Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lizard On The Loose

I found this story while going through some old files.  I wrote it sometime in 2005.  Enjoy!

A lizard has been terrorizing my household over the last week. I am not a
big fan of reptiles, and I particularly hate snakes. Somehow, this lizard
found it's way into the house over last weekend.

I walked into my kitchen on Sunday and saw it scurry under the oven. Since
I was by myself, I figured I would wait until I had some help to actually
try to catch it. Call me a wimp if you will, but I really have an
irrational fear of these little creatures. I didn't see it again,
however. It just seemed to disappear. I mentioned the lizard to my
parents, who came by with my daughter later that day, but not to anyone

On Tuesday, my daughter's nanny panicked when she thought she saw a mouse
in the living room. She didn't relax much when she discovered it wasn't a
mouse; it was our lizard. She spent a couple of hours trying to catch it
in a Tupperware bowl, but she didn't have any luck, and it disappeared
again. My in-laws arrived later, and I reluctantly decided to let them
know about the lizard. My mother-in-law didn't take this news well,
particularly since she was planning to spend the night in the living room.
But, again, it just seemed to disappear.

Last night, Thursday, I found it. It ran past me in my basement. My
mother and I spent the next two hours trying to catch it as it ran from
behind one bookcase to another. This guy was really fast. We didn't want
to hurt it, necessarily, but we didn't want to just let it run loose in
the basement, where it could conceivably live for some time, and where my
almost-two-year-old daughter or my faithful Maltese pup, Scout, might find
it. In fact, we almost lost Scout at one point when I tripped over her
in a panic when the lizard unexpectedly jumped out at me from behind one
of the shelves and we all ran out of the room. We finally trapped it,
after much difficulty (I had to move several 6-foot shelves and quite a
few books, and we discovered it didn't much like Windex), under a clear
plastic bowl, and we piled several heavy books on top of it to keep it
from crawling out from under it. We didn't know what to do with it, since
it was on a carpet and it would not be easy to move it with him under the
bowl. So we left it there, under the bowl, for the time being. However,
I guess we unintentionally cut off the lizard's oxygen supply, as it
appears to have expired. Serves it right, though, for coming into the
house in the first place and eluding capture for most of the week. For
the record, it was dark brown in color with yellow stripes, about 4 inches
in length, and more than big enough to bite a little toe. I'm thinking
about having it stuffed and mounted. We're a little worried, though,
since we saw its brother (or sister. Or Dad!) hanging around outside near
the front porch.

I'm feeling a bit of remorse since it died while in our capture. My
intention was to catch it and release it into the woods out back, but we
were so concerned about it getting away again that we decided to wait
until we could think things out (there was a lot of adrenaline flowing
just after we caught it). It didn't occur to us that it might run out of
air, at least that quickly.

I was told that the lizard is actually a "skink", which is a little
creepier than your standard lizard, since it "slithers" like a snake. This
is the second reptile to get into the house in the last three years. A
snake got into my basement, too. Unfortunately (fortunately), it met the
same end as the lizard. I REALLY hate snakes.

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