Putting the kids up to bed and each took their turn to do a ‘wee’. DD, who was already balancing precariously on the toilet seat, shouted out in her most shrill of voices, ‘theres’s a gecko’, and nearly fell down the toilet trying to get off the seat and pull up her knickers at the same time! She rushed to show Daddy who, judging by his face, was already thinking about how he was going to catch this one with no equipment and ruling out the ‘bare hands’ approach…….
Now normally we leave the geckos alone. Somehow they find their way in and somehow they find their way back out again….their favourite hiding place seems to be behind the curtains in the front room, and sometimes they can be found lurking around the shoe rack near the front door through which they make a break for it once opened.
But unusually, this little chap decided upstairs would be more exciting. Little did he know, come bedtime, he would be hounded out rather than let roam freely to find a gap under a door. My boys being boys squealed with delight, armed themselves with teddies and blankies (???) and rushed to find the gecko. Anything to distract from actual bedtime and lights out…Thankfully the little critter was quicker than they were…goodness only knows what fate would await him should they have gotten hold of him!
In the meantime Daddy jumps down 2 flights of stairs to get something in which to catch the poor mite humanely, and release him back into the night desert. He comes running back up with a plastic food container…
I groaned ‘You can’t use that. I put food in that!’
‘I’ll wash it out’ he snapped back with the seriousness of someone about to do battle with a monstrous enemy.
I guess it was a better choice of weapon than the first time he tried to catch a gecko when we were new to Dubai. Back then he grabbed a breakfast bowl. The gecko survived: the breakfast bowl didn’t. A boyscout he clearly was not…….
By now the poor gecko has scarpered from its original hiding place and was darting under every little dark nook and cranny it could find. The kids were running around after it and getting under Daddy’s feet. Eventually they all decided being half a foot off the ground on the beds was a safer place for their tootsies…….and from Daddy who clearly needed to focus. He waits, he hovers, he holds his breath, he stalks like a predator and forces the gecko, who has now been nicknamed ‘Pinky’ by DD, into the corner. Nowhere to go……I swear I saw the poor thing shiver with fear (Pinky that is, not Daddy!).
‘Gotcha’ yells Daddy triumphantly.
At this point I am still giggling…….I would have shooed it down the stairs and left him there rather than go through this palaver!
Yes..the gecko is now in the container but it proved tricky to slide the lid on. Attempt 3 was successful! Or was it………It would appear the poor gecko’s tail was sliced off in the ‘lid-sliding’ process. Daddy pretended not to notice and tried to restore calm to bedtime but hawkeye DS1 doesn’t miss much!
‘Daddy…..there’s something wriggling on the floor. Oh Daddy it’s his taaaaiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllll’ he adds looking more frightened by a chopped-off-still-wriggling tail than of the gecko itself.
I checked to see if the gecko survived the shock…….as I was feeling quite faint myself at this point.
DH swiped up the tail and flushed it down the toilet and released the gecko into the night.
But the kids had questions that needed to be answered…..
‘Daddy, do geckos have Mummies?’ asked DS1.
‘Yes, they do’ replied Daddy not quite sure where this conversation might be going.
‘Daddy, will his Mummy be upset he has no tail now?’
Daddy stumped. Mummy snorting. My beautiful, sensitive son.
Finally we convinced the kids the gecko’s tail would grow back and that he was feasting outside on a sumptious dinner of ants, spiders and roaches, and would be going to play with his friends later!
Overcome with guilt about the poor tail-less gecko Daddy rushed downstairs to ‘Google’ geckos’ tails.
Thankfully gecko tails do grow back – no lie there then! Apparently the tails can be used as a defence mechanism against predators. The clever little rascals can ‘drop off’ their tails in an attempt to distract the enemy. Hence the reason it continues to wriggle without a body and the gecko itself remains still. Phew, guilt lessening by the minute. However, once this happens, the gecko has lost many of its fat stores so it should be fed to help give it energy. Soothing cream should also possibly be applied to the wound. Sudocream??? BUT worst of all was to learn the tail-less gecko may be a victim of bully geckos who see him as ‘different’ or ‘deficient’. We stopped reading at that point. As if Pinky’s ordeal indoors was not enough, he/she may now bullied by gecko gangs outside…..guilt restored to maximum levels……..I think I’ll leave out that information if the kids bring up the subject again.
Night, night…sweet dreams!