I don’t know if you remember Transformer, but my kids have been wanting another chameleon since Transformer had to be left in Kampala.
This was all of them with Transformer a year and a half ago.
Anyway, it was funny to watch the kids though. After so much time had passed since holding one, they were all a little skittish.
I broke a stick off a bush on the side of the road and put said chameleon on the branch, gave it to Karis, and off we went.
We were going to a presentation/dinner at our teammates house, and with all the food out (covered, of course) there were flies everywhere!!
We put the new pet on top of a covered dish, and he did nothing.
He didn’t eat ONE fly!!
In fact, he turned dark black. That’s not a good thing, right?
Afterwards, we carried him/her home on the stick.
Doug brought in our small, small ficus tree, and put him on the branches.
Doug started reading on-line: What do they eat? How do they drink? etc.
Well, turns out they like to be left alone. Really, with three kids in the house? Alone?
They don’t drink out of a water source, supposedly. They gather droplets of water off of leaves, so we started misting the tree.
The kids were great at finding insects and putting him/her where it could eat them.
I never saw him/her eat once.
Karis got the privilege of naming this one because she saw/found it first, so “it” became “Climberella.”
Caleb was NEVER satisfied with that name and refused to call “it” by that.
(I have no idea how to tell the gender of a chameleon, but since it didn’t have “horns” like Transformer, they were sure it was a girl. I think my kids don’t realize that female species of things can have horns, too. Oh well.)
‘She’ moved so s…l…o…w…
On the cement floors, it was so funny to watch ‘her’ ice skate across the floor, with nothing to grip onto.
We just let ‘her’ go wherever ‘she’ wanted. The fun thing was trying to find ‘her’ in the morning.
Well, morning #2, I forgot to look for ‘her’ before setting the table for breakfast. Oops!
It was the loudest, most horrible sound to my ears. I was sure my foot had broken every bone in ‘her’ body.
I was even sure ‘she’ was dead.
Nope…but most definitely hurting.
Doug put ‘her’ in the tree (I was afraid to touch ‘her’).
‘She’ turned black…go figure.
But......Here ‘she’ is a week later (still alive) hanging in the tree.
Maybe it was ‘her’ form of traction for ‘her’ injured back.
Well, every great story has an ending, right?
We were leaving home for some days, and we didn’t know what to do with ‘her.’
Nationals don’t like them and kill them on sight (which is why they are difficult to find). This would be where I could insert another story about Alice coming to our house one day while we took Kristin to meet her transportation back to the airport. I had called and warned Alice, but she still had the watchman come in and put it in a bucket while she was working. It really freaked her out a little.
We thought about putting Climberella in a tree outside and just look for ‘her’ later when we came back, but…
By this point we had already sadly discovered Climberella was blind, so we knew that it would be difficult for ‘her’ to survive long anywhere (even in our house – although there are probably enough insects in there for ‘her’ to live on while we were away – scary, I know.)
Maybe that’s why we found ‘her’ under the refrigerator most mornings. Maybe ‘she’ liked the closeness of something around ‘her’ to protect ‘her’…from Bigfoot/Sasquatch Momma in the mornings.
After keeping her for two weeks, just two days before we left, I found her in the morning, put her in the tree, and she died a peaceful death.
It was a blessing that we didn’t have to “put her out” on her own, but it was still sad for Karis.
Here’s to Climberella.