I think it’s a small dragon…


Of course it is. What it isn’t is a moth-lady, in whole or in part; but you’ve grown used to such happenings by now, haven’t you? Tonight, a misunderstanding that began with some neighbors getting locked out of their building and ended with shouting and mild threats has me a bit antsy, despite not having directly participated in any of it (except for some quiet and hurried clarifications in the hopes of calming things at least for the night).

As a result, I felt more like this Anxious Dragon than anything, and spent a slightly-soothing forty-five minutes or so scritching him out on paper with a mechanical pencil (anything needing sharpening would have interrupted the whole mindless-drawing flow). While the face is mostly tortoise, his eyes are most definitely influenced by another source of anxiety: my gecko, who had a particularly bad bit of trouble shedding and is now patiently enduring assault-by-eye-drops as I try to follow the vet’s advice on the situation.

Leopard geckos — having prominent eyelids as well as large, nocturnal eyes — are endowed with surprisingly expressive faces, and I just can’t bear his perplexed little “frown” when I have to mess with his eyes. Trust a human to misread a nonhuman facial expression any day of the week, but there’s no doubting that he doesn’t like it. If you can’t trust the face, his little alarm-squeak, followed byrunning back under my arms like it might be safe there, should suffice. What I really hate is that I can’t tell whether he trusts me (or the giant disembodied hands that make up his concept of me) anymore. He doesn’t run from my hand when I go to pick him up; but he hasn’t “asked” to come out of the cage (looking up in the air until my hand appears, then climbing up my arm) for several nights either. Since I continue feeding him by hand (which he’s always studiously avoided biting), but have to pick him up and remove him from the cage to torture treat his eye, I can’t imagine what’s going through his little lizard brain now when he sees me.

Ah, well. He feared me once, long ago, and with a combination of food bribes and body-heat-having I managed to convince him to feel otherwise. Hopefully my little anxious dragon will be well again soon, and we can go back to being friends.


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