24 July 2015

Ah, Well,We Can't All Be Lion Tamers

Jill The Pill has cataracts, not uncommon in a dog over age seven. This isn’t new news; and one day if/when the cataracts mature, she’ll have surgery to remove them. In the meantime, I worry about her vision. Especially in the blinding sunlight less than 10 degrees above the equator. Well, Kathy, worry no more.

Jill naps much of the day. All dogs do. Yesterday she awoke and deigned to remove herself from our bath mat so that I could use the sink. We both exited into the hallway together. And there she spied a decent size lizard scrambling into the guest bathroom. She was on it as a good terrier should be . . . as if it were a mouse. Now I hate to see a lizard lose its life; they eat all manner of insects, so they’re relatively valuable fauna (despite the poo that they leave everywhere). Luckily the lizard escaped underneath the bathroom scale, and Jill bedded-down on the mat in the guest bathroom. As I said, the dog naps a lot.


Tuesday. Janet day. Janet had some kind of activity at school and couldn’t clean our home on Tuesday. What activity, what school, and involving whom I cannot say. Cynthia is my liaison with Janet; and Cynthia announced that Janet could clean the home late Wednesday afternoon, following a full day of cleaning the home on Lot 7 (as I said, Kathleen . . . it’s ready!).

I told Lubos that I’d be in and out all day, and that if I wasn’t home, Janet should just come on inside and clean. Well during one of my in periods (in between being outdoors with plant experts to discuss our blight issue), I spotted a tail in the guest bathroom. Only a tail. So where was the lizard? Under Rusty’s pillow? No, though that would have been no surprise whatsoever. Jill would reveal nothing.

Now of course I was anxious for Rusty to see the tail; and coincidentally I was home when Janet arrived. So I told Janet that mi perro encontrĂ³ un . . . .un . . . no se la palabra por lizard. She got the idea from hand motions. Uno lagartito. Okay. My dog found a largartito . . . though I can’t concede the tito part. Based on the brief moment that I saw it scurry, and based on the diameter of the tail where it disconnected from the body, it wasn’t that all that tito. I closed the door and told Janet that she should not clean in the guest bath. It wasn’t that I thought Janet would be afraid of a lizard tail. To the contrary. I was afraid that she’d pick it up and dispose of it before Rusty could admire Jill’s handiwork.

I don’t know the word for tail in Spanish. Come to think of it, I don’t know the word for tail in French. But what I do know is that placing your right hand behind your back, outer wrist right there on the top of your bum, and waiving around said hand is the universal sign for tail. It worked in West Africa to describe happy sheep and baby goats. It is absolutely universal, and Janet quickly understood what part of the lizard-ito remained in the bathroom. Yes, she looked at me as if I were a fool to deny her access. I simply don’t have the vocabulary to say, Hey, my husband has simply got to see this . . . though she did get the part about mi esposo doing something in that bathroom.

So down the mountain I go to collect Rusty from work. I explained the mi perro encontrĂ³ un lagarto part. Rusty absolutely could not wait to see that tail. Okay, I’m lying. He indulged me by feigning interest. When we arrived at home Janet explained that the lizard was still in the bathroom. Sure enough, there was its little head, peeking out from underneath the bathroom scale. Well, where Rusty goes, Jill will follow. So when Rusty entered the bath for the cursory viewing of the tail, in went Baby Jill. Rusty would willingly scoot the scale around the floor with his foot, but I didn’t see the man bravely picking up the scale. So I carefully lifted the scale and out ran the lizard. Jill was blissfully in her element chasing after the beast, while Kathy was squealing/screaming like a little girl.

Here’s the end of the tale of the tail. Jill had the lizard in her mouth . . . carried it proudly to our bedroom where she deposited it, mostly dead, somewhere. I’d withdrawn from the scene at this point . . . sheepishly avoiding Janet’s curious stare. Rusty called back Jill to finish-off the task; and the next thing I knew Jill was under Rusty’s arm, being toted outdoors, with the dead lizard in her jaws. Rusty flung the lizard into lizard heaven. That’s how I remember it. These things happen so fast . . . I don’t really know how and where the lizard spent its last few moments. But this I do know: the tale of the gringa who screamed like a little girl over an eight-inch lizard has probably circulated throughout the finca, down the mountain where Janet lives. And yes, in the light of day, I am terribly embarrassed. Rusty drove Janet home. Lo que hay.