Thursday, September 29, 2011

King George

I led a deprived childhood.  I always wanted a dog but my Dad said we moved too much to own one.  Fact is, we only moved once in 13 years. 

Instead of the black lab I dreamed of, my folks compromised and allowed me have a chameleon, a tiny color-changing lizard not much longer than half a pencil length that ate store-bought mealy worms and the occasional house fly caught on it's long sticky tongue. To compensate for the creature's  inordinately small size, I named my lizard King George. George was cold blooded so when I would let him out of his plastic terrarium, he would immediately scurry off to the nearest sunny spot in the house and there turn the color of whatever object he came to rest on. George's ability to blend in made it quite difficult to find him.  

I had King George almost two years, but then one afternoon he disappeared. I searched the house for months but to no avail. Then one day when moving the big hi-fi stereo amplifier my Dad owned, my Mom and I found The King. He was in the space beneath the amp's hot steel casing dried to a crisp. So I had a funeral for George in the backyard and buried him under the old oak tree. I constructed a cloth lined cardboard casket from a harmonica box and with my electric wood burning kit, I engraved King George's title and reign on a fine piece of red wood. It was a grand ceremony and George was laid to rest with the dignity befitting a King. 

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