Our lizard died today.
He was about 18 inches long and lived in the shrubs at the base of the Eucalyptus tree that towers over our yard. Though we didn’t see him often, it was nice knowing he was there.
What happened to him is a mystery. A couple mornings ago he scurried out of his shrubby lair and along the driveway, in good form, off to take care of urgent lizard business.
Later we found him on the garage floor, alive but unmoving. He hadn’t been crushed or wounded in any obvious way. There were no puncture marks on him, so Archie is not a suspect at this time.
We thought about retuning the lizard to his tree but were reluctant to frighten or injure him. Leaving him alone and giving him space seemed the better option. Perhaps he’d recover on his own during the night.
Occasionally one of us would tiptoe out to check on him and discover he’d moved a few feet. “Maybe he’s not hurt too badly,” would be the optimistic report.
But the next morning Mark found him out in the street, dead.
The lizard’s death had saddened us all to a degree that surprises me. Maybe that’s silly. After all, we’ve only lived here for a month.
But even though we rarely saw it, we feel it’s absence. Often it rustled around in the bushes, driving Archie mad, and then we’d all have a good laugh as Archie spent half an hour obsessively (and unsuccessfully) trying to flush it out. Visiting kids heard it too and avoided playing near the tree. Whenever I looked out the kitchen window, my eyes automatically sought the wall by the tree, to see of our little friend was out enjoying the sun. The fellow had real presence.
My family and I may pay rent to a lady in Guadalajara, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the lizard that owned the place.
RIP beautiful lizard. We’ll miss you.