Thursday, December 17, 2009

somewhat unrelated remodel issues

Yesterday R calls me with a hint of concern in his voice.

"We have a lizard emergency."

The lizard is a western fence lizard aka blue bellied lizard that D2 caught in Taos,NM this summer, which we then kept for D1's boy scout reptile merit badge. The boy scouts have a lot to answer for in this household....

Thanks to craiglist and the internet, the most fabulous terrarium was created (required for webelos naturalist merit badge). We fed him generously and he rewarded us with much larger piles of lizard poop than I thought possible from such a tiny thing.

With the remodel coming up, I farmed out with lizard with not so subtle hints about meeting requirements for merit badges to the boy scouting community. Family 1 took it and survived although webeloe mum reported that C was "grossed out by cleaning out the poop."

I was too...

He/she/it is currently on his/her/its third family.

"Does it ever hide in the sands during the day?"

"oh yeah..." I said thinking of the times when I thought the wretched reptile had escaped SOMEHOW and caused me to doubt my own sanity and memory(which I do often anyway....).

"Yes, but does he stay down for more than 8 hours?"

"Well.....I think so...I mean, he's disappeared on us before and then he reappears."

"I sifted the sand gently and I didn't see any evidence of him."

How well I know....he had us so baffled with his amazing disappearing act that we took to calling him Houdini. The first time he pulled that stunt, I realised I had become rather fond of it, and was rather worried that he had run away never to be found. We took the top of the terrarium off, put some crickets in, left the heat lamp on and were so pleased to see him sunning himself the next day that we never interrogated him about his whereabouts.

We finally figured out he never got out but went underground when he disappeared on me one evening. One minute he was there and the next he was not, and the top of the terrarium was firmly attached. 30 minutes later, he was on his sun rock.

R was still speaking on the phone, "We had it under control until yesterday when the cleaning lady came in. She didn't realise it was in K's bedroom and she left the door open. The cat was on top and his weight bent the netting a little. I thought I fixed it. I can't imagine how it could have gotten out even if there was such a small opening......"

"Maybe it went deeper underground if it was traumatised?" I suggested. R was much more worried about the lizard than I was.

He sighed, "Or got eaten..."

Suddenly a poopless future glimmered. It had been two months since I had seen the lizard. With four demanding kittens that we rescued 3 months ago, scooping up lizard poop seemed to add just a little more work than I was prepared for.

I quickly reassured R, "It's fine. Worst come to worst, don't worry about it."

"Well worst come to worst....what did you say it was?....we'll get D2 a rejuvenated one...."

"No don't have to BUY us ANOTHER one...."

"Oh no...tell D2 not to worry...."

I looked over at D2 who was happily playing with his friends and had not mentioned or seemed to remember the lizard at all.


"I'll send you an email if it resurfaces."

A full 24 hours email pops up. 'Just when I had given up hope, I come home and there is the lizard sunning him?self on his sunning rock, acting all innocent.'


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Picture of Houdini with his late best friend, the Giant Grasshopper. Houdini used to sleep on the plants before he discovered the security of the caves we built him.

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