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Monday, August 30, 2004


I scrambled up the trunk of the tree, knowing full well it would be a matter of a few mere minutes before having to climb back down. The tips of my fingers found little grooves in the bark, securing themselves in the grooves, I paused and scanned the bigger branches. Slowly throwing my legs over a thick branch, I perched on the tree like it was my own personal jungle gym monkey bar. Waiting for any sign of movement, I watched the bark. If I just waited here, silently, it would move again. I could get close enough to snag it. I could take home a trophy.

The leaves shadows played tricks on my eyes. I snapped my head when the wind shuffled through the leaves. It couldn't have gone far.

And then it scooted along the branch, coming towards me. I reached out my hand and let it hover at nearly arm's length. Waiting. It took unsure steps, but still came towards me. And then we froze.

"Get down, it's dinner time." Exasperated, she gave me that do-what-I-say-because-I'm-your-mother look.

I almost had the yellow-bellied alligator lizard in my grasp, but in the second I looked away and looked back it vanished.

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