You can call me Rene’ the gecko or if we are close friends you can call me the Gek, he leered at me as he bent over my tape recorder. His long tale curled away from his body, his head alert, his tongue ready for the next bug to come by. I had noticed him when I was dictating my stories into the tape recorder a few days before. If a gecko could smirk, he did as he listened to my journeys into the jungle just a few days before. It was an adventure. I had wanted to get it down before I forgot the details.
I had had a tumbler of rum and coke when he spoke to me. “You think you are having adventures? You should see what is happening in your own home at night.”
In my experience lizards didn’t talk. I had a talking dog once, but I had to get rid of him. There were only so many times that you can hear, “fetch, bone, and play” before you became bored of the conversation. I had thought that lizards with their rudimentary brains were not that smart.
I must have been wrong.
Gek’s long tongue curled out in a superfast movement and curled around a bug. It rolled into his mouth and Gek rolled his eyes in pleasure. “You know,” he said.
“We’all have to eat. Even you big clumsy thing.” Gek muttered under his breath about why the Creator would want to make such a clumsy creature when the lizards were not only beautiful and utilitarian, but also graceful.
I tried to ignore the commentary. I had suspected for awhile that the other creatures had wondered at our elevated status. We had the brains, although I am sure Gek would disagree and the hands to manipulate the environment around us. We also had that aggressive need to explore.
After Gek finished eating his meal, he said, “Recently there has been a lesser amount of edible bugs. You see, you have been doing something in this house that has made my meals stinky and causing great stomach pain.”
I thought of the insect spray I had just bought to get my house under control from the huge bugs that inhabited the tropics. Guiltily I finished listening to Gek’s tirade at the bugs disintegrating taste. I promised to get rid of the can of bug spray. When Gek wound down, I watched him slip into a light sleep.
Excellent. This would be the discovery of the century. Geckos could talk.
The next morning I turned on the recorder to listen to the Gek’s voice. I could hear my answers to the Gek, but there was a slight hiss where the Gek would have spoken. I turned off the recorder and looked at Gek who was dozing on the side of my kitchen wall.
He winked at me.