Monitoring the situation

The common or garden beagle is known as a hunting dog. It’s been that way since the first description of something akin to a beagle (floppy ears, ruined lawns, disobedient, ate socks) in Greece in 500 BCE. The modern South African beagle owner faces a bit of a dilemma, however, as foxes (more recently the traditional prey of hunting beagles) are pretty sparse around the neighbourhoods of Cape Town and the hunting thereof is generally frowned upon anyway.

Although not trained as a hunting dog, Colin will happily go after Egyptian Geese and Hadeda Ibises, cantering playfully along nearby without really alerting them that she’s on the prowl, then suddenly hunkering down into Sport Mode and belting along until they fly away. Sure, Colin is fast, but they have wings. Checkmate.

And so Colin has taken to hunting on a smaller scale: geckos. 10 cm lizards of the infraorder Gekkota. There are plenty of them around at the moment, which will be adroitly plucked them from the walls, brought inside and tossed around the living room in the manner of a cat toying with a mouse, or an orca flinging a seal for fun.
It’s not exactly sport.

This might even it up a bit though:


Yep, obviously that’s in Australia. Nowhere else does wildlife get so stupidly off the scale. This is a Goanna, and they get even larger than this one.

To quote police chief Martin Brody:

We’re gonna need a bigger beagle.

No chance.

Quota gecko

A million things to do this evening including wrapping birthday gifts ahead of Wednesday, when a certain young man turns 6, and applying for a new passport. That last one should have been fairly straightforward, but the conflicting information between UK FCO websites has made it ever so frustrating entertaining. *fixed grin*

Thus, in order to keep up my post a day for 2012 at least for the moment (the next week is going to prove extremely challenging for this, so I make no promises), please enjoy a teeny-tiny gecko.
That’s Alex’s 5 year old index finger, just to give you some idea of the teeny-tininess of the gecko.


There was a sudden shout from Alex’s room this evening, during his reading time before lights out. I was up there like a shot, not because I was hugely concerned for his well-being (he’s a big boy now), but more because I didn’t want him to wake his sister, who has recently developed an aversion to bedtime. Putting her down to sleep once a evening is quite enough of an ordeal.

As I walked in, I could see that the boy was ready to burst with news.

“Well,” he began. “I was just lying down and then I saw him on the ceiling.”
I looked up to where he was pointing and there was a gravity defying gecko, all of 1½ inches long.

“Are you going to get a ladder?” he asked. (My son, not the gecko.)
“No, I think I can reach if I stand on your bed.”

“He can stay in here if he wants. I don’t mind if he wants to stay in my room and eat stuff.”

As parents, we have instilled into our children the fact that geckos are actually good – they eat flies, mozzies and other irritating flying things.
Geckos aren’t something to be scared of – they are our friends.
I have also instilled the same thing about spiders.
While Mrs 6000 also agrees that spiders eat flies, mozzies and other irritating flying things, she will kill them on sight.
Double the number of legs, double the number of standards.

“I don’t think he’ll want to stay in here, Alex. He belongs outside.”
Mentally, I prepared for the fight and the consequences to his sister’s slumbers and my evening’s plans.

But no. There was a moment of disappointment, then:
“Yeah. He might eat my radio and my clock. That wouldn’t be good.”

I was going to point out that that scenario was very, very unlikely.
But then sensibly, I chose not to.