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An Epitaph

February 1, 2011

Day 08 – A picture that makes you laugh


Last summer my youngest, Hayden, spent the night with a friend who lives in the country. She came home with a small, borrowed terrarium and a blue-bellied lizard she and her friend had found and named Bella. Her friend had also caught one and thus began the researching of and caring for blue-bellied lizards.

Bella seemed not to mind being handled. Hayden would pick her up and carry her around for a little bit…lizards don’t do much so it didn’t really seem that interesting to me. I think I remember Hayden stroking Bella until her eyes would close. That counts as a trick right? Then, she would go back in her terrarium to warm herself and be watched lovingly by her owner.

Hayden caught flies for food (we may have bought crickets once) and cared deeply for Bella. Hayden used her own money to buy a terrarium so we could give the borrowed one back.

We were going to camp and Hayden worried about how Bella would fare alone. It was finally decided that Bella should have a sitter, so we called up a family friend who agreed to watch her while we were gone. The plan was to do an exchange and instruction time at church, so Bella went to church one Sunday morning in her little terrarium. There she sat on the chair (in her terrarium.) Copious instructions were given to the sitter and Hayden worriedly passed her over at the end of the service. The entire ride home was filled with anxious comments on whether or not flies would be plentiful enough and if the sitter’s dogs would be a problem.

After returning from camp, we retrieved a very much alive and well Bella, relief abounded at home…from Mommy too. I wasn’t sure how we were going to handle a passing at this point.

Not too long after, we noticed a small bump under one of Bellah’s front legs. It looked like a blood blister, so we just left it alone to watch it. Bella began to act a little different (seriously, we all could tell this by now!) There was lots of concern voiced in our home.

And then Bella left us. We weren’t sure she was gone. She was so very still, but she had been lately. Did someone just see her eye blink? Was her stomach moving with a breath? Should we touch her? “We” waited fretfully until finally Hayden lifted the stiff little body out of the terrarium and asked what I thought.

“Yes, love, Bella has died. Do you want a funeral?”

“No, I just want to bury her in a box. I’ll write something we can put with it.”

My daughter is a tender heart and this hit hard. Although we have cats and a dog, this lizard was her pet. She was soley responsible for its care. It broke my heart to see her so sad and disappointed. She wrote the epitaph on a card and attached it to the box Bella now occupied…

And was done. “Can I get a new lizard now? Or a frog?”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Norma permalink
    February 1, 2011 5:48 pm

    You have a very imaginative family…..I love them!

  2. faerylandmom permalink
    February 2, 2011 3:10 pm

    Too precious…my son mourned his pair of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches too.

    • Marla permalink*
      February 2, 2011 4:35 pm

      I think I would rather have the lizard!

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