So all of us kids were sitting around in the living room, as close to the swamp cooler as possible, playing LodeRunner and working on counted cross-stitch. It was dark out, maybe 10 PM or something, and Mom comes in, wide-eyed and trembling. "Did you guys hear me scream?"
No, we hadn't.
She'd been in the bathroom and heard some scrabbling noise, seen something scuttle from one corner to another. She screamed and jumped up on the toilet seat, thinking, "That was way too big to be a mouse!" Startled, the thing swiftly scaled the wall and settled in what it thought was a safe place halfway up the door.
You guessed it: we've got geckos. This particular one was as long as my forearm, and kind of a greenish-gray. Geckos have this way of turning up where you least expect them, but aside from those little moments of horror when I suddenly realize that I've got company, I don't mind them. For one thing, they eat mosquitos. And somehow it's less upsetting to have a cold-blooded, scaled animal sharing my room than furry creatures that build nests and steal loose earrings.
Ed has named the big gecko Steve. He says, "Steve is awesome cool! He looks like a crocodile with a shortened mouth." Why he has chosen the name Steve is still unclear, though I suspect that my mom's little brother Stephen was not considered in the naming process.
And since I promised, let's talk about eggs. At Afra Mall, home of the biggest grocery store in town, one can buy huge square trays of eggs . . . underneath a wall mural of a happy duck family. We think that's just a mistake. Besides, we do most of our food shopping at little streetcorner stores in our neighborhood. The eggs there come in six-packs, and each egg has a tiny round sticker on its point with a photograph of a chicken head. When we first saw them, both me and my mom thought there were pins stuck in the eggs, holding on the sticker. Luckily, that's not the case. However, the yolks are definitely white. When we hardboiled some eggs for breakfast once, the yolks were exactly the same color as the whites, though they were a normal flavor and texture. It was really disconcerting, so I had to eat mine with my eyes closed.