Friday, April 20, 2007

Hair, Dog, and Lizard

Yesterday Max was given a buzz-cut by Rose. He had been playing with a “stray” dog that had come into the yard the day before, and for some reason gave the dog a trim with his school scissors, and then himself. As a result, Max needed to be shaved. Rose asked to do it so I let her.

Max caught a lizard early in the morning. Margaret said he found it on his back. We brought it in and put it in the butterfly cage so we could watch him. The kids quickly grew bored with it, because it didn’t want to do anything but hang on the side of the netting. The dog came back later in the day, and Max was having a big time chasing it around the yard. Then we decided to release the lizard. Big mistake. The dog began to chase it. I was inside and heard Max screaming: “DON’T EAT IT DON’T EAT IT!!” over and over. I went outside and comforted him, telling him that the tail the dog bit off will grow back and the lizard is fine.

But the dog was too interested in the lizard to be put off by a detachable tail. He wouldn’t leave the thing alone. As a result, Max had to pull the poor creature from the dog’s mouth and transfer it (obviously injured) to the pile of debris at the edge of the yard. We called it the “lizard’s house” or the “lizard’s thicket”.

About a half-hour later I heard Max screaming again. The dog had succeeded. “This time he ate the back part and the front part and the middle part!!!” I couldn’t help but smile as I rubbed Max’s warm, bristly head. He was so pathetic with tears running down his dirty face. As he told me the tale of the dog getting into “da lizard’s howse, da thicket…” he interrupted himself and said in a perfectly restrained and scientific voice, “…actually it’s a lizard’s habitat…”

“Oh, I see”, said I, “a ‘habitat’?”. And then he was off again just as pathetic as before. So, today Max had his first taste of death and tragedy. He has cried before over bugs he’s accidentally squashed. But today had the feel of a watershed moment in his life. Which is why I thought I would document it.

It is a beautiful spring day today, lovely weather; the sun is glorious with a slight chill in the air. Tonight I go to see Hal Holbrook at the Koger with Carol C. Rose is going to see Andre Rieu with Maryann and Donald at the Colonial Center. Mark will be babysitting.