Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And then there was Ying

My house is a little bit quieter today.

 There was a rainstorm this afternoon which had me stuck in my house looking out over the valley trying to predict its duration. I did some work on my computer and when I looked up, the rain had stopped. It was market day and I needed some bananas. So, I grabbed my bag and headed out. As the door swung open, though, something dropped from above and landed just next to my left foot.

 There, on his back, tail-less and maimed, lay Yang. I didn’t know if the little gecko was still alive so I turned him over and he tried to crawl away using his two good legs. It was pitiful but I had to give it the little bugger, he tried.  I wondered what happened to him. Was it the door? Did I squish him when I opened it? No. I couldn’t have been me. I’m pretty sure I saw Ying and Yang fighting earlier this week and I know it was Ying who tried to bite the tail off of Yang. Maybe he succeeded. Ying is such a bully. What to do? I remembered the day I turned up to school to see a wounded bird lying in front of my school’s library window. He had taken his last flight and my principal sent him to bird heaven with what I can only assume was swift crack of the neck . Maybe there was another way to say good bye to Yang. I called Jason who knows more about birds than Hitchcock and almost just as much about animals. (Jason would be the first correct that statement by saying “Birds are animals too.”)

 “Well, the quickest way would be to find a rock. But it would have to be a big enough rock. And you’d have to be sure that it hit the gecko where you wanted it to.”

 Next idea?

 “Or you could drown it. It may take a few minutes but it’s better than him suffering for a few hours. And you’ll need a rock to weigh him down.”

 Oh God. I can’t do this!!

 I had no choice. A missing tail was one thing and probably survivable. But I could see his insides. So, I found some paper and made a little stretcher to transport him to the puddle that had accumulated during the rain storm. I placed him gently in the water and placed a rock on him. I couldn’t look at him anymore, so I went to the market to forgot my troubles.

 I ran into Chantal along the way and we walked together. The mud was horrendous but I wasn’t thinking about mud or bananas anymore. On the way home I ran into Dominique who reminded me that I needed to come and train with the volleyball team. I continued on my way and Jason called about work but also to ask,

 “How is the gecko?”

 "Oh,” I said. “I think he’s gone to gecko heaven.”

 “Or you’ve sent him to gecko hell. In which case, you’ve made his existing problem substantially worse.”


I arrived home to check on the puddle. Yang, a fighter until the end, had escaped and had – I assume – doggy paddled his way to the edge. I repositioned him for a final farewell, placed two rocks on top and walked away to prepare a head stone. Finally, after enough time had passed, I retrieved the body (his soul had, I’m sure, already ascended) and flung him skyward – out the back, over the fence and into the valley of banana trees. The whole ordeal lasted a good hour. I spent less time ‘agonizing’ over selling my Cabbage Patch doll, whose name was Keri Anne and who came with a birth certificate, to a complete stranger when I was nine. I am only hoping now that Ying (and the other geckos that live in my house) can appreciate my humane actions for what they were and not consider me a cold and callous gecko killer. I have visions of them crawling on to my bed tonight, Ying in the lead, with Yang’s tail saying, “You forgot something.”

Hmmmm….maybe I should go look for the tail now, too. 

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