A true story. At one of my birthdays, on the 9th of May, my parents and I were invited by our friends to spend the day at the bank of the Dniester River that flows along the north-eastern border of the Republic of Moldova.
We sat on a grassy hill above one of the bends of the river and had picnic. There were a lot of blooming trees and bushes around us, and while the rest of the company was busy with the meal, I used the chance to explore life hidden within them. I found a lot of interesting insects, like shining leaves-eating beetles from the Coleoptera order and graceful mantis-like Rhaphidia – members of the small Rhaphidioptera order.
I was in the process of exploring a large bush of jasmine fully covered by aromatic flowers, when suddenly I noticed a small muzzle with two black eyes staring at me right near the tip of my nose. I stood back and saw a quite large lizard sitting on a branch among the flowers and absorbing the energy of the sunrays.
It was simply charming! Blue-and-gray muzzle, light-green body and legs, yellow belly, and green-and-gray long tail. This was one of the most beautiful representatives of the Squamata order I have ever seen in reality.
I quietly called my family and friends to share this beauty with them. Then for several minutes we stood near the bush admiring the interesting colour of the lizard. At the same time it examined us with a calm look. It seemed that the lizard had been pretty assured in the effectiveness of its camouflage among the jasmine flowers; I imagined it thinking: “Go on, stare at these flowers! You are not able to see me, because my colourful dress perfectly merges with the surroundings I am in right now.”
Suddenly one of our friends, a not so slim elderly lady, grabbed the tail of the lizard and started pulling it like a rope of a doorbell, screaming loudly at the same time. The owner of the tail was disconcerted; not scared, but mostly annoyed by such rude bothering. It was almost possible to read on its raised and displeased muzzle: “Hey! What’s going on?! I am just enjoying the warmth of the sunrays here, not bothering anyone. Then what the heck is this human female pulling my tail like an udder?!”
The insulted lizard decided to withdraw from the insolent two-legged creatures. It pulled out its tail out of our friend’s hand, turned around and dissolved in the flower wall full of indignation.
A second later we asked our friend why she had done such an action.
- I just wanted to see how it leaves its tail and escapes, - she replied.
- But what’s with all that screaming about?
The lady’s face blushed.
- I imagined its tail moving in my hand and got scared, - was the reply.
The bank of the Dniester River resounded with our irrepressible laugh.