Friday, February 04, 2011

Unleash the Dragon (well sort of)

Unleash the Dragon (well sort of)

When I stood up from the bench after the Friday morning assembly at school, I felt something run up my leg under my jeans. My first instinct was to yell out at bit, but I repressed that urge and walked (more like limped) into the school, heading to the toilets, to release whatever beast was seeking the warmth of my body under my trouser leg.

When I reached the corridor for the staff toilets, the head of school hijacked me; she (a vegetarian) had her arms loaded with a tray of pre-formed hamburger patties--carrying them to a helper who would take them to her home in preparation for a staff social this evening. She urgently needed me to cover her class while she took care of the meat situation (remember: vegetarian). How could I say, no?

So I hobbled into the year 6 classroom with the little creature inching its way higher up my leg. By the time I got there, it was at the top of my knee cap. In my mind, I kept picturing a variety of fanged members of the animal kingdom that I did not want to inject venom or take a chunk out of my leg. In the year 6 classroom, I stood at the back of the room, only a few paces from the door and conducted our welcome and discussion from there. The less moving around the better. A few more steps around my knee cap.

It was a poetry lesson, so I had one of the students retrieve a book with Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" in it and proceeded to read it and try to have a discussion with the class about nonsense words. My concentration was not there, and I can pretty much guarantee you that the students' focus was not with me or on the words I was saying. The creature in my pants was loving the knee cap region, and kept whiffling through the tulgey woods of my leg hairs.

After what I considered way too much time, the head of school came to relieve me and resume her class. I hobbled towards the toilets, and this time I made it. I quickly stripped off my jeans and there on my leg was... nothing. For a moment I thought maybe I had imagined it all and was losing my mind. I picked up my jeans from the floor, shook them and out fell a pinky-finger-sized gecko. Quickly it scurried across the floor, seeking refuge in the shadows. The sight of the little creature was a relief; I even had a quick chuckle (bathroom humour: drain the lizard; unleash the dragon, lot lizard...). The sight of the little creature was also a little anti-climatic. That's it? That's all it was? Imagine such a small, harmless animal accelerating one's heart rate such as it did mine.

It was just an animal seeking warmth from another's warm body on a cool morning. Nature.

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