Get your minds out of the gutter already. It’s not about that.
This entry bellows forth via only my right hand. The other protects something small and valuable. Yet I know not what to do about it.
With an adult beverage held carefully lest I spill its precious contents, I stepped outside so that I might bathe my weary soul in evening’s blessed comforts. Despite uncomfortable weather conditions, that is.
Cicadas sang to me, for me, and did so from all directions. I pondered their future given my local wasp population.
Then I saw it. I could not be certain I had not stepped on it, a situation not too dissimilar from a previous event. I felt certain I had not, though I came close this time.
With barely a sip of ale in my belly, I glanced down and discovered a Mediterranean gecko (a.k.a. house gecko; Hemidactylus turcicus) resting next to my sandaled foot. Were I breath, it would have been inhaled with abandon.
This tiny creature, not much larger than those previously shared, struggled for life from within a wounded body. I could see that immediately.
As geckos are wont to do, its feet held firmly to the ground as I tried to lift it, a frail form clinging to hot concrete with strength so impressive as to be biblical. How might I find myself struggling to pull it free from its own grip? Might the simple explanation be that I dared not try too hard lest I hurt it further?
Now, safely held in my left hand once finally disconnected from a desperate hold to the ground, I know not what to do.
I fear its life ebbs from between my fingers even as I hope for the best. Tiny feet hold miraculously like glue to my skin. What dare I do with such a little one?
Wisps of cirrus paint haphazardly subtle patterns accentuated by dusk’s dim light. Strokes of amber mix with deepening azure in a sky filled with rainbows too understated for all but the observant.
And I hold it gently, carefully, willfully.
This life, this tiny thing unnoticed by too many of my brethren, rests in the palm of my hand, having moved there after desperately holding firm to a single finger much larger than itself.
Do not die, Little One, I think out loud, and do not leave me holding you when last you glance upon this world. Stay with me for a while, a little while, and sup at the board of time’s altar until we finally sleep. Let me cut from my own flesh a bit of life to gift you another moment, another day.
Wounds revealed in agony’s embrace tell stories of survival. Translucent skin shows me that which I do not care to see. It is a head wound. Perhaps one eye now lazily perceives nothing, yet simultaneously I weep for its terrible agony that even now lets a slow trickle of blood seep over and around this minuscule mind.
Give no care to your welfare. Tire not yourself with the burden of physical concerns. You remain safe in my arms, held near to my spirit as it bequeaths to you whatever strength you need. Place your tiny head against my chest. Heave your breast against mine. Let my power be your own.
I wish no ill will to that which has done this to you lest I wish Nature herself to lie down and stop the counting of seconds which only she comprehends.
Do not think less of me for this, my dearest and unfortunate friend. Just as I would not think less of you for hunting that which you need to survive, let not your own heart believe me some monster for doing the same for them.
Only as life ends does life continue. This is the way of things. Even the most innocent of creatures must realize this. If they did not, they would not hasten a retreat from predators.
I know you understand.
So is my evening, poppets. Allow me to share this discomfiting moment with but a paltry tear felled upon my own hand, one reserved wholly for that which even now dies. Let it comfort and support. Let it give precisely what you hope it to give when such terror befalls your own.