The “Tail” of the Gecko

Those of you who may be in doubt as to my love for “nature”, when nature means bugs or tiny creepy crawly things, should have no trouble understanding my thoughts on such matters after reading this.

The other day, as on most days, I was doing laundry. I had set a group of towels/sheets on the kitchen floor just outside the laundry room to await their turn in the washer. When I went to pick up the linens, I noticed a tiny little worm that must have been hiding underneath them, wiggling about on the floor. I’d never seen a worm like this…it was very thin, and had unfamiliar coloring and markings on it. And then there was the matter of the way in which it was wiggling – such a strange way for a worm, sort of twitching back and forth on the tile. “Odd,” I thought to myself, “I’ve never seen a worm behave that way before.” Still puzzled, I continued picking up the towels until, to my surprise, a tiny gecko darted out from the rest of the pile. When I looked at him closely, I about swallowed my tongue because I knew then that the worm I had seen was in fact no worm. Know why? because (you guessed it): the gecko was TAIL-LESS!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!

My husband, who is almost never home in the middle of the day, had just dropped by quickly on his way to a lunch meeting and heard my screams. When he asked what was wrong I could only point and gape and make sickening faces at him.

The little boys came running to see what all the commotion was about, and of course offered their enthusiastic comments to brighten the situation for mommy:

“Oh, look at the cute lizard!” “Where, Mommy, where’s the lizard?” “What’s wrong, Mommy?” “Can I pick it up?” “Oh, look, he lost his tail – poor lizard!” “Look Mommy, there’s his tail!”

And on, and on, and on.

Before we could do much about the gecko (or his tail for that matter) he darted under a well-placed chest of drawers, where I most certainly was not going to chase after him. I finally stopped having contractions and went back to my laundry.

Fast forward to later that evening: as I was heading back to the bedroom with my snack (Baby likes a snack before bed!) who should appear in my path but my amphibious friend from earlier in the day!?! I just about stepped on him. Again, he managed to flee to safety, this time under the bookcase. I wasn’t about to move the large bookcase to try and extricate him from the premises, so I guess you could say we had a houseguest for the night.

Well, the next day saw the end of the gecko’s tale. It was little Abigail who discovered him, expired, not far from where I’d seen him the night before. “Poor little gecko!” she cried, bemoaning his sad end. “Poor, poor thing,” she echoed, again and again. Sweet girl, she has such a tender heart, even for reptiles.

I admit, I am not so tenderhearted toward geckos, but I am touched and humbled by my children’s fascination and respect for God’s creatures, be they great or small.

“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful: the Lord God made them all!”
~Cecil F. Alexander

2 Comments

  1. Leslie
    Sep 18, 2005

    Oh, that is too funny.

    Now, I would be more appalled at the idea of a worm in my laundry than a lizard tail. My thinking is that a lizard tail is just that, a lizard tail. But worms! Ugh. They morph from one thing to another and who knows what it is!?! Or worse. From whence did it come? Ick!

    Perhaps I have given this too much thought?

  2. jennifer
    Sep 19, 2005

    Tricia,

    I also hate most things creepy and crawly. However, I must confess geckos have a special place in my heart as one of my pre-marriage roommates and I had a “pet” gecko who lived under the refrigerator of our appartment in Florida for at least 6 months. Every time I see the Gieco gecko on tv, I think of our “pet.” But I don’t think I would have liked the talelessness of your gecko.