I’m a Gecko saver


(San Isidro, Costa Rica) A few years ago I wrote a post explaining one of the inspirations I have to donate blood. The components of my blood make me a baby saver. The fact that I am both CMV Negative and O Negative puts me in a very small group; about 1.4% of the world’s population. Recently on my Costa Rican vacation I discovered that I am also a gecko saver.

As a true blue city boy, the kind of wildlife I am used to is warm-blooded, and usually more afraid of me than I am of it. Or so I have been able to convince myself over time. The occasional squirrel that finds its way into a house is usually intent on getting out and not causing trouble. But here in tropical Costa Rica the local beasts are alien to me, which can make them a little scary.

As a true blue city boy, the kind of wildlife I am used to is warm blooded, and usually more afraid of me than I am of it.

For instance the other night while going upstairs to bed, there was a bit of a skirmish on the stairs as it became evident that a baby gecko had become separated from its family and wandered into the house. This little guy was all of five or six centimetres long- three inches or so – and seemed to be somewhat disoriented.

While one of my hosts kept an eye on him, I sought a disposable beer cup. I placed the cup in front of the gecko but he was showing no signs of getting in. So a little shove was required. Yes, I can now claim to have touched a wild gecko. My partner in this high-skilled rescue claimed that in all of his twenty years, all of them in Costa Rica, he has managed to avoid actually touching a gecko. I told him it was a bit like poking a scaly marshmallow.

Yes, he will go on to make millions on television as an insrance-selling Cockney-accented gecko.

With our surprise guest comfortably in the cup, we made our way out to the large front lawn to release him. Initially he showed no signs of gratitude, but I believe he will one day come to appreciate that a small gecko on a flight of stairs was a recipe for disaster.

I harbour no illusions of ever learning my little buddy’s fate, but I have convinced myself that he will be reunited with his family. He will excel at school and will win a scholarship to study acting abroad, in England. While there he will perfect a Cockney accent (although why Cockney and not Oxford I don’t know). Upon the completion of his education, he will make his way to the big screen where he will have a few little roles in several small-budget horror films until one day when he’ll get his big break. Yes, he will go on to make millions on television as an insurance-selling Cockney-accented gecko.

Naw, who am I kidding? That would never work.

… in it’s most recent telling, evolved into a life or death fight with a sixty pound, four foot long, razor-fanged, scaly monster.

As a bit of a sidebar, I have learned that gecko-saving stories are very similar to fish tales. Recreational fishermen tend to be prone to exaggeration. The occasional bit of embellishment when it comes to fish size is all part of the fun. What started out for me as a narrative of moving a small lizard in a beer cup has, in its most recent telling, evolved into a life or death rassle with a sixty-pound, four or five-foot long, razor-fanged, scaly monster.

1 thought on “I’m a Gecko saver

  1. Linda Blackwell Phelan July 21, 2022 — 9:33 am

    Loved this story, Deegan. A true Blackwell through and through! But you did the right thing: that gecko may also hold the answer to some rare tropical disease (which he hopefully hasn’t passed on to you) or end up one of those animal artists, whose paintings using his tail sell for millions. Best to you both, Linda By the way, I have handled geckos multiple times….my grandkids have some and we had one at school for a while. What nana’s/ teachers have to do! One day I will show you my photo draped with a six foot snake!
    Sent from my iPad
    >

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