I’m Sorry, Flash…

I had just decided to adopt the gecko and to name it “Flash”, at least until I could get it outside. When I went to wash my dishes this evening, I found Flash in my garbage can. The gecko was in a vulnerable position, and seemed to either be having difficulty getting out, or else it was trying to hide underneath the trash. I picked up the garbage can to bring it outside, but it seemed I would have to either actually pick up the gecko and place it outside, or else shake it out of the trash can. I wasn’t sure it was safe to put Flash so close to the door, as she/he might easily come back in, so I also hesitated there. There wasn’t anything particularly nasty in the garbage can, mostly plastic and some tissue, and one small box. I didn’t want to shake the contents out onto the walk way and have to pick it all back up, so I began to remove the contents of the trash bag, and then took the bag out to try to remove the gecko, but flash climbed to the top and jumped out of the bag. It hesitated when reaching the broom, which was laying down on the floor by the back door. I was hoping to get Flash to run to the back door, which I had just cracked open for it (but even before, when it seemed to start in that direction, Flash should have been able to make it outside).

But Flash climbed the wall and ran behind the counter. I moved the counter and tried to gently prod Flash back in the direction of the door. Instead, it ran under the rolling bins. I knew it was dangerous, and maybe it wouldn’t have hurt to wait and try again another day. I had hurt at least one other gecko by moving the bin while it was underneath, because it got caught in the wheel, I think. I was worried for Flash as I moved the bins, looking. Flash moved out from underneath one of the bins. I noticed the red trademark of blood when a gecko’s tail is severed, and its foot also looked damage. I still hope that it was just because of the lint stuck to the foot. I looked over to where the bin had been, to see a thin, pale tale wiggling on the floor like a worm. I moved the bin that Flash had run underneath, but Flash was not there. Fearing the worst, I removed the bin that was on top (for it was two bins stacked), and then turned the bottom bin on its side.

Flash was twisted in something perhaps similar to the human fetal position (except on its stomach) near the wheel. It looked alive, and perhaps it was at this time that I noticed the foot. I decided to try picking Flash up, and covered my hand with a plastic bag from the trash. Flash wouldn’t have it, and managed to escape my grasp (I was also trying to be gentle so as to not hurt it further.). I considered putting Flash in some sort of container to nurse it back to health, but it didn’t seem safe or practical, and I don’t have an aquarium.

Flash began to run again. This time, back to the wall. I prodded it with a broom (and feel guilty for actually touching it with the broom and hope I didn’t hurt it more, considering also that these brooms have softer bristles than the ones in America, being that these are made of a soft grass, I think). It ran toward my room, and I was afraid that it would go in, and steered it away. Instead of going toward the back door, which was cracked open at risk of letting other creatures in order to let Flash out, Flash ran toward the front door instead, and hid behind a white board which was propped against the wall.

I shut the back door, and then returned to the white board. Many termites have been gathering outside, and last night quite a few were inside, so I had put a blanket at the bottom of the door to try to minimize the amount of critters that might crawl in from underneath. Though it was already dark and the termites were gathering, I moved the blanket and opened the door for Flash, but when I went to move the white board, Flash was not behind it. Instead, I saw its head poking out from underneath, and worried that I had squished it, but tried to be careful with the board. Flash, still alive, wriggled out from underneath, but wouldn’t go toward the door, even when prodded by the broom.

But flash looked exhausted. I’m very sorry, but instead of picking up the poor gecko, I pushed it with the broom into a trash can, and carried it outside.

Yesterday I had seen a snake in the yard, on the left hand side. I don’t want Flash to be eaten by a snake. Though I want Flash outside, I want it to have some chance to survive. The snake might have been in a tree, but I still thought Flash’s chances were better in a tree, so first I started for the tree to the right-hand side of the studio. Then I went to the left-hand side, toward a bigger tree, and not the one that I had seen the snake slither to (thought he possibility of the snake being in the tree was possible). I hesitated, and decided not to getting bitten by the snake myself. I dipped the bucket into the fish pond, hoping Flash would go for a little swim, but Flash didn’t want to go, and I didn’t want it to drown. I did want to clean Flash up a bit, and was hoping to get the lint off of its foot, so I brought the bucket to the hose, and proceeded to pour water over the gecko. I’m not sure if I succeeded in getting off the lint, but Flash seemed to respond to the water more than it did to the broom. Still, it didn’t want to leave the bucket. I shook and beat the bucket, because I didn’t want to touch the gecko…that poor gecko…

Finally, between the hose and the shaking, Flash plopped into the mud. I checked to see if it was belly-up, or head-up, and Flash was on its feet. Relieved, I gave him a little more water, though somewhat more gently, hosed down the bucket, and went inside.

I don’t know if Flash will survive, but hope that it can recover the energy and escape the predators. There should be plenty of termites and ants for it to eat, if a gecko’s diet consists of such things. My wish for flash: please survive.

I realize that I could have minimized the poor creature’s suffering, and my own, and that it would have been far less messy if I had just shaken the trash out into the walkway and picked it up, or if perhaps I had left the trash can outside. Then Flash might have been able to crawl out on its own, and disappear into the night. The gate should keep the dogs out, so they wouldn’t be there to go through the trash, and there wasn’t too much to attract bugs. Why did I worry? As for picking it up, I had to pick up almost every piece of trash anyway, though I probably could have just dumped it from the can into another bag. That bag is outside now anyway.

I had, toward the beginning, tried to pick Flash out of the garbage bag, but Flash wouldn’t have it, but maybe if I had continued to try to catch the gecko by hand, and hadn’t been so persistent when it had gone under the bucket, it would have been less messy and Flash’s chances of survival would have been higher. Perhaps it seems silly, but I prayed for Flash, and hope he/she will be alright, even though there are chances that if he/she does survive, Flash will just end up back in the kitchen in a few days or a few weeks.

Perhaps I’ll give a warmer welcome next time…I don’t feel good about this, except that now the gecko is outside at least.

I’m sorry, Flash…

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