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Oct 7, 2009

Beginners.

A couple of years ago, we bought a Leopard Gecko for our oldest son, Hudson. He didn't want any toys, just an animal. He is fascinated with reptiles and has read many books about them. So, we went to the pet shop and immediately found what we were looking for. A young, spotty, pretty Leopard Gecko, cool and dry to the touch, and easy to look after. It is surprising what you learn through your own children. I researched the Geckos a little, to make sure that his environment was as it should be. They need a ten to twenty gallon glass or plastic cage. They need a place to hide, some kind of paper or rock on the ground, a humid bed, a heat lamp, and several crickets or worms to eat every few days. They are nocturnal, so if you want to see them hunt and eat, it is best to feed them just before you go to bed. They are so interesting to watch when they hunt. They dart about, chasing their prey. They also lick the air to help them find the insects. After they have eaten, they will lick their lips, and their eyeballs! It sounds gross, but they are actually cute. As a pet owner, you can carry them around the house; they like the warmth of our bodies. However, they do move very fast, so it is best to keep them in their cages for safety. Another interesting fact about them is that they shed their skin and eat it! It supplies them with calcium. They are a very popular pet because they are very easy to take care of, they are quiet, and considered exotic because they come from Afghanistan, India, Iran, and Pakistan.

Grammar notes.

Expressions: it is/ was as it should be, to dart (about), prey.

Exs:

The wedding was just as it should be, elegant, happy, and beautiful.

The fish dart about in the water; it is hard to see them when they move so fast.

The lion was looking for prey. It went down to the water hole and spotted a zebra.

Advanced.

Leopard Geckos are certainly fun to watch. It's just not much fun when one of them escapes in your house! Yesterday, I had decided to get some reading done. I have signed up for a college course which requires quite a bit of reading. A little girl friend had come over to play with my daughter, so I thought, while they played, I could read. A few minutes into their play, I got the sneaky feeling that they were up to no good; it was too quiet. Suddenly, breathlessly, Domini comes downstairs and says that Anthony, the Gecko, had got out of his cage. "What?" I exclaimed, "And how on earth did that happen, Domini?"  "I don't know, Mum," she said, shrugging her shoulders and looking guilty. I raced upstairs and to my horror found that the cage was on the floor with the lid off, and that the bedroom door was open. He could be anywhere! Great! He's probably under my bed! I could just imagine hearing scratching in the middle of the night, and seeing him run across the floor, or worse, my bed! Well, I tried to control my imagination, and I got on with the job of looking for him. My son's bedroom was a terrible mess, so I had to pick everything up carefully, and tidy up very gently, keeping my eyes open for a little spotted head or tail. And, by the way, they drop their tails when they are scared. So I shuddered at the thought of finding a Gecko tail in my son's dirty laundry or in his pile of Pokemon cards. After an hour of moving furniture, and tidying up, I found the poor little thing, in a corner, behind some shelves. Because he was away from the heat lamp, he was cold and sleepy, so I could easily catch him. Thank Goodness! I can walk around barefoot in my house again. I'll have to read some other time.

Grammar notes.

Common expressions: to get a sneaky feeling, how/ what on earth?, to shrug one's shoulders.

Exs:

I got a sneaky feeling that the water was left running all night. I checked, and the whole of downstairs had flooded!

How on earth are we going to replace that broken window tonight? It's freezing cold and snowing. What on earth were you thinking about playing golf inside the house?

The children didn't want to answer the question, so they kept shrugging their shoulders, as if they had no clue what was being asked.