This is the story of two lizards with very different lives. Some lizards just seem to have it all, while some lizards struggle.
We hope you enjoy hearing about Archibald and El Diablo as much as we enjoyed telling their tail (ha ha, pun intended!) as we drove around America's Southwest.
Archibald was beautiful and mellow. He was easily handled with a healthy sparkle in his eye. He was placed in a very comfortable, breathable empty granola bar box to be taken home as a souvenir.
Clark-- Archie's finder and protector--declared him his favorite lizard ever. That is quite the distinction, as Clark has known a great many lizards in his day.
But sadly, Archibald felt called elsewhere. While we made a brief stop, he left his warm, musical cave and was not to be found. Ah well, easy come, easy go.
Our next longer stop was Bluff Fort, where Clark and his assistant Elinor tracked down a larger, much feistier lizard. They struggled mightily before finally capturing it, but alas, it was not contented. Nor was it an attractive lizard. Missing much of it's tail and it's spiky scales gave him the look of a lizard to whom life had not been kind.
This lizard had a bad spirit about it and was appropriately named "El Diablo". When Clark looked into the granola bar box it glared back and made every attempt to claw his way up the airholes and escape.
In one particularly violent episode, El Diablo leaped out of the box and onto ME--Clark's dear mother-- an innocent bystander! Clark knew what needed to be done. He decided El Diablo could no longer remain with our family. With one final shot of stink eye from El Diablo, Clark said goodbye at a Navajo Nation gas station. Farewell, El Diablo! We hope you find the peace you are looking for.
That evening the family pulled into the parking lot of the Quality Inn in Tuba City. Feeling a little low about the loss of the grooviest lizard ever and maybe a little guilty for deserting El Diablo in the middle of nowhere, Abe opened the back of the van to unload bags for our stay. When lo and behold! There on Bethany's cheetah print bag sat Archibald! He was safe and alive. Oh, happy day!
The entire family celebrated and cheered. "We will never lose you again! We love you, Archibald!"
In actuality, you can't own a lizard like Archie. He's a wanderer, spreading peace, joy and grooviness wherever he goes. But as far as I know, he is still with us. We have purchased a more suitable habitat for him from the local Walmart. We will treasure whatever time we have left with him before he moves onto another family that needs him.
Let's just say, we will be taking a different route home. I'd hate to meet up with El Diablo on a dark, deserted road in the middle of the desert. That stink eye was something powerful.