I wonder if there is an equivalent term to ‘green fingered’ that relates to all creatures great and small; in particular to the very small. If there is, our family most definitely could not be considered fauna ‘green fingered’! There was the revolving door of terrapins that died or entered a protective state of self induced hypothermia quicker than we could replace them. Then there was an incident with a guest gecko a few years back (post attached below). Amusing for us at the time; not so much for the poor, now tail-less gecko victim. Given our track record with creatures no bigger than a frog one would think our family should come with a health warning!
By now I would have thought that our house would have been firmly blacklisted by the gecko community; branded the complete opposite of a ‘safe haven’ from the threat of desert vultures. So, when we recently discovered a teeny, weeny baby gecko darting to and from the storage cupboard, I cried inwardly. How could his mummy abandon him???? He was surely not old or big enough to fend for himself……Abandoned or lost, news of the fate that might await this poor mite had not reached his invisible ears.
My first instinct was to evict the poor stray but it was impossible to catch the nimble fellow. Conscious of DH’s previous near fatal capture of a more mature gecko, I was not as ‘gung-ho’ in my pursuit as I probably could have been. After several attempts of being outwitted by a transclucent, beady, black eyed lizard, I gave up and decided to let him try to find his own way back to nature.
A gecko ‘no-show’ for a few days signalled a return to his natural habitat or so I thought….
As DS1 was packing his bag, he shrieked with delight to re-find our little friend. Well, we assumed he was the same gecko due to his size.
‘He doesn’t look well’, I commented.
‘Why do you say that?’ asked DH (AKA the expert gecko tail slicer!).
‘Well, he looks darker, is moving more slowly and hasn’t grown. He will never survive on his own outside now’ I replied sadly.
‘Why don’t you feed him up then???’ came the not so helpful response.
Cue DS1’s dash to Google what geckos like to eat: insects of all sorts – ants, cockroaches, crickets….
‘Mummy, we need to find him a cricket to eat!!!’ exclaimed caring, kindhearted DS1.
This minsicule gecko eating a cricket would be the equivalent of me eating Godzilla……
‘Honey, I don’t think he could manage a whole cricket’ I replied willing the mite to scamper through the gap under the front door.
With that, DS1 ran to the kitchen to return with a grape and a squirty bottle of water. Without even thinking about how the ailing creature might get his underdeveloped jaws around the grape, he squirted so much water at the poor chap that now had his own private pool!
The following morning our gecko friend had vanished. I like to think he made a midnight break for freedom, gobbled some ants on his way and managed to find some friends – and that’s what I shall be telling the kids!