A leopard gecko had been on our little man's wish list for quite some time. He got a tank and all the fixings for one this past Christmas, and a trip to the pet store to go with it.
At first, Daddy couldn't find the desired lizard at any local pet stores. When he finally found one for sale at East Bay Vivarium, it ran a little more expensive than planned. (Forty-five dollars, to be exact.) When the sales clerk overheard the air escaping my son's deflated body in the background, he offered up a great solution - a young, leopard gecko missing the toes on one foot. They called him Peg Leg Joe and he was only $20.
When Daddy got off the phone, he turned to me, an ecstatic 7 year-old jumping up and down between us, and said, "Now that's what I call a five-finger discount."
Peg Leg Joe is the only lizard I have ever considered cute. We all cried when he passed away last week, for reasons unknown. The wails of my tiny son were too great to soothe and so I tried distracting him with the details of a proper burial for his little Peg Leg.
He helped select an empty box, and eagerly filled it with greens, sticks and a rock for Peg Leg to rest on. I of course, had to add some flowers. Together we dug a hole out back, and placed a Santa Barbara daisy on his box before covering him with dirt. Tonight he rests under a blooming Chinese fringetree, in the same grotto where we buried many guinea pigs and fish, all throughout my childhood. RIP little guy.