Monday, August 08, 2011

The Endangered Blue-Tailed Skink

While in Tennessee, Flash became obsessed interested in the Blue-Tailed Skink.

He searched high...

...and he searched low. He would abandon a game of pool to run off and chase a skink.
When we couldn't get him to take his headphones off or abandon his computer to be social with any of us, we could merely whisper "skink" and he'd go running.

And then, finally, he caught one. He was beyond excited. We all came out and took excessive numerous photos of the occasion.

Blue-tailed indeed. Flash's lizard was not to be mistaken. He was quite disappointed that his mother would not allow him to take the lizard home as a "gift" to his girlfriend, but he took photos and played with the lizard until it escaped and he felt quite satisfied that he had accomplished a terrific feat.


We were all playing cards around the table when Papa's cell phone went off with a new text message. His face became quizzical and then upset as he read the text. He shared with us the message, "The SPCA of Eastern Tennessee has received notification that a member of your household has tampered with an endangered species. An official summons will be sent via mail in three business days. Subsequent fines and/or punishments may be enforced if a violation can be proven."

The table grew silent. Flash's face turned red.

"What endangered animal?" we innocently asked.

"Must be the Blue-Tailed Skink," he said.

"Endangered? I didn't know it was endangered!" exclaimed Flash.

Much talk ensued around the table as to how we were spotted and who in the neighborhood might have reported the incident. "There was that white van that went by while we were out in the driveway," WG chimed in.

"We'll have to destroy all the pictures," Papa said. "They could incriminate us."

Flash feverishly google'd the Blue-Tailed Skink. "There's nothing in here about it being endangered! They must be mistaken!"

"Well, maybe it wasn't really a Blue-Tailed Skink. Could it be some other kind of skink?"

Flash pulled up multiple pictures of skinks, scouring each page at a furious rate to figure out where the confusion might lie. He shouted stats at the table in a crisp, legal defense. "The Mole Skink of southern Florida is on the endangered list, but it doesn't look anything like the skink I had!"

He continued to scan the pages, again and again, with increasing emtion, refuting the claim. He was passionately adamant that the skink he had held and photographed was a not a protected species.

The table grew silent as Papa suggested we await the written notice and see what steps we might take to refute the claim. Flash was not placated by any of our reassurances. He sat, with stricken face, his mind running through various scenarios, trying desperately to find clear and rational proof of his innocence.

Papa excused himself from the table. When he returned, he suggested calmly that we re-read the message and see if maybe there's something we originally missed.

"Verizon wireless would like to offer you a new Droid phone for only..."

We all sat and looked at Flash. It took a full, long, breathless minute for him to realize he'd been had. Papa had pulled off one of the best pranks ever. Flash laughed with relief and admitted he had been gotten. We all congratulated Papa on a well-played joke and patted ourselves on the backs for being able to go along with it on the fly so well.

It may be a long time before Flash lives down the Endangered Blue-Tailed Skink Incident.

As for the skink, I think if he took on an Australian accent, he might just have a career in advertising.


Maddy Nupp McDonald said...

Oh this is just wonderful!!!! I saw my first one this morning in my driveway under my car and had no idea what it was. I was just like Flash for almost an hour down on the ground trying to see what this mystical creature was. Keep in mind, I'm almost 50 and on a busy road, so it wasn't a pretty sight for passers by I'm sure...LOL

I'm so glad I ran across your blog post because I got such a huge kick out of the prank. So funny and sweet that your family does such things. I love that!!! Thanks so much for sharing the story and the pic.

xoxo Maddy

Shawn Matejovich said...

I saw one of these recently on a trip to lake norris. They are delightful!

The Navigator said...

I can't believe I wasted my time reading this drivel.