Now. Here is the thing about lizards.
When my children were growing up, I worked hard to be emotionless when I was called upon to touch creepy things. I didn’t want my children to find reptiles scary the way I did. It was my obligation as a mother to welcome every strange creature into our home as “educational” and I DID.
Even the giant Tarantula which eventually got released into the trumpet vine.
I don’t have to do that anymore. I passed the test.
I touched spiders and lizards and snakes and ferrets and fish of all kinds and birds and cats and dogs. (I love cats and dogs) I searched the house for lost hamsters and gerbils and even a turtle. I made a splint for a parakeet’s leg and pulled a fishing fly from the tongue of a very unfortunate cat. I grabbed chickens and put them back in their pen. I have touched horses and cows and sheep and goats. I am great at a Petting Zoo. I have touched a baby owl and helped make a bed for an injured mink. I have touched rabbits, fed squirrels, touched ducks and rescued baby birds. And, I am proud of it.
This lizard is all my grandson wanted for his birthday. I can take pictures I told him but I really don’t want to pet it. I was told how sweet it was and how it loved people. I was told that it only looked prickley but was really soft. Like a kitten. I told him that I was sure it was very sweet . . . in fact it may be the sweetest lizard ever born.
Nevertheless, I would touch it another day.
Okay. He giggled and looked sideways at his brother who begged for a chance to hold the birthday lizard since I didn’t want to.
My daughter acted like it was her new best friend but I could see that she was me. One generation removed.
As the baby lunged to touch it, my daughter shuddered. (Out of the sight of the boys and the lizard)
I am sure that it is a very nice lizard. It is a girl lizard. I didn’t ask how anyone knew that.
It clung to the birthday boy’s shirt and worked its way up to a snuggling position in his neck. I tried to fake interest as I snapped away. I liked the pictures of the lizard far more than the lizard itself.
I told the new Lizard Hunter that after he put his present away, I would give him a birthday hug. He didn’t hurry and I didn’t either. I reminded my daughter that it was a great lizard as long as it was on a shirt or in its tank.
When it wasn’t either place . . . it was time to worry.