“I have such a headache!” Mara mumbled through sniffles and hiccups that were starting to give Tam a headache of her own. She rubbed Mara’s back and tried asking for the third time:
“What happened? Why are you crying?”
Tam braced herself for a new, fresh wave of tears, but Mara controlled herself long enough to say:
“There was a lizard under the table…” The way she stretched out that last syllable made Tam cringe, but then her brain registered what Mara said and she started laughing. Just threw herself on the ground laughing. Mara wasn’t crying anymore.
“Tam, stop it! That’s not why I’m crying. Stop it!”
Tam sat up and wiped away imaginary tears, still smiling.
“OK, Mara, then why are you crying?”
Mara fumbled with her hair and pointed to a spot under the table.
“It was there. I went to the kitchen, grabbed a plastic cup and piece of paper and trapped him under there but…but I cut off a piece of its tail.”
Tam pursed her lips to keep from laughing again and nodded in encouragement.
“I slid the paper under and carried it to the balcony. The tail was wiggling on the floor…It wasn’t moving so I shook it a little…maybe too hard…”
Tam rolled her eyes. “So you cut off its tail and then shook him to death.”
“No! No, it was just stunned. I took away the cup and shook it off the paper and it just lay there, not moving. So I gave it a little shove with the paper and it started moving and then…”
Tam held out her hands pleadingly. Mara’s sentence ended in a high-pitch sound that would probably end up in sobbing again.
“And then…and then…”
“I have such a headache…” The lizard shook its head and stared forlornly at its deformed rear. He heard a scuttling and sighed in relief when he saw his best friend Mo scampering towards him.
“DUDE! Are you ok? The others said you went into the giants’ home. I told them you wouldn’t be so stupid to do such a thing, but here you are and-OH! YOUR TAIL!-”
He sighed and rubbed his head.
“I was trying to impress Meems…it was stupid I know. Now no one will look at me until I grow a new tail.”
“Meems?” Mo said incredulously. “Dude, she started going out with Lolo this morning.”
He buried his face in his claws. “Murder me, Mo.”
Mo laughed and started doing push-ups.
“So, tell me what happened.”
“Well, I managed to get in through a gap in the door and jus started walking around, you know, just waiting what I thought would be a good enough time before getting out of there. Then I saw a bit of food under the table and, wow, it was so good!”
“What was it?” Mo asked excitedly, mid push-up.
“I dunno…Then this…thing came down and chopped off my tail!” He looked at his rear again and shook his head forlornly. His bottom still stung.
“There I am, trying to escape and then I’m flying, Mo. Scariest thing in the world. I see it’s the giant carrying me and then it shakes me…so hard I thought I was going to die! Then it tossed me out and started pushing me around!”
Mo scampered closer, one eye trained carefully on him.
“Yes? What?” Mo fidgeted.
A piercing wail from one of the giants in the apartment behind them interrupted their conversation.
“And then it fell off the balcony, plunging to its death! Waaaahhhh!”
Both lizards looked up at the balcony for a second, then at each other. Mo shook his head.
“Dude, you fell?”
He nodded, sighed and pointed to his missing tail.
“No tail, no balance, so I fell on my head.”
Mo laughed and started scampering towards the trees.
“Wait until the guys hear about this!”
Ignoring the slight stinging, he ran after Mo, vowing to separate him from his tail.