Max is a 5 year-old version of the Crocodile Hunter. He can catch almost any lizard he sees. If someone says, “Ooh a lizard!” he drops everything until he catches it. The other day at Miss Jennifer’s house he caught a big green lizard even though it bit him three times. The next day he pulled the tail off a skink as it skittered into our garage. He presented this jewel to me on a napkin and searched the garage the rest of the day till his father told him to get out.
During supper he was fiddling with something and not eating his food. I looked up and he had the tail dangling out of his mouth. All the representatives of the female sex sitting at the table squealed. Little Mark sat quietly with a queer look on his face that seemed to ask, “How can I get that tail into my mouth?” So I took it from Max and put it out of reach. I’m not sure why I didn’t throw it out; maybe there is a drop of tomboy left in me that still thinks of a lizard’s tail as a prize worth keeping.
My grown-up self returned a few minutes after Max left the room, and mentioned to Ella that perhaps we should throw it outside. The tail might start to stink. Recalling the children’s sermon her father gave on Lazarus Saturday, she said, “We can keep it four days—it’s won’t stink till it’s four days old, right?”