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Old 27-12-2005, 02:39 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
The Ranger
 
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Default Fauna (Ensconced)

I was forced out into the CACCC¹ in search of Pik-chur Hangers. I
knew exactly where they were thanks to a forced cleaning spree by
SWMBO³. I was bare-footed since my allotted assignment today
entailed "vacuuming." As this is part of my castle is my Se Mettre
à l'Abri par le Garçon, my Sanctuary Of Manliness, I'd never
thought to be sharing it with anyone -- or anything -- save my
tools and more clutter. It is mine!

I stepped out onto the landing and jumped up and off -- to hear an
agitated hiss from the cement floor where I was planning to land.
I said a naughty word -- loudly.

On my trip down, I pinpointed the source quickly enough. My
friend, George³, from our backyard had been warming himself by the
venting area of our garage fridge. That I'd dared interrupt his
solitude was truly vexing to him. He spat at me again as I landed
and straddled him.

Using my continuing momentum to assist with the motion, I reached
down, towards George. I had every intention of a quick
capture-and-release. The door, from which I'd just come and had
closed behind me, swung open and out stepped SWMBO and my three
intrepid Lizard Catching Apprentices; they'd all heard my oath and
were curious. (My wife was wondering if 911 would need be
summoned.) It was just enough of a distraction to put my hand too
close and for George to think he was larger than he really was. He
lunged and bit me in the part of my hand between thumb and
fore-finger. SWMBO and all three daughter-units squealed. I, true
to myself, said two naughty words.

George retained his grip, I jerked my hand away, his jaws locking
into place like a pair of Vicegrips®. This, while not to the
original plan, allowed me nab him. It was too easy.

A quick massage of George's jaw and he was wriggling like a worm.
He soon gave up and went back to hissing (and trying to bite me).
I took a few seconds to examine my hand. There was a perfect
impression (top and bottom) of where George had hung. SWMBO pushed
my three apprentices back into the house, and, much to my
annoyance, reminded me that /her/ Tupperware were off-limits. As
she went back into the house, she fired one more volley, "George
is an outdoor pet."

My heart sank.

George had settled down and was flicking his tongue. I brought him
up to eye-level and looked him over. His beautiful brick-brown
scales highlighted the onyx speckles. I pushed the button that
opens the CACCC-door. The shaft ground through its gears and
slowly cranked the portcullis open. As light flooded the shadowed
interior, I saw my neighbors' daughter-units were out front
entertaining a friend.

A Thought took hold.

"Sam? Kim? Wanna see an alligator lizard? Yes, your friend can
come over, too." And for the next twenty minutes, George behaved
himself as the 13 yo, and two 8 yo, looked at him, petted him, and
even held him. Real Life® was going swell and the four of us were
discussing the feeding habits of local lizards when George decided
that class was dismissed. He launched himself out of Sam's hands
and onto my lap. A quick nab netted me lots of nylon but no
lizard. George sprinted back towards my CACCC.

"Not there!"

George hissed over his shoulder as he skittled into a hole in the
wall.

I looked at the three, they looked at me. "We won't tell SWMBO."
Three heads shook in silent agreement.

¹ Catch-All-Clutter-Containment Center (aka "two-car garage")
² She Who Must Be Obeyed
³ George is our backyard resident; twelve inches of pure meanness
and 'Tude.

The Ranger

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