Tuesday, 29 May 2007


I have taken up gardening of a different nature over the last few weeks. We have a lizard, or gecko in the house as a pet. She lives in a tank and thankfully up to yet she has only sunk her teeth into one unsuspecting visitor who inadvertently pulled on its tail to get it out from underneath a chest of drawers. Geckos don’t like their tails pulled, they tend to come off as a defence against predators and new ones are a long time growing back. Anyway when we initially we got it we didn’t really give the feeding aspects much consideration. As in life, things tend to change without warning and when Value Pets closed its doors for the last time in Buncrana we had to look for a new way to supply food for the gecko. There is a pet shop in Derry that will order live crickets for you a week in advance but I’m afraid my life isn’t organised enough to plan that far into the future. So what are we to do? For a couple of weeks the poor creature was looking longingly through the glass at us expectant of its dinner, (although I must add at this point that she can live without food for six months at a push). Then after a bit of thought we came across the great idea of feeding her crane flies or daddy long legs as they are also called. They flap around a bit and their legs tend to drop off very easily so I found myself crushing their wings so they would be eaten easier (I will fall off the pavement to save treading on an ant so this hasn’t been easy for me!) The gecko lapped them up but unfortunately for her the season of the crane fly is very short lived and now they are very few and far between. What next could we feed her on? Well our brussel sprout, cabbage, broccoli and kale plants are quickly disappearing under the invasion of caterpillars. We carefully put a few of the slimy creatures in to the tank to see what the reaction was. Again she lapped them up. The season for caterpillars is not that long either so a local expert on such matters suggested that we breed maggots. It gets worse. I have taken to leaving small pieces of meat and half full tins of cat food outside on the window ledge so that flies can lay their eggs in it and then I can feed the resulting maggot infestation to the lizard. Life was so much easier and far less smelly when we had a local pet shop. I know how Seymour felt in the play the Little Shop of Horrors!


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