Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wildlife Encounters

I didn't scream. I didn't even yelp. But first, let me give you some background...

It was time to interview for a part-time job. I'd gotten all gussied up and driven Sam's putzer into Kailua. Just as I was reaching across to the passenger seat for my purse I'd discovered that I'd not been as alone as I'd thought on that ride into town. A gecko had accompanied me. That did bring a yelp, at which he scuttled under the peeled-back-rug into the floorboard. (Remember, this is the car that has a vine permanently growing out of the front driver's-side wheelwell.) Knowing I could do nothing about it then, with only ten minutes to make it in to the offices, I locked up the car and left.

By a half-hour later, as I was buckling myself into the driver's seat again and preparing to leave, I'd forgotten all about it. Until I put the car into reverse. Then the thought fluttered through my mind... "I wonder where that gecko got to? I wouldn't want him to freak me out in the middle of the road." Probably still in the floorboards... TURN, goes my head, as I glance over my shoulder and begin to back out of the parking space. SKIP-STOP, goes my heart, as I discover the gecko's whereabouts.

There he perched, on the top of the headrest. There! he had rested, 1 1/2 inches from my head, during the 5 minutes I'd sat and thought before I turned the car on.

(This photo I took this morning for the purposes of illustration. All I had to do was step out the door. They often hang out on the concrete wall separating us from the screaming-pig neighbors.)

I didn't even yelp (though I did jump out of the car quicker than you can say "Hawaii"). Gosh, Hawaii--land where geckos wander across window screens at night, creating garish silhouettes. They're harmless creatures-I know; and they eat the bugs-I'm thankful; but why must they live in cars and hitchhike to places they're not wanted?

It took about 10 minutes for me to find a plastic bag, cover my hand, and chase the gecko around the car and out the door. By the time my attempts to herd it toward one of the open doors were successful, the poor thing's sides were heaving with fright and it had frozen more than once. (Several times in the dashboard's sunglasses-shelf, where he made a cute little passenger. If only I could have trusted him to stay there.) I wasn't in much better of a state, although, I repeat, I didn't scream. So a poor gecko is now trying to recreate his life...probably on a little grass and tree island in the middle of a large parking lot. I feel badly that I ripped him away from his long-time home in Sam and Dora's car-park, but really! I've come to realize that Hawaiian wildlife don't know their own proper habitats...

Here, as proof, is that long-promised photo of ... one of the several lap dogs who attend church with us.

The images are a bit blurry because I didn't want to use a flash and draw the owner's attention to the fact that I was documenting the doggy.

This particular dog made more of a ruckus than the others. During worship (while I assume his owner was singing instead of holding him on his/her lap) it ran up and down the aisles, brushing against our legs and stepping on our toes. The first time was a shock to my system, but the next few times I was able to stay focused.

Part of the issue (as you can see above) is that the church also provides snacks. Pup made favorites of us that night, since Dora had a bowl of chips and used them advantageously to draw him close enough for a surreptitious photo shoot.

Isn't it odd? I guess the scripture (in old King James's English) does say to preach the gospel to every creature.

Next time I'm driving up Pali highway and happen to have the camera with me, I'll try to photograph some of those wild hens and roosters for you. They're quite colorful and (once again) a little out of place in a tropical forest! As far as getting a picture of the neighbors' screaming pig, I haven't been able to come up with a way that is less offensive than knocking on the door and requesting an audience. If you have any ideas, let me know.

1 comment:

Trent said...

Hey, this is Trent from Nightlife. I was the person who just barely met you tonight...

Personally, I think this dog is given a bit too much freedom. She will clean off your plate while you're not looking (tonight I saw her eat someone's plate of pasta salad during worship), knock over your cup, etc. I know I'm not alone in my feelings because a couple weeks ago I irreverently muttered "damn dog" as she scurried by me during the sermon, and the person sitting next to me gave me a high five.

As for the gecko, just be thankful it was not a cockroach -- they too like to reside in cars here.