- Pets and Animals»
- Reptiles & Amphibians
Oscar the Lizard
Recently, I read an amusing hub from a fellow hubber about her encounter with a newt she named Ralph. As I read her humorous interaction with Ralph, I remembered it wasn’t that long ago I had a similar encounter with a lizard I named Oscar.
By no means am I as witty or as funny as my fellow hubber b.Malin, nor will I attempt to be. Although when it comes to having an imagination, we think alike in many ways. Furthermore, I would like to mention that it was b.Malin’s hub that inspired me to write my hub, and at her request, I will attempt to do so. My story of Oscar the lizard is a true story with just a teensy little twist.
I will start by saying that I live in Florida. Florida is a tropical paradise with its beautiful sunsets and year-round beach weather. If one chooses to live in the city, there are many places to visit and have fun. Things tend to be a little more civilized in the city. However, for those who choose to live away from the city, a word of caution. Nature often likes to trespass and invade our homes with all kinds of creepy crawly creatures.
In all fairness if I were a bug, I would be asking, “Who are these people trespassing and invading my home by building their houses in my neighborhood?” Touché bugs! Nonetheless, you cannot stop progress or a bug-petrified woman with a can of bug spray.
To any environmentalist or entomologists reading my hub, before you lynch me with comments or e-mails, a can of bug spray is my last resort, and I use it carefully and sparingly because I have pets in my home. The way I see it, as long as “they” don’t enter my home, “they” are safe. However, when they begin to multiply in my home, and yes they do multiply in your home, and become unrelenting uninvited guests, I have the last word and out comes the bug spray.
By now, you can imagine I’ve had more than my share of these pesky crawly creatures. More precisely, wolf spiders! To say my experiences with these spiders have not been pleasant ones is an understatement. Let me give you an idea of their size. They range from ½ to 2 inches, and in some species, they can grow so large that people have mistaken them for Tarantulas.
To make this creature a little more phobic, the female wolf spider carries her egg sac attached to her body; not a pretty sight! When the time comes for hatching, she opens the egg sac and all the baby spiders climb up around her body. She then carries her young on top of her for a few days. These tiny microscopic transparent spiders can range in numbers from 100 to 300. When startled, the baby spiders jump off their mother and scatter in a hundred different directions! Can you say EEEK?! You can learn a lot about spiders living out here in SW Florida.
Imagine yourself at night, half-asleep, fumbling with the lights on your way to the kitchen. Suddenly you see something scurry across the floor close to missing your foot. You try to focus, and then you see maybe three, four or more wolf spiders, and they are huge! Now imagine this happening every single night for fourteen years. Spraying, covering holes and blocking any possible entrance for them is a waste of time.
Then one day I discovered a small dark lizard in my home. It’s not the first time I’ve had one sneak in my house, but sadly they all end up dying very quickly. Not this little one! I tried several times to capture and save him by placing him back in his environment, but he was always too quick for me. A couple of weeks passed, and miraculously he was still alive, so I decided to call him Oscar. It looked like a he, and he didn’t object to me calling him that.
Every time Oscar dared venturing out to catch little ants or bugs, my little Peek-a-Poo Gordo, would dash across the living room trying to catch it, but the astute and nimble little Oscar would dodge him every single time. Sometimes I thought Oscar was going to drive Gordo insane. Gordo would lay in wait for a long time for him to come out from underneath the furniture but Oscar would not.
There were times Oscar liked to tease Gordo. One day, I heard “pssst… pssst!” I looked around but didn’t see anyone. “Hey you!” I hear. Again I looked around, nothing. I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking I was hearing voices in my head but I wasn’t, and it wasn’t the TV either.
Then something caught my eye. I saw Oscar not two feet above Gordo’s head on top of the couch as Gordo was getting ready to nap. Suddenly Oscar jumped in front of Gordo and then on to a potted plant nearby laughing hysterically and leaving Gordo bewildered and frustrated. “Tsk, tsk! That was mean of you Oscar!” I said out loud. It was at times like these I thought I would have to put Gordo on doggie Prozac and send him to the Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan for counseling.
To my amazement, I realized I hadn’t seen any wolf spider for weeks, not a single one! “Could it be Oscar has been cleaning my house of bugs and eating the eight-legged monsters?” I thought out loud. Then out comes Oscar, “Yes, it is I, the one who’s come to save you my giant princess!” Then he proceeds to eat an ant on the floor. “Oscar you are my hero, thank you!” I said, and he dashed off at the sight of Gordo but not before giving me a wink.
Sadly, a few months later I found Oscar dead beneath one of my area rugs where my Cocker Spaniel Kobi likes to lay down. I was very saddened by his parting. Oscar the lizard was a good pet and bug terminator. Soon after that, the wolf spiders slowly began to creep back into the house and I had to buy the first can of bug spray in months.
RIP Oscar. You were a good little lizard. Kobi says he’s sorry but Gordo … well, I’ll leave it there.