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.