Mr. Lizard came to visit today!
I had tossed a hat and a swimsuit cover-up in the hallway outside Sophie's room during her nap. When she woke up and I picked up the clothes to put them away, I was surprised to see an alligator lizard on the carpet, hiding under the clothes.
It's pretty random and bizarre to find him in the middle of our house. Two of our three cats are incredibly skilled hunters, and though the cats are indoors-only, they have access to a garage...a garage which has a 1.5" gap between the door and the concrete. We've had all sorts of critters wander into our garage for warmth or shelter, only to discover a four-legged killer with sharp claws waiting for them.
Regardless of how he arrived inside, I knew he needed to be back outside and decided to make a fun nature lesson out of the adventure. We named him Mr. Lizard and set about getting him back to nature.
Mr. Lizard was easily scooped up with a plastic cup (alligator lizards are quite fearless and very bold). He was a very obliging and posed for several shots while held captive in the cup.
Once we put the cup down, offering him release into the enticing ice plant blossoming with hot pink flowers, he didn't seem too interested. He mostly stayed put and stared at us as if to say, "Why did you bring me out here where its hot and dirty? I liked it inside -- it was cool like the rock under which I was born, and you guys have good food and cable TV."
So we tapped the cup a little to encourage him to move along. He paused for just a few more shots, ever indifferent to the huge Nikon lens shoved just two inches away from his cute little lizard-y face, then slipped into the ice plant.
Sophie never once seemed too shocked about having a lizard in our hallway, as if zebras, lizards and lorikeets just happen through our house all the time. She was happy to help relocate Mr. Lizard and I was quite proud that I had offered my daughter a valuable lesson in kindness towards animals and respect for all life.
The swelling balloon of pride in my chest was quickly deflated five minutes later when Sophie demanded, "I want more lizard, Mommy!" "Mr. Lizard has to live outside, Sophie." "NO MOMMY! NO OUTSIDE! I want more Mr. Lizard in my hallway!" then dissolved into tears and crumpled on the floor.