Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Girl on the Dragon's Back

For those of you who read the title of this post and thought that I had something to tell you about a new Lisbeth Salander mystery, I apologize. As you were. This is all about one creature and one little girl that I met at the Phoenix Zoo last week.

I've always been fascinated by the Komodo dragon, the largest living lizard in the world. Local people in the dragons' native habitat call them "land crocodiles," which might be why Komodo dragons also make me nervous. When I saw that the Phoenix Zoo had one, I had to go take a look.

Unfortunately, the Komodo dragon saw me coming and hid behind the boulders in its enclosure. No matter how long I waited or tried to hide, it wouldn't even stick a nostril above those rocks. I finally gave up and left.

Then it was Denis's turn to take a look, and-- wouldn't you know it?-- that blasted lizard scurried right out and posed for him!

Komodo dragon posing for Denis

Komodo dragon head, closeup

While the lizard was posing for Denis, I was outside admiring a beautiful statue.

Komodo dragon statue

Closeup of statue...note the little girl in the background

A mother and her little daughter had joined Denis at the window, and the little girl seemed appropriately impressed, and spooked, by the large creature. But when she saw the statue, the little girl lit up and ran right toward it.

Sometimes an imaginary dragon is better

This dragon was much more to her liking, and she climbed right up on its back. Running her hands down the neck of the statue, she demanded that her mommy take her photo... so I took one, too.

Sometimes imaginary dragons are much more fun-- and much safer-- than the real ones.


  1. So nice to read this story and see the photos.

    I remember some friends lived nearby in a small apartment. They had a collection of lizards, including a water monitor. He crawled up to me and licked my toes (I was wearing sandals). I didn't know if I should be afraid or not. They were laughing.

    There was also a boa constrictor in a desk drawer, sleeping. And when I opened the bathroom door, a lizard hissed at me from the top of the toilet seat. Two of his friends were living in there, too.

    What a zoo. Those people moved to a brownstone in Brooklyn where much of the house was devoted to the lizards and snake.

    They moved to the Poconos and bought a house with a special room for the reptiles and a pool.

    1. I think I'd want my bathroom to be a reptile-free zone!

  2. I love that 'photo, Cathy! So lovely. And your others are great, too. And what a story about the real Komodo dragon. Figures it would play coy like that...

    1. Some critters like me. some critters don't. Go figure!

  3. I'm not a big lizard lover, though the ones that have taken up residence on our back porch do eat insects. The biggest lizard I've ever dealt with was in a terrarium in my daughter's room when she was in elementary school. She wanted a lizard and we ended getting her one. Her mouse had died. Anyway, the lizard had a 'heated' rock, so he wouldn't get too cold. I had to buy crickets for him to eat when I couldn't catch crickets. Seemed silly to go to the pet store and buy a bag of crickets. She named him Oliver. I agree with the little girl. The statue is better. LOL

    1. I like the little tree lizards and geckos that live here. I've had one or two sit on my shoulder while I'm reading in the pool. But that Komodo dragon? I'm not inviting him to any of my pool parties!


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