Reptilian Reprieve

Yesterday when I was playing tennis with my friend Eddie a large reptile wandered onto the court–a lizard about three feet long, splendid green belly, striped tail, spikes on its back, quite a specimen. After a while it made as if to leave, but it was too heavy to climb back up the wind covers and the holes in the wire mesh were too small. We left it there with the gate open, hoping it would discover the only exit. But today when I came back to play again it was still on the court–still trying, in vain, to make an exit. It could die here, I thought. I decided to take matters into my own hands: I took my tennis sweat towel and approached it. The beast began ramming its head through the wire mesh at different points, but got stuck in one hole at its shoulders. I placed the towel over it and tried to pick it up–but it was firmly stuck. It took me a while to pull it out backwards, being careful not to hurt it (why are these things never easy?). Then I picked it up, fat and heavy in my hands, hoping it couldn’t bite me from that position, and carried it out to the gate of the court. It didn’t struggle and made no attempt to bite me; it didn’t even wriggle, remaining quite calm. I put it down outside the court and it ran into the hedge and climbed up into the bushes. I went back and played tennis. It was gone when we had finished.

4 replies
  1. Vivian
    Vivian says:

    Here you (implicitly) beg the question that something approximating God does not exist. But perhaps It does, and perhaps it saw what you did! I loved your autobiography, by the way; please write your non-intellectual one.

    • Colin McGinn
      Colin McGinn says:

      I wasn’t thinking of divine observers, only human ones. I’m just glad the reptile appreciated being saved. I have written a sport autobiography, called “Sport”.


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