It only took three encounters with the 14 inch Tockay Gecko that lives in my house to get to “My God, you’re beautiful.” Of course, the first two encounters were not so smooth. The first time I saw it I had awakened before dawn and turned on my flashlight, and it was on the wall to my right. I turned off the flashlight. I’m inside a mosquito net. Even if I manage to make this room secure against mosquitoes I think I’ll still sleep under the net so that any lizards (most are considerably smaller than this one) who happen to lose their footing as they cross the ceiling over me can land on the net. My second sighting was last night, I had come home about 8 from a meeting of the school directors which I had understood was to be at 4 so I thought I’d be home before dark and I hadn’t left any lights on. Actually, the meeting started after 4:30, went on for a couple of hours, and was followed by dinner served by the school cafeteria staff. A member of the director’s council and his wife, who also teaches at the school, gave me a ride home. So I climbed up the back porch (really must do something about it as it should have a ramp or steps or something), unlocked the kitchen door, tried to turn on the light so the folks out in the car would know I was safely into the house, the switch I found didn’t do anything, so I crossed the kitchen and groped around by the refrigerator as I remembered there was a switch plate there, and turned on some lights, but there was a sound above me and I looked. Yeah. So I still haven’t managed to get the hang of including photos here, so I’m going to refer you to Google Images, just type in Tockay Gecko. Really. Please do this, the beast is amazing.
Anyway, it stands to reason that the lizard evidences around here are from something rather sizeable, so it’s good to know that it’s really, really beautiful. Unlike most lizards, it’s nocturnal. It is a predator, but it’s a sit and wait predator. Why use all that energy wandering about? Just sit and wait, then when something is near enough, lunge at it and eat it. Simple.
This morning I heard the magnificent beast several times, and wasn’t too happy about it, seemed like it was in the wall or something, but no, just at the back of a cabinet where I’ll store my books if I can get it aired out as right now it smells pretty bad. (I did get some bleach on my last trip to the city.) The cabinet was moved 90 degrees from one wall, in the corner, to the adjacent wall, in the corner, when the landlord (or probably the sister of the landlord) cleaned up (if you want to call it that) for me. So maybe that the Tockay lost a preferred daytime sleeping site. At this point the cabinet is so close to the wall that the Tockay doesn’t fit behind it, so it had settled on the back (facing into the room but still the back of the …) of the open book shelf that the cabinet has in addition to its glass front section. So I saw the Tockay when I went there to put the computer charger where it belongs. And it’s a beautiful sight. So. Peace, it’s wonderful. I went away without disturbing it to give it a chance to find an open window and go find a better place to nap. I will be encouraging it to take up residence outside, by being irritating (some of you know I can do that without even trying sometimes) but I may or may not be successful in getting it to relocate.
This creature and its numerous lizard family relatives, as well as the frogs that leave droppings on the window sills and the insects and millipedes that fill out the cast of characters are my guests. What’s my alternative? I could rage and rail against them, but that’s a waste of energy. The truth of the matter is probably more like I’m their guest as this house has been theirs for a long time, and they tolerate me, don’t they? Not a single belligerent action from a one of them. If I pay attention, I can learn. Well, I’m not actually welcoming all these guys, especially the millipedes, but it’s natural for there to be some competition for niches in a habitat, right. I assert myself to limit (I almost said control, silly me) the millipedes’ access to the house.
Wish me luck?