Sister Cindy made this turtle pendant for me many many moons ago - I believe in a high school art class. I am not sure if she chose the turtle shape and surprised me with it, or if I told her what I wanted - she might remember those details.
I do know that the stone in his belly was one given to me by an old leprechaun with a twinkle in his eye, an elderly gentleman named John McMahon, who was dean of the College of Ceramics at Alfred University, where my father taught. John and his wife Mae used to sit at the other end of the pew from us in church, and was kind of a surrogate grandfather. He had a passion for rock collecting and lapidary, and his basement was a wonderland of tumblers and polishers and displays of rock samples. He had embellished this stone with a shamrock decal.
I recently asked Sister Cindy if she could remove the decal, as I wanted to wear the pendant again but did not want to have to explain the shamrock every time (it's a long story...especially since I am not Irish) so she took this little guy all apart, polished him up and put him back together. Now I just need to find the right chain.
This has always been one of my favorite turtles, though, and I am truly lucky to have had John in my life, and to have a big sister like Cindy (even though I used to terrorize her when I was little).