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No Way!

“Dad, guess what?  You’ll be so surprised!” My eight year-old daughter Celia said breathlessly on the phone this morning.

“What?  What is it?”

“We found the lizard!”

“No way!”

“Yes way!”

Celia went on to explain that our cat was chasing something around the boots stored by the basement stairs this morning.  She and Miriam lifted a boot, the lizard popped out, Pippin grabbed it in his mouth, and they quickly retrieved from the cat a skinny but alive Smokey (see my earlier report – last item).  That means for over a month he survived, loose and undetected, in our home.  Celia reports he is now safely in his cage, eagerly drinking water, surrounded by the ready food of crickets, and enjoying Smarty’s (our wiser lizard who stays in his cage) companionship.  This whole past week she has been angling to get me back to the pet store to buy another one, so at least now I won’t have to do that.

When hanging up, I couldn’t help but think of when I was in fourth grade in Waynesville, NC.  A summer vacation to my great aunt’s in Florida had meant my mom had to travel nervously all the way home with a chameleon (actually known as the Carolina Anole) in the backseat of the car.  (Yes, Celia gets it honest.)  A terrarium became its home, but it had to stay in the garage because my mom did not want it to get loose in the house. Her fears were warranted, for one day I sadly discovered it had escaped.  However, about a month later, while playing out in the front of my house, there was my chameleon in a bush by my front porch!  I re-caught him, returned it to its home, and even used him for show-and-tell at school one day.  My teacher, Mrs. Worsham, wasn’t too happy about it sitting on her desk all day.  She especially didn’t like it when I interrupted our math lesson with a yell because my lizard was eating a cricket and I wanted everyone to see it.

Writing this, I guess the kid in me could not help wanting everyone to know Smokey’s back in his home.  And hearing how the cat nearly killed it but chased the lizard back to his proper abode got me to thinking.  The pastor in me cannot help but hope that the Lord will use whatever means – even the evil one – to chase some sinners on my heart back home.  When He does, I’m sure my response will be similar.

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  1. In a classic case of blogging too soon…

    Yesterday I came home from work to be informed by a teary-eyed Celia that Smokey had died. Apparently, the chomp from the cat had not left much of an outer mark but had produced internal injuries. At least he died in dignity surrounded by his loved ones.

    So what’s a dad to do but go get another lizard? However, when we went to our pet store, we were informed the anoles were sold out? “Sold out?!” I asked. “Yes, there was a special coupon this week.” “No way!”

    So we went to several other places, but they did not sell lizards. Finally, I called the last pet store. The man told me they sell anoles but they only had one left in stock. “Hold that for York!” I instructed him. So Celia and I went there and the general manager of the store whom I had spoken to greeted me. “Ah, yes, Mr. York, right this way.” Sure enough, one was left in the cage.

    He then proceeded to try to get the skittish anole in the cage into a little box that was shaped like those that they use for leftovers in Chinese restaurants (try not to think about that the next time you go to the Hong Kong Buffet). It soon became apparent to Celia (she kept looking up at me grinning) that he was a bit afraid to touch the anole. All the while he kept trying to trap and coax the anole into the box, he was explaining to us how some had gotten loose in the store recently. So he was not going to grab it but just let it go “naturally” into the box. Right! He was afraid.

    And then, sure enough, the lizard leaped onto the box, out of the cage onto his arm, off several hands trying to grab him including the manager’s, another clerk’s trying to help him, mine, and Celia’s. It then ran down the display and under it! The display was too big to move, and attempts to retrieve it failed. The manager, a really nice guy afraid of lizards working in a pet store, apologized profusely and said they would call if they caught the lizard or when a shipment came in. I’ll also get a 10% discount.

    Celia’s sadness was overcome with the joy of knowing she was not the only one who lets lizards get away. Besides, I told her, at least it’s not because you are afraid of them.

    Do I make this stuff up? No way!

    March 18, 2011

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