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  • Thristy Lizard

    Scott Sanderson
    • shortstory

    The sun shone brightly off the pond behind our apartment. Despite the summer heat, a pleasant breeze made the screened-in back porch comfortable. Nearby ducks searched the grass for food as squirrels chased each other between the trees. Everything seemed alive and fresh—the green grass, the clear water and the blue sky.  Here, surrounded by nature I liked to read.

    Suddenly I noticed four potted plants resting upon the window ledge. One was dead; another had been overrun by weeds. Just two were alive, but they needed water. Grabbing a nearby jug, I decided to water those plants. It was the least I could do.

    Soon a tiny pond formed at the base of these pots. I stopped pouring for I did not want water to spill over the ledge. From behind the plants, a small lizard—an anole—popped out of hiding. At about two inches long, it could easily have hidden between the plant and the window screen.

    I had to watch. Somehow I had the feeling that an event was about to occur. Slowly, cautiously the anole crept to the edge of the water. It extended its neck, and reaching down, began to drink, as ripples vibrated.

    For that moment everything seemed to stop. This little creature was thirsty, and, for a brief time, let its guard down. The potted plants, the ledge, and the window screen created a little world of safety and serenity for the anole. For it, this was an oasis. After a few seconds it had its fill. The anole turned around and quickly slithered behind the plants, back to safety.

    It was such a small and simple act—an ordinary ritual. Yet there was a beauty, as this made life seem in harmony. Ducks waddled, squirrels scampered to and fro, and this little lizard took a drink.

     Once again small things provided glimpses of truth: life has a design. It has a purpose. Everything is interconnected—the water, the plant, the anole and myself. We all are but bit players in the cosmic play.

    I felt connected, and at peace.  I returned to my book.

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