No. Growing up in Kentucky we didn't have lizards....or armadillos.
Yes. I jumped outta my skin when I saw him perched on our counter.
Clearly he (or she) are they asexual? Let's call it a 'he'--honey you know Mama lizard back at the ranch holding down the lizard-hole while this dude is runnin' around exploring. So. He is not that big, however, his presence was unexpected and I let out a shrill. Kids run in--"Mama what is it?" "Get me the broom" I say as I march toward the kitchen to the fetch the broom. The kids can't move quickly enough, I think, gotta do it myself--"Mamie can get it," my youngest declares. That's already crossed my mind. Our housekeeper-she picks them up by the tail and casually pitches him-or her-outside. I tried. I walked toward the lizard and took a deep breath.....and even reached for the long tail. Will his tail drop off? Or is that a chameleon? In my mind, I see myself holding the thin tail and the lizard wildly wriggling toward my wrist.....Nope. Can't do it. So I go for the broom. I hold the broom trying to get the small-minded beast to jump on. He races toward the corner of the mirror. I lay the broom out again, hoping he'll race up it and then I'll run outside....
He scoots to the edge of our counter....and then, incredibly, does a 'hail Mary' jump onto the bathroom floor. "Eeeeek" our children scream and run backwards to our closet. "Get in the shower" one of them screams. I'm stunned by the lizard's jump. Damn. Surely he's dead.
He wiggles around....and I begin sweeping him. If I can get him over the threshold and into the hallwayI think, we're almost outside. I give him a firm whack and he rolls into the hallway. As I scoot pass the door and get my broom ready for the next threshold....there stands our faithful dog Willie. Relief! Willie stands firm and looks at me....he senses tension, I see it in his stance.
I give the lizard a tap, "Look Willie," and Willie knows from the tone of my voice he has a treat. Willie braces his legs and eyeballs the little reptile.....before I can speak he pounces the lizard--I see the lizard wriggling--Willie readjusts his mouth and takes the green little varment outside.
Ahhhhh. Willie. Of course. Why didn't I think of him sooner.
I'm slightly embarrassed that I didn't just pick up the lizard.....what would Ma Ingalls have done? She could do it. My Appalachian ancestors could have picked it up--hell, they might have boiled it up for dinner.
I've been thinking lately about how comfortable life is today. I think of the struggles other generations of Americans have faced. I think of the suffering in other parts of the world. As a society and Nation we don't value the Blessings of freedom, of having plenty of food and shelter. When we're too hot we turn up the air conditioning and if we're too cold we turn up the heat. Gotta give a shout-out to hubby Buford T., who builds an exceptional fire and impresses me as a person who could truly live off the land. Me? I'd be fine, as long as I can bring Willie.
Ma Ingalls had a dog, I reassure myself. That's why pioneers had dogs--for protection and help as much as companionship. I'm not advocating we get a covered wagon, move out West and live in a yert, but I do want to be more intentional about counting my Blessings. Like our faithful dog Willie.