Wild Kingdom, Part 2: Dear Carrot

It is with great joy and relief a heavy heart that I share the news that the newest member of our household, a gecko lizard named Carrot (don’t ask–I have no idea), has been released into the wilds of our front flower bed. It was the right thing to do. It was the expensive thing to do, because I had to bribe my daughter with a fish tank in order to agree to set Carrot free. Things got a little dicy at the Petsmart when my daughter wandered toward the hamsters, but I held my ground. It was a fish or nothing. My kids may be stubborn, but their stubbornness pales in comparison to mine, especially when the prospect of cleaning up more poop is involved.

I think it’s only fitting that I write a farewell letter to Carrot. May he or she live a long and happy lizard life.

Dear Carrot:

I suppose it’s a small miracle that we found you in our house, not that finding geckos in our house is that uncommon, but typically the cat finds them first, and well, let’s just say they’re usually missing some parts when I find them. I know you’re a young lizard, but these are the hard facts of life for a gecko who wanders away from his natural habitat.

I know we barely got to know you, but those two days we will remember fondly, even if you did hide behind a rock most of the time. You will be missed, but your place is in the wild, not in a plastic storage container filled with dirt and Jenga game pieces.

So today we set you free.

You were hesitant at first, not sure what it all meant.

But then instinct kicked in and you scurried under a plant without looking back.

I hope you don’t mind, but we got a new pet.

Captain the beta fish will never replace you, he’s just a little less disgusting (no offense) and his food comes prepackaged. I think we’d be kidding ourselves if we seriously entertained the idea that anyone was going to catch and feed you live insects, and crushed up salad toppings are not the proper diet for a growing gecko.

You are welcome to live out your lizard life in our flower beds. A word of warning, though. I know it’s tempting to hang around the door close to where the porch light is and therefore where the insects fly at night, but I would strongly advise against it. If you don’t take my word for it, just go see for yourself what happens to geckos who choose the dangerous life of a door climber.

Take care of yourself. Watch out for mockingbirds and blue jays. We’ll leave the light on for you, but please stay outside?

Sincerely,

The Richards Family

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