Memory Lane: My Mother & My Lizards

Image result for images of pet anoles

It can’t be said my mother liked lizards. Not for all the tea in China would she have handled one. And as for insects, forget about it.

Nevertheless, when I had pet anoles as a boy (inaccurately sold as “chameleons,” because they can change color), my mother went out every day with a jar and patrolled our florabunda rose hedge, catching assorted bugs–spiders, leaf-hoppers, caterpillars–to feed the lizards. This I thought was pretty cool.

The instruction book said it would be a good idea to put a piece of cut banana in the terrarium. This would attract fruit flies for the lizards to catch. So my mother did that, too. We never saw any fruit flies, but the lizards would eat the banana.

Later, when I had my iguana, she used to prepare very nice salads for him. So did my wife, and so did my next-door neighbor when we moved into our apartment. He had a personality that made nice women want to feed him.

Ma, you really were cool! And I still miss you.

If they have lizards in Heaven, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t, I’ll bet she feeds them.

9 comments on “Memory Lane: My Mother & My Lizards

  1. A sweet story. It’s funny how love shines through, even when there is a degree of revulsion involved. Many people don’t like reptiles; I understand that. Nonetheless, your mother’s decency and love, both for you and for one of God’s creatures, overcame her dislike of reptiles and she showed kindness to it. It sounds like your mom was quite a person.

    Remember the restitution of all things. It is real.

    1. Lizards make the world go around. I’m probably not more than 10’ from one (or many), as I type from my bedroom. They are everywhere in these parts, mostly Swifts, but also some dandy Horned Lizards, who seem to show up as fleeing critters about the time I fire up the line trimmer. The Horned Lizards can get pretty large.

      I enjoy having them here, because they add interest and take absolutely nothing away, except the insects they eat. It’s fun to see a Swift hightailing it away when you walk through the yard. A few days ago, I was out front and a roadrunner all but ran into me. A second later I saw a Swift dart into a place of concealment and I put the story together. The roadrunner was chasing the Swift and stopped in its tracks when it saw me. The Swift didn’t care and ran right past me as he dived for cover. The roadrunner clicked his beak and headed off into the back lot while the lizard counted its blessings. 🙂

  2. What a sweet memory of your mom. Thank you for sharing. It may, as it has me, prompt memories of childhood.

    And, by the way, I like lizards of all types. In South Florida we have quite a few different types, including Knight Anoles and geckos (who have the sweetest chirping song you could imagine.

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