Friday, August 24, 2012

 
 
What is it with kids and lizards?
      And why do lizards allow themselves to be subjected to their grasp? Maybe lizards know that by allowing a child to hold them, they are teaching children a valuable lesson that may, one day, save one of their lizard ancestors from being stomped on the playground. I used to get in a countless number of fights in elementary school defending lizards from the (almost always) circle of boys that were hovering over the poor creature. They would be poking them with a stick or throwing rocks or stepping on (or pulling) their legs. I would jump in the center, scoop up the darling and RUN!

       So, it goes without saying, when I see a little lizard and my girls want to hold it, I say “sure.” I do have some rules. No pulling, No grabbing the tail (it comes off). No squeezing. And no chasing. I have perfected a method of catching lizards. It works. The next time you see a lizard (ours around here are this type: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_anole) , try this. Get about eye level with it. With your right hand, put it off to the right and up and wiggle your fingers. The lizard will be mesmerized by your moving fingers. With the other hand, quickly place it over the lizard. You will look silly to the folks that dared you to catch the lizard, but you will walk away triumphant, saying “Who's silly now?” You have been dared to catch a lizard, haven't you?
Saving the lizard from the hair jungle.
           Catching lizards as an adult might seem weird, but once those little curls ask you if they can hold the little lizard, you will quickly become the lizard catching champion of your county. Now, once the child has the lizard in their hand, fully expect screaming, screaming and more screaming! Gender does not apply here. I have seen little boys scream just as much as the little girls. As soon as they scream and release the lizard, it will invariably climb up their arm and embed themselves in their jungle of hair. You will now have mass hysteria on your hands and will have to act quickly to remove the intruder. After the beast has been found and order is restored, the child will, yet again, want to hold the lizard. So, you will place said lizard back into the hands of the scream machine, and the screaming will reach a higher and more frantic pitch than before. After about the third repeat session, the child will be worn out.

     Assuming all of the rules have been followed, the lizard should be no worse for wear. However, the child has gained something...knowledge through participation... The lizard did not bite (have any of you wore lizards as living earrings? No? Just me?). The lizard did not hiss. The lizard did not lose its bloody little tail. The lizard only sits quietly or walks about. And now and only now, the lizard is kind of cute. After looking closely at his little scales and peering into his beady, shiny little eyes, it's time to return him to the fence row. Triumphant looks of accomplishment on the little faces beaded with sweat from their efforts surely mean that at least one more generation of playground lizards has a champion on their side. This someone will scoop them up and run to safety against all odds... Hopefully without all of the screaming. 
Future defender of the lizards!

***I am not responsible for your failed attempts at catching a lizard. I am also not responsible for you catching the lizard only to find out that it is, indeed, a highly venomous snake. This blog is for information and entertainment only. Thank you!

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