Friday Firesmith – The Rescue of Oscar, the Anole

Anoles are those ubiquitous green, or brown lizards that adorn the sides of houses and sheds, prowling the shrubbery for insects, doing push-ups and spreading their crimson throat patches trying to attract mates. My childhood was spent chasing them, catching them, and turning them loose again. Mostly, they are green, unless they are defeated in battle, caught, or cold. They do not, however, change colors to match their surroundings. 

Sunday, Mom and I had just settled down for lunch when I noticed on the window, outside, an anole, and it seemed to have caught something, or had been caught. The struggle was real, but finally, the lizard went limp, and hung there, its feet not touching the glass. I was curious as to what sort of creature might have caught the poor anole. 

Once outside, I discovered it had, somehow, gotten its snout firmly wedged into between the frame where the windows meet. Gently, I pulled, but the fear of harming the hapless reptile kept me from freeing the trapped anole. I got a screwdriver and pushed the metal pieces apart, and once freed, I place him in one of mom’s hanging baskets, then misted it with a water bottle in case it was dehydrated. And there, I thought, the story would end, a rescued anole, and a hanging basket which now had pest control. 

The next day, I went out to put a bag of trash in the two wheeled cart, and who knows what to call these things, really, and suddenly, I felt something land on my back, and then the anole appeared as it jumped off my back, and onto the two wheeled trash cart that has no name. I named it Oscar. And at that point, realized it was not afraid of me, and liked hanging around the two wheeled thing I put trash in. 

It might have been a different lizard, this is true, but Oscar is large for his species. Normally, males are not only larger, but they tend not to allow trespass into their territory.  I felt certain this was the same creature that required rescue on my part. Perhaps, however, Oscar was going to hang around, drift to some other location, who knows? 

Yesterday, I discovered Oscar huddled on the lip of the lid of the trash can, and that’s what I’m calling it from now on, and he leapt away, but did not run from me, but sat there, head cocked, looking at me. And this morning, there Oscar was again, on the window, searching for prey, and he moved away from me slowly, as I tried to take a photo.

It’s true, the world may not be made a better place by the rescue of a lizard. But my world is a better place when I rescue lizards. There are fewer insects, there is that of course, but at the end of the day, no animal ought to die of thirst or starvation for the lack of effort on my part, near where I can assist the creature. This is how I view my place in this world. 

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

13 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – The Rescue of Oscar, the Anole”

  1. I’m amazed this thing could hang by it’s nose struggling until it apparently collapsed… or gave up. Then you came along and attacked it, left and came back with a screwdriver attacking it again, before putting it in a safe place and misting it. To endure all that and not have a heart attack or mental implosion proves they’ll survive after humans are extinct.
    Good for you showing kindness to a helpful critter rather than those sneaky slimy slippery bitey sneks.

  2. Had one that lived in my bedroom for about two years. Don’t know what he was eating but I knew there was no water available so whenever I saw him clinging to the drapes I’d use a mister and spray him and some extra for him to drink. Just a routine we had. One afternoon I found him down on the floor away from the window and I knew our time was up. Skittered him through the house and out the back door and into the banana plants, a real lizard heaven. He’s been gone over a year now and I miss the little fella.

  3. Good for you, Mike! Now you have a little buddy! (we call the garbage can that gets picked up by the city a garbage/trash bin to distinguish it from the trash can in our house) 🙂

  4. Bruce, in good truth, I have no idea why he would have rammed his snout into that crack so hard as to become trapped. Surely, an insect must have just escaped him. But nevertheless, Oscar is still on the porch, and still on patrol.

  5. By rescuing that lizard you may not have changed the world, but you changed the world for that lizard. That is quite important to him, I’m sure.
    I don’t judge people on much, they can do whatever, but their treatment of animals, or should I say of beings who can do nothing to pay them back, that speaks volumes to me. You are a king among men, Sir.

  6. Reminds me of this: one winter’s day, I was volunteering at a zoo and was in a building full of various reptiles and amphibians. A couple of guests came in and told me there was a critter trying to escape–it was in the vestibule.

    I verified it was there–and it was. It was a critter I did not recognize, so I got the attention of a keeper. She came and grabbed the animal and I asked what it was: it was a day gecko. Neat-looking little guy.

    I asked if they were going to be put on display. She said, “no, we feed them to another animal,” It was some lizard that eats them if I remember correctly.

    I am not sure if that little gecko would have liked to freeze to death or be on something’s lunch menu–but that would be anthropomorphizing, so I will not wonder.

    But I do agree to try to help animals and people when possible.

Comments are closed.