Verbosity21's Blog
Short Stories by Ralph Proenza– mostly Fiction, but some based on true events

* The Lizard’s Tale


Inspired by True Events & A Little Poetic License

He was on a hunt.  He hadn’t eaten a good juicy bug in a couple of hours and he was hungry.  The green South Florida anole [ah-know’-lee], otherwise known as the common lizard, was on the prowl for the first insect that crossed his path.  He didn’t feel “common” as his hunting prowess would attest.  He moved his throat rapidly up and down so air would run over his Jacobson’s smelling organ as a way of tasting the air around him.  Surely the aroma of a nice grasshopper or mayfly would come soon.

The leaves on this particular bush were crisp and provided a good camouflage for his green skin, unlike the brown color he would turn in times of stress, or if walking on a dark surface.  He thought he might bump into that foxy little female he had seen in the area with beautiful smooth scales and nice line down her back.  If he did he would immediately stretch out his dewlap, the loose fold of skin under his jaw, hoping its reddish-pink color would impress the lady.  If he had vocal cords like the gecko, he could sing to her a melodious croak or warble and win her over.  Maybe he could even get lucky tonight although she didn’t need him to lay eggs.

Then, without warning, he noticed movement behind.  But it was too late.  The gargantuan hand was already reaching and about to grab him.  Instinctively he lunged forward onto another branch just as he felt the giant’s hand pressure.  He managed to escape the grasp but not before losing the tip of his tail.

Ha!  That’s no big deal.  I lose my tail all the time in battle.  I’ll just grow it back, he thought.  But his celebratory remark was short-lived.  The giant’s other hand came from in front and cupped him.  He was trapped.  No amount of wiggling would free him.  Immediately he felt the chromatophores in his skin begin to darken.  In seconds he was embarrassingly brown in color.  Thank goodness that little honey can’t see me now!

The two boys had been hunting a lizard for some time.  It was Leslie who spotted it first.  He was excited because now he could get to do some surgery on the little critter, to see what was inside.  “Here, I got one!” he exclaimed.  His friend Ralph turned from the other side of the bush and rushed over.  “He lost his tail but that won’t matter” said Leslie. “We can still do it.”

“Neat.  I’ll be your assistant,” Ralph said excitedly.  Leslie carefully closed down on the lizard until he had him around the chest.  He walked to where he had set up his surgical arena:  a wood slat about a foot long.  At the side were a used razor blade to make the incisions, some straight pins to hold back the reflected skin, eyebrow tweezers, and a paper towel.

The moment had arrived.  Despite the lack of anesthesia, history was about to be made.  Both boys huddled over the unfortunate lizard now on its back, heads almost bumping, with Leslie blade in hand.  Ralph was holding the legs on the left side while Leslie held the right ones.  Their hearts started racing, their breathing came rapidly – the tension in the air was palpable.

Leslie approached the underbelly of the animal. His hand quivered momentarily then regained its composure.  Ralph nervously shuffled his feet in anticipation of the incision.  The lizard was panting, now very brown in color and in obvious distress.  Blade touched the soft pliable skin.  Suddenly Leslie jumped back away from the lizard.  “Did you hear that Ralph?”

“Hear what?” squawked Ralph.

Leslie’s eyes were almost bugged out.  “I thought I heard a teeny-tiny voice say “Oy vey!”…

*   *   *   *

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One Response to “* The Lizard’s Tale”

  1. Brings back lots of good memories.


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