It's been a quiet weekend here at the ranch. The usual errands, a few productive chores, a pleasant lunch with the oldest. You know...nothing too exciting. Unless, of course, you count those few minutes on Saturday where we were squealing, laughing and running around like mad men.
I was headed from the living room to the kitchen for something or other as often happens during the course of the day. Our house has a very open floor plan; the living room flows to the family room which is separated from the kitchen by only a long counter. I love it because I can stand at the kitchen sink located in the middle of that counter and look through the oversized sliding glass doors out into the pool area, backyard and the golf course beyond it. And I often glance that direction as I walk from one room to another, checking to see what's happening outside or just appreciating the view.
That's just what I did on Saturday; then I stopped dead in my tracks. Wayne! I shouted. You need to come here NOW! Staring back at me from that sliding glass door I love to look out was this:
I was in shock for a couple of reasons. One, I've never seen a lizard that big anywhere around here and two, I was in my house. Just to give you some perspective, it's 3" from the floor to the top of that white metal base on the door so we're talking about a fellow who is close to 9" long. We have little anole lizards who regularly scurry across our patio and they're usually only 4"-5" long. I'm fine with them; they eat bugs. This guy was huge...and he was in my house! Had I not been so repulsed by this idea I might have stopped to appreciate that he was kind of pretty as lizards go. He wanted out but not nearly as much as I wanted him out.
My knight in shining armor came to my rescue prepared to slay the dragon catch the lizard. Trouble was, he was armed with a shell net that probably wasn't any bigger than the lizard. I offered another plan: I'd go outside and open the sliding glass door a few inches; he could "herd" the lizard in the direction of the opening. I envisioned us capturing our unwanted house guest in the bucket I intended to place in front of the opening and we could return him to the wild. I was hoping to avoid two things: Having the lizard on the loose inside the pool enclosure where I'd think about him every time I went out there and, worse yet, chasing a runaway reptile throughout the house.
Do you think he could wait for me to open the door before springing into action? In a word: No. Bucket in hand I approached the door only to see him moving one of the chairs next to where the lizard had been. Our trespasser was obviously hiding behind it.
As I turned the corner coming back inside, I spotted Wayne waving his net and the wily critter sprinting across the middle of the room towards me. Block him! my hunting companion shouted. With what! I wasn't armed and while I'm not necessarily afraid of a 9" lizard, I wasn't about to take on this wild animal without something in my hands. I shrieked and ran the other way as our visitor took cover behind a different chair.
Then I headed for the weapon any self-respecting housewife would choose: A broom. Determined to keep our reptilian intruder at bay (remember, it's an open floor plan), we become more stealthy in our attack. That is, until the sucker made a lap around the chair he'd been hiding behind, running up over my foot in the process. Irish folk dancers ain't got nothing on me; I can move my tootsies pretty darn quick too. It didn't help that my partner in crime yelled He's on your foot! well after the fact and then almost fell over laughing at my ensuing panic.
We finally succeeded in herding our uninvited friend out the door and although he missed the bucket, he was last seen bolting under the screen door. Well, last seen by me; Wayne followed him on out and saw him jump off the porch into the bushes.
Our porch/pool deck is probably 2' above ground level but this fellow was just big enough he must have been able to climb the steps. Once on the porch, he had to have entered the pool enclosure the same way he went out: The gap at the bottom of the screen door. The weather has been ideal the last few days so we've had the doors open. He apparently decided to come in for a look-see and then was trapped when we closed the house back up.
Had we been filming this adventure we could have released our own version of Godzilla. I hear the Hollywood version is a hit. Needless to say, ours would be a comedy.