In this part of the country, small, green garden lizards like the little guy pictured below are common. In fact, it would be unusual to go outside in warm weather and not see at least a couple of them on the fence or the patio furniture.
Sometimes they get in my house, which kind of spooks me, but not nearly as much as a mouse or a cockroach would.
Lately the house seems to have been invaded by a different species of lizard, one I'd never seen until about a year ago. They're pink, they're translucent (look how you can see his eyeballs through the top of his head), and these, I'll admit, give me the creeps. This guy's fleshy pinkness, not to mention a missing toe on his left front foot, made me think of him as some kind of mutant. I searched for him on Google, turning up several pages of Pink Lizard bars and jewelry stores, but I never found another lizard like him.
The pink lizard pictured here was about six inches long, a big sturdy guy, but the ones I've seen in my house lately are much smaller, only about two inches long. It's possible they're babies, I suppose, but if they are, they're not growing. I saw the first one about two months ago, and the one I saw last night (the third) was still no longer than two inches.
Of the three of them, one was in the bathroom and two were right outside the bathroom, in the hall near the dogs' nighttime water dish. Their color blends in with the lighter areas of my flooring, so I don't see them until I'm right on top of them and they move. They move fast! I managed to catch each of the first two in a towel and release them outside. The third one, unfortunately, wasn't so lucky.
When I got up this morning, on my first trip to the bathroom, I noticed that the water dish was practically empty. I picked it up to fill it and saw something hanging off the bottom of it. I was reaching out to flick it off when I realized that the little "something" was frantically waving its front feet. Its back feet and its tail just hung there, not moving at all. Apparently, when I set the full water dish down last night, I set one edge of it right across the middle of the lizard's back. Ewwwwwwww!
I thought about carrying him outside as I had the others, but in his condition I was afraid he'd be dinner for fire ants before noon. That seemed too cruel, so I did the (cowardly) next best thing: I pulled him off the water dish with a wad of toilet tissue and flushed him. His poor little front legs were paddling away as he swirled down the toilet.
Now I have mixed emotions. I feel sad about my role in his untimely end, and yet I'd feel more comfortable if I knew for sure that he died. I've found myself wondering today whether there are more two-inch mutant lizards in my house. I can picture them marching all in a row from the bathroom to the hall and then into my bedroom, a nude, wriggling, mutant army seeking to avenge the death of a brother. And if he didn't die? Then I imagine him growing to be six inches long and dragging his paraplegic self up from the septic tank and back into my toilet.
The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up. I need to go read for a while so I won't take those images to bed with me. Good night.