Guest Writer

Leaping Lizard

Landlady with Iguana
Landlady with Iguana

By Eli Rowe

So, here’s an interesting story: 

About a week ago, I was in my room, using my computer, when I heard my boyfriend holler in the living room.  I got up to see what the fuss was about. He told me there was a huge iguana who just invited herself in and she was currently taking refuge behind our couch. Ok. No problem. I have experience with reptiles. My brothers used to keep several as pets. 

So, my idea was to shoo her from behind the couch right out the front door. Piece of cake. But, my boyfriend had a better idea. Why not corner her with the broom so he could pick her up? What a great photo op that would be! Hey! Maybe we could put it on the cover of the next issue of Quepolandia. 

Picture this: My boyfriend was wielding the mop handle and I had the broom. We decided to divide and conquer. He went to the left and I went to the right, but, once the iguana figured out what was in store for her, she leapt over my broom! Who knew a lizard that size could leap? I certainly didn’t. I was completely unprepared for that kind of reaction and I lost my focus. That gave her plenty of time to scramble into the kitchen and take refuge yet again, this time behind my Tupperware.  

So, this is worse, but I still thought we could handle it. My idea of “handling it” was to balance on top of the kitchen counter, in case she decided to charge, and reeeeach with my broom to try to shoo her out from under the sink. Meanwhile, my boyfriend, mop handle in hand, was standing guard (there was no room for him on the counter).  We were not able to get her out and every time she moved she knocked over more of my pans and pots and jars and cooking utensils. The kitchen was a disaster by the time we were able to get her to come out. Then, she ran back into the living room where she took shelter under the table (well at least she was closer to the door). My landlady, after hearing all the commotion, poked her head through my door, “¿Qué hace?” (What are you doing?) After I explained our ordeal, she laughed at us! The nerve! Then she walked into our living room, grabbed the lizard by the tail and took it outside. No problem. 

Now picture this: My landlady is 65 years old and three feet tall, and that’s only a slight exaggeration.  Based on her reaction, I assume she has evicted many trespassing lizards during her lifetime. Based on my reaction, you would be correct to assume that I have not.  My landlady told us that the iguana was probably hiding from the Titi monkeys.  We had a troop of monkeys on our roof earlier that day (that’s another interesting story) and they were still in the area. I learned that monkeys actually eat iguanas. I had no idea. I couldn’t possibly imagine a sweet little Titi monkey chomping down on an iguana, especially an iguana of this size. When I expressed my surprise to my friends they only confirmed this fact. They too had seen or heard stories of monkeys descending from the treetops to bite the heads off unsuspecting iguanas. The little savages! 

So, if you take anything from this article, remember these two things: First, don’t listen to your boyfriend……..hmmm. I could end the sentence right there, but I think there’s a bigger lesson to be learned here. Don’t listen to your boyfriend when he wants to corner a frightened iguana for a photo op. Go with your first instinct. Second: for God’s sake, don’t feed the monkeys! Number one, bananas are terrible for them. Number two, those cute, furry creatures have a savage side. What will happen when you run out of food?