I believe I’ve mentioned before that I live outside of town in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, a place where we occasionally get to critters of one kind or another up close and personal. Often times, there’s one cat or another sitting like a loaf of bread under the spreading oak tree that shades a good portion or the yard or curled up and sleeping under the rickety wooden steps that lead up to the kitchen door where my wife and daughter and I go into and come out of the place where we live. There’s been a possum in the house or on the porch, too, despite the presence and best efforts of our own cat and dog. And, of course, there are any number of bugs that find their way in, none of which are welcome–and bugs attract other little visitors from time to time.
Now, like I’ve noted, I’ve lived in the Hill Country more years than not since 1988, and I’ve gotten more or less used to living here again after more than a decade away from it. I’ve seen no few lizards and even tried to keep one or two as pets. (The attempts did not last long.) So when my daughter started yelling as she went to get into her shower one recent morning, and I saw a little lizard–a couple of inches long, at most, and spotted pink–in the bathtub, I thought nothing of it except some annoyance that I got called away from making breakfast to redirect the critter outside. Nor yet did I think much of it when another such–or maybe the same one; I didn’t look close enough to be able to tell–appeared in the kitchen as I was putting dishes away a day or two later.
A little bit of looking since has told me that the kind of lizard I dealt with is most likely an invasive species, the Mediterranean house gecko, and I understand that there’re some problems with that. Then again, I’m an invasive species by some reckonings–I wasn’t born in Texas, after all, and I’ve taken up a lot of attitudes and beliefs that are at odds with where I live–and even a transplanted gecko eats a damned lot of the bugs that I’d prefer not to have about the house. So when I went to corral it with an empty sour cream container, I did so thinking to redirect it back outside. I did not mean to bring the lip of the container down on its little neck, not at all.
Whether I meant to do it or not, though, I did it. Intention’s not much against effect, really, though I still feel badly about blundering and bumbling the way I did. I’m not going to flagellate myself or anything, but I do have to wonder, if I screwed up trying to do something decent, what’s going to happen when I’m not trying to be nice?