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Iguana Intermezzo

Friday, May 21, 2010

I suppose this could be a mosaic mishap, except it really was just a lizard delay. Reptilian recess. Whatever you want to call it. We saved an iguana, but spent so much time doing so that we didn’t have time to work on the wall.

NOTE: No, we did not stop and take these photos. These are photos I found online. I just like having photos in my blog. We saved the iguana, rather than took his photos. Just wanted to let you know.

Basically, St. Thomians, perhaps most West Indians, are afraid of iguanas. Not everyone, just most people. I can understand that – they look like little dinosaurs. They snap at people who approach too closely, and they will whip their tails in defense. I had a student years ago who was chasing an iguana off his porch, and was whipped across the face – it was a long cut, more than just a scratch. So I understand the apprehension, even if not the fear.

What I don’t understand are the boys at school who throw rocks at the unfortunate iguana who wanders onto the campus. I absolutely do not understand injuring or abusing an animal. And I think it’s important to teach our students that acts like that are not right, and are, in fact, illegal as well as immoral.

So when my student told me there was an iguana by the steps and that’s why he wasn’t walking upstairs to get an excused pass, I went outside to save the iguana. Sent one of my students for a broom, another to get a garbage can from a teacher right there. She sent out a shallow plastic bin with a lid, and said you have to get the lid on quickly or the iguana will jump out. We managed to get Mr. Iggie into the bin, he jumped out – and ran down the walkway, with students screaming and scattering in his wake. I sent someone downstairs for my big, deep garbage can. And followed the iguana, trying to corral him with my broom. Garbage can arrived. Iggie did not cooperate, we couldn’t get him to jump into the can, he kept jumping down the levels of the ramp, we’d all go chasing after him.

Finally, one of the other teachers trying to help grabbed the can, turned it upside down, and on the third try managed to get it on top of Iggie. I sent another student back for one of the large cardboard bread boxes we’ve been using to hold our mosaic squares. She brought one, plus a smaller cut piece of cardboard – I opened up the box, one student held it in place while we put the smaller piece of cardboard at the back – and slowly and gently, we pushed the can and the recalcitrant iguana onto the large opened-out box.

Whew! NOW we needed to flip the can over, with the cardboard in place. Two of us tried, but the weight of the iguana made the cardboard bend and I was afraid he’d slip out. So it took FOUR of us to hold the cardboard and can, lift it up, and slowly flip it over (I told the students we had to do it slowly so we wouldn’t hurt the iguana). Then put the can on the ground. Students wanted to see the iguana again, now that he was safely ensconced in the can – one girl even waved and said hi.

So she and a fairly big boy carried the can, still covered, out to the field in back of the school and tipped Mr Ig out, and watched him run away. And brought back the can to my room.

By then, we were 25 minutes into the class. My students were still stirring the cement. I looked at them, looked at the clock (15 minutes left in class), and said okay, we’re thinning the cement down and putting it away til Monday. They happily helped, and cooperated in cleaning up. My following class helped me sort squares and put row G in order, to make it easy to put up next week. (Half the class was already in the auditorium, practicing with the steel pan band for tomorrow night’s concert.)

My last class of the day will work in the classroom – we’re making books. The day may be cut short – a very sad incident, the son of one of the teachers was killed by someone shooting at his friend. The funeral is today, late morning – many teachers and administrators are going, so those of us still at school will pick up the slack. Also, buses may come early – the repast after the funeral will be here in our cafeteria, and we’re trying to get the students off campus before all the mourners come.

So – that was my morning. Saving an iguana, sorting tile, finding five squares are missing. I’m sure they’re just in the wrong boxes, and we’ll find them.

I lead such an exciting life, LOL!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am no lover of any lizard but was glad you saved it. It deserves a life too.
    2856 days ago
  • SAPNA.
    Goodness, what a day you had. I am glad you saved the little fello. I have a thing about all lizards. I absolutely love them. This is weird because I am petrified of snakes and all other creepy crawlies. You know what they say? There is no accounting for taste.
    Do you have a lot of gun crime? Are guns legal to own? What a terrible thing to happen. Was the culprit caught? Do you have the death penalty for murder?
    2856 days ago
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