Eulogy To The Baby Gecko
Little baby gecko, you entered my life on a sultry Guatemalan night. There you were, a tiny, sticky gelatinous mass at the bottom of the rickety, paint-smeared stairs. I saw you there, motionless, and my heart instantly doubled in size. Who knew such a little creature could elicit such a large response?
I watched you, curiously, as I imagine you watched me as well. Through the dinnertime feast of Guatemalan-inspired vegetarian street tacos, the riveting episode of Season 2 X-Files and the already-habitual dishwashing process at the end of dinner (as to deter the masses of insects from straight-up colonizing the kitchen), you were there. Very patient. Very calm. Nothing like other geckos I had encountered up until that point.
It was inspiring to see your tiny stature in a house I imagine would seem like something out of a gecko 'Jack and The Beanstalk'-esque storybook. You stretched your sticky fingers out, rummaged around and employed different baby-gecko training strategies. What better way to learn how to stick to the ceiling than to start with a wall? You were doing pretty well, too.
Under the stairs you'd remain for the following 12 hours.
The sun rises early in Rio Dulce, at about 6AM, so when I made my way downstairs at about 7AM and noticed my little friend was still there, I was nervous about his fate.
Had you stayed there all night, little baby gecko? Did you have a chance to hydrate? Did your mama and papa forget about you? 'Maybe I just don't know how it works with geckos', I mused.
Either way, I thought you deserved to be with your family. So, after a pipette-full of water, upstairs you went (this is where both mama and papa spend a majority of their time, though they are rarely seen during the heat of the day — often heard (!!!) from 3PM onwards. They must be night owls!). And out the door I went. I trusted your 'familia' would pick up the slack where they hadn't before.
The trust was most certainly misplaced. When I checked on you several hours later, you had fallen from the top of the window to the sill below. You were clearly of no interest to your family, so, from that moment on, I vowed to take care of you to the best of my ability. I gave you the baby gecko essentials: water, a cool environment, and oodles of little baby ants to munch on. Oh yeah, and LOTS of arms-length love. Much to my regret, I wasn't able to prevent your inopportune death.
With immeasurable devastation, I watched and waited, to see if you would come back from your catatonia. Needless to say, you didn't. My heart broke a million times that day.
All that's left to say is: you impacted my life more than you'll ever know. Your tiny, sticky baby gecko body gave me joy and purpose — there's nothing quite like sharing your love with a sweet, innocent soul. Though I only knew you for a short period of time, you taught me compassion and showed me that the best experiences in life are shared. I only hope that, in your next life, you find yourself in a surviving baby gecko body or reincarnated as any other creature that has the unique ability to experience this wonderful existence.
Little Baby Gecko Taken Much Too Soon 2021-2021
P.S. For anyone wondering, I looked this up post-mortem, mother geckos rarely take care of their young, often CONSUMING their babies after they are born. I suppose it's fair to say that I'm thankful this maternal-instinct-less mama gave her baby the opportunity to survive.