Sunday, September 09, 2012

Saving the Planet

…one creature at a time. Guess how I spent about ten minutes of my life today? No, seriously, guess.

Nope, not that. Or that. But did you guess peeling a baby lizard off my fence? You win!!!

Wyatt and his buddy were heading to the backyard when they discovered a baby lizard on the fence and wanted me to catch it for them. I'm all in for that kind of thing, but then I discovered it was stuck. You see, back in June we taped some carnival decorations to the gate on the hottest day of the year, so despite the fact that we pulled them down that day, a little sticky residue was left behind. Sadly, baby lizard was essentially stuck in our glue trap. At first I thought it was just his tail and one arm, but quickly realized it was pretty much everything but his face that was stuck tight. He'd managed to keep one arm out (but not the hand) and one leg (but not its foot). My choices were to help, to watch him get eaten by a bird or snake or to live for another couple years here with a lizard skeleton stuck to the fence. I went with option one and had three little sets of eyes watching my every move.

At first I tried to gingerly help him off with my fingernail, but that was bad because as soon as I got a body part freed, it got stuck again. So then I figured we had to do something about the stickiness. Enter cornstarch (baby powder was my first thought, but what's in that, anyway?). I hoped (am still hoping, actually) that cornstarch would be fairly harmless to a small creature. After what felt like a long time of dusting and gently moving small lizard extremities with my finger, I realized one arm and his entire body were still stuck. I needed a tiny lizard spatula. Turns out I don't have one. But I did find Wyatt's beloved Duncan Dogs punch card laying in the garage. Perfect! Slowly, and with lots of coaching from the six-and-unders, the lizard was free. He tried to bite me because he didn't understand my kindness, but I forgive him. And I'm sorry to say that he ingested some cornstarch, got a little cornstarch in the eyes and lost a little skin in the process. I think, though, that all his digits were functioning.

While my kids were completely fascinated with the whole thing, Xavier took it upon himself to run back and forth to Jeff in the garage, giving him updates of the lizard's status. When we finally freed the lizard, Xavier insisted that Jeff stop what he was doing to come see. This is our little friend, singing "free at last, free at last, thank God almighty…" or something like that. Really a tiny dude, since that's a business card he's sitting on.

Last we saw, he was perched on a leaf in our azaleas. I like to think he's safely munching mosquitoes right now and telling his little lizard friends about the freaky day he had. And I think I put my money where my mouth is on the whole "we should be nice to all creatures outdoors" thing.

1 comment:

Darling's said...

Great job!! Now, try to free a bird from a sticky mouse trap! That one was dang near impossible and I am pretty sure the bird lost all use of it's one foot by the time I was done (and A LOT of feathers), but at least it was no longer stuck on the thing! I felt TERRIBLE!