Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Life and Times of a Friend I Once Called Bluey

We had a blue tongue living under our house, and we'd happily spot him each morning warming his belly on the concrete. We grew fond of Bluey, the peak of the relationship being a day over the Christmas break when I took these photos. The girls got pretty brave, getting close, and I had the bright idea of feeding him some cheese. He was very partial to it and had a lot. His eyes widened with each bite. I also tried sultanas, but he turned up his nose. Dehydrated fruit was apparently less up his alley. That, by the way, is Bluey the time he took up residence for a while in the empty Barbie Bus box (don't judge me, it was a present). Sadly, Bluey kind of made himself scarce after that day. He was rarely in his old spot, and his behaviour became a little erratic and unpredictable. Where before he'd happily laze, he now either ran away when he saw me, or disturbingly started running towards me. And then he just disappeared.

I felt sad. I then felt worried, and thought back over the complex relationship. Was it something I had done? Was it the cheese? Had I blown his little reptilian mind by introducing him to a foreign substance? And when his insatiable appetite had been awoken to this new and fantastic foodstuff, was he then unable to cope with it's loss once it was not on offer the following day? Or the one after? Or the next? Had I cruelly turned Bluey into a cheese junkie, and then tauntingly refused any further pushing?

My mind boggles with guilt. The other day I saw, about 50 metres from my house, a dead blue tongue lying in the gutter, body bloated and mouth covered with ants. Could it be? I certainly hoped not. Don't take me to be racist, (or speciesist), but to be honest, they all kind of look the same to me. But just maybe it was Bluey, and this was the sad and tragic end to a once carefree life that, after knowing the pleasure of cheese, couldn't face the empty bleakness of an existence without it.


Karen said...

This happened to us once. I don't think we were quite as bonded to our blue tongue as you were to Bluey, but we did have one living around our house, eating our cats' food, looking like he was a pretty settled resident. And then one turned up in front of our house in the gutter, dead. And we never saw ours again after that, so I guess it was him. It was sad.
Must be the day for lizard posts though, I have just finished a post about a lizard I encountered over the weekend...

Ben McLaughlin said...

Hey Karen, I tried to comment on your blog but the word verification thing kept refusing me. Funnily enough I held one of those guys (bearded dragon) yesterday at a fair. His name was Prickles.

ALaird said...

Jatz. You didn't serve the cheese with Jatz. It'd be the end of the relationship for me too.