I was on my way home after dog training today, to drop Dud off prior to the committee meeting. As I drove down the road, I saw a blue-tongue lizard in the middle of the bitumen, just begging to become roadkill.
The animal lover in me extends to lizards, so I pulled over, chucked a uee, and pulled up near the lizard. I then checked for traffic, got out onto the road, and nudged him with the toe of my shoe. He turned around and threatened me.
Secure in the knowledge that a blue-tongue lizard cannot bite through leather (that I know of, and I’d rather not know different because I’d lose my courage), I continued to provoke him into moving. He seemed to realise that I was not intimidated, and proceeded to move off the road in a slow “I was going anyway!” shuffle.
I saw cars approaching, and decided things needed to speed up a bit, so I pushed him along a little by lifting his tail and “wheelbarrowing” him a few steps. He got the hint and sped up a little to a slow walk.
The oncoming car turned off, so I resumed the nudging, and the lizard was now strolling toward the verge. Another car approached, and I moved him on a bit faster. I managed to get him off the bitumen and onto the dirt just as the car passed us.
Not satisfied to leave him there, in case he got it into his head to turn around and resume his former position, I continued to guide him. All of a sudden his coffee kicked in, and he raced off and through a gap in the fencing wire that surrounds the park there… only to become firmly wedged. He was too big around the middle to continue forward, and the angle of his bulky scales prevented retreat. I attempted to ease him through, and he tried to bite me for my trouble.
I realised it was a lost cause, and I needed help, so I got back in the car and returned home (after marking the position) to drop off Dud and fetch my mobile phone, at which point I returned to the lizard.
Finding him still firmly stuck, I called the RSPCA, who got my location and agreed to come straight out to help. While I waited, I continued trying to loosen the wire a bit so he could squeeze through. I accidentally touched his side, and he curled around. I noticed that doing so caused him to slip through a little on the right, and I got an idea.
I tickled his left side, and he spun around and tried to bite me on that side instead, squeezing through a bit more on the left as he did so. I tickled his left side, and he got through a bit more on the right. One more tickle on the left, and he was past the widest part of his body. He paused for a moment, then took off like greased lightning into the saltbush beyond.
Satisfied with a job well done, I got on the phone to the RSPCA and assured them that it was okay, I’d gotten him free. They said,
“Ah, I was just coming up to you. I’m right behind you!”
I turned around and sure enough, there they were. He asked my name, I told him, and he thanked me. Apparently there’d been another one just down the road just prior.
So yeah, that’s my good deed for the day. That blue-tongue lizard will live to fight another day. Assuming he doesn’t try to squeeze through that fence again that is…