Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lizard, Lizard, show me...

a red tongue, red tongue, red tongue.

Grannie told me to go on the narrow front porch of my parents' little brick house, this was the late 1960s, watch for a lizard, then chant this to it.  She emphasized the word tongue on the up beat.

I was dubious but curious and mostly obedient.  This was the era when minding one's elders was demanded and arguing and backtalking was quickly squelched, with physical force if necessary.

I'll be dog.  Soon enough a lizard scurried by, slowed for a few moments and did exactly what Grannie said it would do!

Starting this morning on my roomier front porch in the 21st century, I spied a lizard on a table where a fern from my baby boy's wedding now resides.  It looked up at what surely seemed like Mt. Everest, a big black flower pot, surveyed left, then right, and quick as a flash hopped a cascading frond, valuable real estate with the best view on the porch.

My baby boy's observation of a lizard came to mind.  He noticed they did push-ups.  I've noticed they love the eco-system created just for them by the many potted plants which adorn my front porch for eight or nine months of the year.  They hide behind the shutters, skitter along the porch rail, sometimes evading the cat who sees them as toys, drink water droplets from the leaves on the plants, snap an insect for breakfast and make adorable teeny baby lizards.  

I've often said of myself it doesn't take much to entertain me.  

These little chameleon-like creatures are even mentioned in the Bible, "a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings' palaces."  

I don't catch them with my hand, as a matter of fact, when one migrated indoors for the winter, hitching a ride on its plant home, my now daughter-in-love, then girlfriend of my baby boy caught it for me and released it to find a winter home outside.  

Back at my childhood home, a neighbor boy picked up a lizard, was looking at it closely and it latched onto the columella of his nose and hung on for dear life.  I went inside and told my mother there was a lizard hanging from Mike's nose and she told me, "Go on and leave me alone."  

I forgive her now for that, she had four children and worked full time.  I did what she said and went back onto the carport and the husky kid with a crew cut and freckles on his round face was shaking his head, the lizard flinging left and right, he was crying, so I went back inside and apprised my mother of the situation once more.

This time she must have believed me for she got a dish towel, calmly held the boy's head with one hand, grasped the lizard with the dish towel and it unclamped its jaws for freedom.  Little lizard got the ride of its life and the little boy wasn't traumatized, we weren't allowed to be that way either back in the day, and resumed playing.

There's my lizard story, small but significant.  Country living lends itself to little observations like this and my training for this life began at my Grannie's command.

Can't see the lizard and I believe that's the plan.