The Hearts and Minds of… Reptiles

Image result for images of iguana and cat

I had an iguana who thought he was a mammal, and his best friends were a dog and a cat.

“Unknowable” and I have been chatting about reptiles, and how they’re wired very differently from mammals. Bear in mind that I have virtually no experience with snakes. My mother drew the line at having snakes in the house. But I have loads and loads of experience with lizards and turtles, and I think I understand them better than most.

Here are some differences between them and us. *Reptiles don’t play. Their idea of a good time is a nap. *Actually, that’s about the only major difference I can think of. Reptiles are like other living things: to every rule, there are exceptions.

Here are some similarities between us and them. *Reptiles can be tamed: they respond well to care and kindness. *As pets, they learn to do things that they would never learn to do in nature. *You have to remember that they, like us, are individuals. Putting two turtles in the same aquarium is no guarantee of peace; nor does it guarantee war. Maybe they’ll hit it off. Maybe they won’t. *The longer they live, the more than learn.

Yes, they are different from us mammals. That’s what makes it so satisfying when you find common ground with your lizard or your turtle. When that shy, skittish painted turtle stretches out his neck so you can scratch his chin, or that big lizard you’ve had for ten years seeks out your lap as his favorite snoozing spot… well, you’ve achieved something. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

One comment on “The Hearts and Minds of… Reptiles”

  1. Every living, breathing thing, is in some way or another, a reflection of our Creator, and as near as I can tell, every living, breathing thing has a personality, all its own. We love personalities, and can even love the aspects of personalities that differ from our own tastes.

    Even reptiles have personalities. I had a pet snake once that seemed very content and secure when I held her. She wasn’t that way with everyone. Snakes have very simple personalities, but her personality and mine found a way to interact that worked well.

    Animals of all sorts may be simpler than humans, but they are not stupid. They don’t have the tool of symbolic language which allows them to organize abstract thought in elaborate ways, but as scripture tells us, they are wise through instinct. Even a simple creature, such as a reptile, knows that living peacefully and being cared for by a human is to its advantage, and over time, they can become quite comfortable and relaxed.

    Something tells me that when God restores all things, we will see animal life in an amazing light.

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