Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's All About Lizards - Part II - Lizard Games

One time everything came together, the way the Universe is want to do. My sister, Erva, found a lizard egg. It was dark gray rather than pearly white, a sign that it would soon hatch. We thought we’d put it in a box and keep an eye on it, hoping to see a baby lizard break free. But we didn’t get that far. As she was holding it the egg began to move. We watched fascinated as it broke apart and a tiny lizard emerged from its shell. It had hatched in my sister’s hand. It is one the few things for which I am jealous.

We kids used to play a game with lizards. We would each catch one, not easy, but not difficult either. Then, by butting their little mouths up against our noses, we would get them to open their little jaws and get them to bite down on the tips of our noses. Leaning over, face towards the ground, we would see whose lizard would dangle in mid-air the longest. It wasn’t long before the lizard figured out all it had to do was stop biting down and it would drop to the ground and be able to scurry away.

One time I caught a large male. There we were, four or five of us kids with lizards dangling from our noses. One by one lizards dropped to the ground and mine was still biting down on the tip of my nose. There was no doubt who the winner was. The problem arose when it became obvious “my” lizard had no intension of letting go. I gently tugged on him but that only caused him to bite down harder. Who knows how long I would have stood there with a lizard dangling from my nose.

Now a lizard doesn’t have teeth, as such, but rather a kind of rough boney plate. And a lizard’s bite isn’t all that hard, though its jaws are strong enough to crush beetle carapaces.

This lizard would not let go of my nose. The harder I tugged, the harder he bit down. The harder he bit down, the harder I tugged until finally (no I didn’t tug so hard that I pulled his little head from his little body, I would have been horrified!) a small piece of skin was separated from my nose and the lizard was no longer attached. Yup…that lizard had taken off a bit skin.

He won hands, err, nose down.

Here’s a picture of typical male. He has fine ridge on his tail. He was on a papaya leaf outside the kitchen window. It was raining that morning, you can see drops of water on the leaf. A few days later, during the night, we saw him sleeping on the leaf.

Stay tuned for Part III.


  1. Wow, what a great story! You didn't get any pictures of the lizards hanging from your nose? What a sight that would have been! Love the pic of the lizard too. My husband was born in Hawaii and spent a lot of his childhood there. I'll have to ask if he played with any exotic animals there too. Great stories -- keep them coming! :)

  2. Oh.... I would like to hold a hatching egg too.

    You guys crack me up... dangling lizards from your noses!!!!

    Thanks for the great post!!!

  3. What a terrific story! I love the thought of all of these children standing around with lizards hanging from their noses...grin...

  4. This is too funny, Bish. You have to write this up as a story for a magazine.

  5. Interesting post.
    We have lizards where I live, in the halls and sometimes in my apartment. As long as they eat bugs . . . I'm happy with them.
    I just don't want them biting my nose.

  6. I had to laugh at this. I got a lizard stuck to my nose too, when I was a kid. Although mine eventually let go; he wasn't as tenacious as yours. I ended up being afraid of nose-biting lizards there for a while!

    Interesting series!

  7. Can I say again how much I love the lizard stories?! Please let me know when I can buy the book! :)

    I grew up in Florida and lizards were our playmates too. My mom's favorite story is when she came upon my two year-old self sitting playing happily with a chameleon tail sticking out of my mouth (the rest of him was still whole in there).


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