A couple of days ago, I was sitting on the stone bench by the swimming pool, having a well-earned cup of tea and a supremely decadent chocolate muffin. I was staring into space and absent-mindedly stroking Tuffy-cat, who was curled up on the sun-warmed bench beside me, and emitting an appreciative soft purr.
Suddenly, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye.
It was a little lizard.
He scuttled across the paving stones in bursts, pausing after every couple of steps, head up in the air, as though he was trying to sense-scent whether there was danger anywhere. When he was sure that all was clear, he took a few more steps, before pausing again.
Tuffy must have sensed the change in my energy-field. She uncurled slightly to look up at me, before following my line of vision down to where I was staring, mesmerised, at the little lizard, which was now about half a metre away.
Tuffy stiffened, and I sensed the ridge of fur rising up on her back. Her paws clenched and unclenched involuntarily. I felt her gathering her hind legs under her body.
“No, Tuffy, leave him!” I hissed sternly, “he’s our friend!”
I kept my hand on her back, pushing down gently but firmly, to prevent her hind legs straightening.
She bristled some more, and her tail whipped side to side. But, to her credit, she stayed put.
The little lizard must have sensed the looming danger, though, because he abruptly changed direction and scuttled past, almost underneath the end of the bench, heading for the safety of the bushes on the edge. Tuffy was peering down over the edge at him, and I could see her front claws emerging from the white fur of her cute but deadly paws. So I kept my hand firmly on her back, telling her in no uncertain terms that she was NOT to give chase.
And she didn’t. Good girl!
And if you have any idea what kind of lizard this is, please tell me, because I haven’t been able to find it in my clever books!