What is an anole, you ask? Well, it is the correct name for the little reptiles we have running around all over the place around here that we typically call chameleons.
Green anoles are found throughout the southeastern U.S. and in parts of Texas. A green anole has the ability to change its colors (usually green but can be brown, yellow, gray or any mixture thereof) to better match its surroundings and mood. The male anole has a large flap of skin under his neck known as a dewlap that protrudes during courtship or while defending his territory. They get to around 6 to 8 inches long and feed on a variety of insects, which is a very good thing.
I didn’t mean to kill it and felt very badly for a time afterward. Here’s the story.
The other day, while driving to work, I was thinking about the work day ahead and cruising at 55 miles per hour on the two lane road that connects me to the interstate. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of something on the passenger side window. I looked over to see a green anole hanging on the window. The wind was making his green skin shake and his little face contort in such a way that he looked as if he was smiling.
I slowed down until I could find a spot on the road to pull over. I talked to the little guy gripping the glass while I looked for a place to stop, “Hang on little fellow, I’ll save you!”
Stopped at the side of the road, I got out of my car and walked around to the passenger side. That little lizard that had been seized with fear only moments before now was faced with a new dilemma. Frightened of me, he took off running across the hood of my car. I tried to reach him, but to no avail. I walked back to the driver’s side of my car and he went across the hood again to the passenger windshield wiper for cover. So, I walked around to the other side of my car again, determined to save him from sure death.
Well, the little bugger skipped across the car again. This time, after I circled the car, though, he made a leap and took off running across the highway. I looked both ways and saw no cars. I watched him cross the double yellow lines and get oh, so, close to making it to the other side, when a pick up truck began its approach from the distance.
I yelled to my little lizard friend, “Hurry up, get going.” I prayed out loud, “Oh, please let him make it.”
And then… And then, splat.
I watched these events unfold and could do nothing to stop the inevitable. I stood at my car for a few minutes, unable to get in. Dumbfounded and shocked. The pickup truck driver never had a clue.
I told myself it was silly to feel bad; after all, it was just a little lizard. But, all I could think was that I could have saved him and failed.
There’s no moral or message to this story. I told Brian that night what happened and it cracked us up in the telling. I almost peed my pants.