A few months back I walked into my bathroom, and discovered that I was not alone.
Now sometimes when I go in there, I am not alone because my Shih Tzu follows me in. He does that when he thinks we are getting ready to get in the car and go for a walk, or, as he did last night, he thinks cowering in the bathtub is the remedy for high winds, big rain, and thunder and lightning.
But my visitor this summer was a six inch long adolescent Six Lined Skink.
A young skink is the Fred Astaire of lizards, so elegant in his pin-striped reptile suit with his flashy bright blue tail. All he lacks is tap dancing shoes and a top hat.
But alas, this youthful charm does not last, and too soon he grows fat and brown orange and ordinary.
His decline mirrors our own.
At the time I assumed the lizard had ridden in in the dirt of a flower pot, since I had cuttings all over the table near my south window. I chased him into a bucket, and I let him go out in some mulch.
I thought no more of it.
Until two days ago, when I again had reptilian company. This time my visitor was of the serpent persuasion- a foot long slim- as- a- pencil green snake, who was contemplating the wrong turn that brought him out onto linoleum between the toilet and the bathtub.
Now this snake was lucky, as I have always liked snakes and have showed them courtesy. Another tenant would have called the office in hysterics or stomped him flat.
I tried to guide him into a box, but he did not fall for it.
I decided to sweep him gently outside using a broom, but he did not cooperate.
It was not as though he was capable of a speedy escape, for I learned that evolution did not prepare green snakes for gaining traction on linoleum. For every five inches I moved him he spun his scales and fell three inches back.
Then he saw his chance, and into a chink under the bathroom sink cupboard he went, and I am sure it was this fissure that he came in through when he decided to visit.
I wish him well. May he find the worm colony of his dreams, and eat himself full.
But now when I go into that room, the lights go on and I inspect the area fully .
I do not want slithery surprise in the dark!