which will provide your turtle with the nutrition he needs to give you both many happy years together.
With only 750 baby turtles available, this offer isn’t going to last long. Order now for just $1.75 plus the cost of shipping and handling and a hatchling will be hand selected from the nursery just for you. He’ll arrive safely nestled within a protective moss enclosure that insures both his health and happiness upon arrival. Hurry, your new friend is eager to meet you!
You can see how it all came together below: