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.