Ok, so if you find a penny and pick it up, you are supposed to have good luck.
If a black cat crosses your path, you will have bad luck.
But I can't find ANYWHERE where it tells me the meaning of finding a red-eared slider in the parking lot next to my car in the most industrial neighborhood in Santa Ana with nary a stream nor lake nor grass nor tree for miles.
Oh, I guess it means that you'll have a turtle sleeping in your bathtub overnight until you can take it to the cool pond over by John's house tomorrow. And that you'll even go to Petco and buy those little feeder goldfish. And that you'll do your best not to name them on the way home, because you know they are 10 minutes away from becoming lunch. And that your cat will sit and cry at the closed bathroom door and reach waaaaaay under with his paw, trying to find out what possible reason you could have for not letting him in there.
Wednesday Morning Update : the stupid little feeder fish raced around the tub and then expired all at the same time. Yertle declined to eat any of them and eyed me suspiciously when I offered him a piece of lettuce as an alternative (some turtles are vegetarian, you know!). He looked so scared and I was quite sure that he had been dumped in the parking lot by someone looking to get rid of him (although that is the WORST place that they could have left him!), so Ryan made the executive decision to take him to the sparkly pond in Costa Mesa, where John lives. There, a whole band of red eared sliders live happily together and John says the property management gives them turtle food pellets in addition to the guppies in the pond.
According to Ryan, this is how the release went : Yertle splashed into the water, immediately cutting a glistening trail in the calm water. In this distance faint music played and as he swam up to the other turtles, fireworks exploded overhead. [the weirdest part of this is that all parts of this story are true... how movie-like the whole thing was is open to interpretation]