While we were on our Grand Adventure to PR, it occurred to us: Mikie’s got a creative mind. This was after viewing some scenes – triggered by ‘military’ planes – and using our hunting skills.
We had shown our friend what we could do, preying on the iguanas there (as well as numerous frogs, amphibians, lizards, reptiles and the like) – sneaking up on them – ever so stealthily (as we had been taught I was told) – using every trick of their mind and ours. We ‘learned’ the animals there, and soon had the wild iguanas crawling around our feet – “au natural”, so to speak – hunting their bugs, cuffing our legs with their feet.
This, it was said, was impossible to be done. Our friend watched in amazement. We would take what seemed like hours to cross the lawn; our eyes on the illusive prey. They, in turn, kept their eyes on us – meaning ‘me’ and ‘my crowd’ – and we ‘learned them’ . . .
and in the process this is what he does – creeping forward – the lizard moves; his eyes are straight ahead – nothing else is moving. Creeping – slowly, seizing, freezing stock still when the lizard would look his way.
And I learned the lizards there. They would look at you – eyes cocked, head moving – to see what you were sitting there. And we would stand stock still, frozen – for however long it took. And then the lizard (noting that there was something new in his environment, not really knowing what it is) – would ‘dart’ or move away a few inches – looking to see if we were drawn to his motion. To see if we were moving. Which we weren’t, of course – we were well onto his tricks by then.
You see, in animal behavior and psychology, animals know: prey runs, predators pursue. If he can trick you into pursuing, then he knows he’s prey. And it’s time to run then. Otherwise he can go on just ignoring you – or testing you as he’d done us.
And so the lizard would keep on moving – starting off, crawling forward, stopping to look around again. To see if we have moved yet.
You see (as I pointed out to my friend) – the animals? They key onto movement – and they expect you will, too. (Which we humans do, by the way – we are predatory beasts, and can’t really see something in the woods until it moves – unless we recognize the thing by its profile.) So the animal moves away – this is because the animal wants to see if you will chase him – if you consider him prey. After all – he’s in the right direction for running away in case you come after him – he’s already got it in gear. He’s just waiting for you to give him a clue as to what that large object that is YOU is . . .
And so we kept on waiting. Once and awhile he would look away – that was our signal to begin.
You ever see a bird out hunting? They all move in darts and dashes. So do the frogs and lizards. That’s how we were hunting this thing.
So when he’d look away – before too much time had really passed – we might move a muscle, move an inch – a fraction of an inch sometimes. And as we got closer we even quit moving our eyeballs . . .
and squatted down in his path. Eventually he would turn around and play the same game coming towards you. Leisurely angling a few inches there; turning and doing it again. Bit by bit – moving forward – then stopping to see what you done. If you’d moved a fraction he’d be onto you – the trick of the game was standing still. After all: he’s betting his life on this thing. He actually is. He doesn’t know if you’re gonna eat him or what – so he plays the game quite well. Will patience. Just like we did.
Well over a half an hour had passed. We had moved perhaps two dozen feet, not even a foot more. And there were two of them, these majestic iguanas – and we were looking them eye to eye.
In the end it had come to us – to do what we knew to do. We knew the iguanas sometimes came here; I was using their path. They usually showed up at about eight a.m. – then they would run down – go around the corner of the building – settle down in the grass for awhile (hunting I suppose) – then back to the sidewalk – down it, down some steps to where they kept a den – then back over the hump of a hill (I would become invisible to them, enabling me to rapidly move forward . . .)
And I followed them. And sat my butt down on those stairs until they came back to go to their lair (it was a secondary one; they had another one which they had dug out front somewhere near the corner of the driveway) . . . until they were at my feet. For after faking a ‘retreat’ a time or two (or three or four – or even more) – they would move towards us – seeing if WE would move – and when we didn’t they grew bolder . . . for they had forgotten that I wasn’t there before they came. And gradually they grew closer . . . until they were playing (and preying) around my feet.
My friend had said it couldn’t be done. Ditto the catching the geckos on the ceiling and some of their friends. “You’ll never catch them!” he said, sitting there out on the front porch – and then he got really upset when we did.
We just wanted to examine them; study the science in them; watching their tiny scales and their beady eyes and their willing aggressiveness against the odds of so much potential (and lethal!) displeasure – and we stroked their skin and admired their eyes and their pointed pink tongues – their tiny feet with the tiny claws and how it all fit together somehow . . .
And we had a dream and it was a distant memory – (only it wasn’t a dream, a voice insists; it was real! – and it’s the child inside . . .)
and we’re sitting their in the woods – this child of mine – and he’s hunting lizards. He is so lonely and this is the only way to survive. And he backs himself up against a tree and slowly he sits down. And he waits awhile.
And this lizard friend of him comes up . . . . crawls around awhile . . .
and he eats him. Feeling so sad because he was all alone . . . alone in the woods to survive – no one around him but his life depends on ‘this behalf’ – to do this thing right . . .
and so he eats his friend.
Now that’s a recovered memory for you.
(and yet – I keep trying to type it . . . but it keeps coming out “not the last part; not even the first” . . . and I KNOW the first part we did – yes, that was for real, that was just this last summer; July in fact, over in PR. But that last part . . . was that ‘dream’, that returning vision – REAL? We were wide awake at the time – it came to us while we were looking at the lizards crawling around our feet – when we had this ‘return’; this memory (re)-appear. But I’m having no context in the thing; nowhere to go and place it. Just that “it happened as a child” of about 8 and 10 – I don’t know.)
What would YOU assume?