He was a freak, just like me. Jacko the gecko. To begin with, he was a vegetarian, the first of his kind I've come across. While his friends and relatives lie in wait for mosquitoes and other insects, he crawls to my kitchen table and helps himself to bits of chappatti dough. Wonder what turned him into a vegetarian! Was it a matter of taste or incapability to catch prey? I saw no sign of physical handicap or deformity on him, but noticed he was very slow in movement. Perhaps that was it. In a world where speed and push is required for success, the likes of Jacko and me stand little chance.
What made him seek me out? Was it some primeval instinct that drew him to a kindred spirit, though of a different species? I imagine him to be the laughing stock of his peers for not being a hunter like them. Just like me again. I'm a flop and failure by most human measurements. I've neither made it as a housewife nor as a career woman. I'm not part of that class of kitchen smart ladies who handle the work so efficiently, making it seem easy. Nor do I fall in with those savvy office or business women. I don't belong. Am a misfit.
However, I'm glad I haven't been stoned to death or burned at the stake as a witch. Such things happened in the past and still happens today, in different forms. The society punishing and persecuting someone who is a bit off beat.
Read George Macdonald’s story 'Purdie and the Princess'? In a village lived an old woman who was considered a witch and treated rather badly. Her fault? She troubled nobody and tried to live within her means! In other words, she was different. Well, being different, for better or worse, can be dangerous.
One day, trying to clean the ceiling , I tied the broom to a long stick. Joking, I told my daughter that I used it to fly on at night, taking Pele (our black cat) with me. She exclaimed "Mamma, people will really think you're a witch. Keeping a long broomstick and having a lizard and black cat for pets." See? Aren't I lucky I haven't been charged and tried?
It's a boost to my self-esteem to have Jacko contentedly eat the dough I kneaded, while it's not that easy to satisfy the rest of the family. Even Pele the cat often curled his nose and walked away in disdain from the fare I lay before him. But Jacko never complained.
Though I chose to call him 'my pet lizard', it was he who took the initiative. He came for his breakfast every morning, but I didn't get to see him rest of the day. And that's why, when we moved house I left him without even saying goodbye. Did he miss me? Did he feel betrayed?
The likes of Jacko and me would've been scrap, losers, were it not for Rainbow Maker, because of whom we survive, even thrive. Once Rainbow Maker takes over, whimpers turn to songs, crawlers grow wings and see rainbow. There's rainbow for Jacko and me.