May 1, 2008
It’s one of those moments all fathers relish, a right of passage if you will. The passing on of a skill from one generation to the other. A tear is shed. Today I took my son lizard fishing.
That’s right, in my house we fish for lizards. Some 800 years ago, when I was just a lad, we didn’t have video games of lizards. We caught real ones. I caught hundreds of “blue bellies” also known as the Fence Swift, the most common lizard in these parts…perhaps in the world. They have blue and black streaks across their white bellies and do push ups in the sun.
Anyways, my son Ed (who didn’t know that Blue Bellies were about as common as houseflies) found a lizard basking in the sun and called me outside. I ran upstairs, grabbed a spool of thread and made a slip-knot (slip-knots are a lesson for another time) then let out about four feet of thread.
Lizards are dumb. They don’t generally run away unless you get within a four foot range. Probably poor eye-site or just hoping their brown camouflage throws you by sitting still. They’ll sit there as you work the loop over their head from far above. Once the slip-knot is around the neck, they can run off all they want because you’ve got em’.
Ed (age 4) screamed and cheered as I (age 41) hopped up and down with my catch. He had a tail about half the size of a normal Fence Swift so he must have lost it some time last summer. Their tails come off pretty easily at the base and nerves in the tail wiggle so a predator will work on the tail while the lizard runs away. Genius! I mean, Random Mutation!
We got one of my aquariums out of the garage and put a layer of sand down, added a rock, up-ended a water-bottle lid to act as a trough and found some crickets in the garage for food. Now we wait…because this is the fattest blue belly I’ve ever seen and I have a feeling she’s pregnant.