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Prize-winning, make-believe creature arrives in Cremona

Mother-daughter duo come up with combination of bear and turtle for a creature contest put on by the Village of Cremona
burtle is cremona
Ten-year-old Calli Reid and her mom Pamela pose with the "Burtle" – a make-believe creature they invented which won them a prize. Johnnie Bachusky/MVP Staff

CREMONA — Users of the popular Cremona Nature Trail now have a chance to meet and learn about the village’s newest resident, a make-believe creature called a ‘Burtle’ that was created by 10-year-old Calli Reid and her mom Pamela.

The Cremona pair invented the Burtle – a combination of bear and turtle – for a contest put on by the Village of Cremona.

“Calli and I thought it would be fun to make a creature from a turtle and a bear,” said Pamela. “We took on the challenge to make a never-seen-before animal that would be enjoyed on the Cremona Nature Trail.”

Between Pamela drawing the creature and Calli creating the story of how it came to be, the mother-daughter duo came up with a Burtle and it has found its new home in Cremona.  

The Burtle itself is a laser-sculpted, powder-coated metal cutout and now a permanent addition to the trail, which already has many other animal cutouts along its route.

The municipality's Cremona Creature contest was recently held to conjure up a creature exclusive to the community.

Calli has invented a whole history of the Burtle, with the information posted on a display beside the creature.

“The Burtle was made by a volcano right by Cremona,” she writes. “A volcano erupted and somehow hit a turtle and a bear at the same time. The Burtle was still a little smoky so it crawled its way into Cremona to find some water. From that day the Burtle lived in the nature park here in Cremona.”

According to the display, the Burtle likes to eat bugs, has six claws on each foot with pokey scales, and is the size of a bear. Its favourite colours are green and orange.

“Burtles try their very best to avoid coyotes. The Burtle is friendly, but it does not like to be disturbed in its habitat.”

Jennie Thompson is Cremona’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) coordinator.

“It’s a wonderful addition to our trail,” said Thompson.  

There were six entries in the contest.

“It was a difficult decision for the FCSS board to decide as all six were very imaginative,” she said. “The prize for winning was to have your animal become part of the nature trail collection.”