It may be the Year of the Monkey for some, but for me it is the Year of the Skink. Why, because the skink showed me what my 2016 New Year resolution will be.
I was digging out weeds in my garden in the company of le chat bizarre dozing in the curve of a piece of sandstone in our garden. Suddenly my companion was alert, twitching tail, ears pricked, eyes wide open, watching something under the sasanqua. The loud rustling made me wonder whether there was a field mouse searching for food. Le chat bizarre’s latest sport is to bring them into the house, let them go and watching me chase them with a broom.
I moved closer and saw a the yellow underbelly of a large tree snake twined around itself and another reptile. Initially I thought it was a second snake then I realised it was a large skink that was being swallowed.
The skink’s head was inside the snake’s mouth and it was wriggling and thrashing its body and tail, trying to get out of that mouth. I and le chat bizarre watched mesmerised, as the snake moved its jaws wider and swallowed even more of the skink. That lizard was not giving up the fight. It was scrabbling against the leaves with its hind legs and flailing its forelegs against the predator. The snake wrapped its body even tighter around the skink and you could see the muscles contracting. I was convinced the skink was going to be swallowed but suddenly and I don’t know how, the skink managed to wriggle out of the snakes’s mouth and escape into the leaf litter. The snake slithered away and le chat bizarre went back to contemplating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That skink reminded me to always keep trying and never give up. Curiously, I read a quote the other day which dates from the 1920’s and sometimes attributed to Franklin D.Roosevelt.
‘When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.’
Life is very precious, fight for it.
(Skink and snake got away before either could be captured on film.)