マックスのカナヘビの物語 The Story of Max’s Pet Lizards

My son, Max, has always loved animals. He says that he likes cats the best, but I think he is fond of all living creatures: dogs, birds, horses, and even dolphins apparently!

When we first came to Kagawa, we lived in a big city where the only place you could interact with animals was at a local cat cafe or pet shop. 

After we moved to the countryside, however, we don’t need to make a special trip to a pet shop to interact with animals. In fact, our backyard is home to all kinds of bugs and reptiles! 

Every morning when Max and I go out to work in the garden together, we always discover some kind of living creature hiding under the pepper plants, scurrying along the side of the house, or resting on the leaves of our cherry tree.  

Besides frogs, we’ve also found a lot of lizards around our house basking in the sun. Max was curious about these lizards, so we looked them up on the internet, and found out that a lot of people actually keep them as pets!     

It wasn’t long before Max caught his very own lizard to keep as a pet. This is Max’s first Japanese grass lizard, which he named “Liz” (not the most original name, but it is easy to remember!)  

Max did a lot of research about what Japanese grass lizards eat, the ideal temperature for their enclosure, and special equipment needed to take care of them, like a UV lamp, thermostat and heating pad. A few months later, we found a second lizard as a friend for Liz! This one’s name is “Liz Two”. (I hope Max decides on a proper name for it someday!)  

The first lizard, Liz, eats mealworms that we buy from the pet shop, but the second lizard, Liz Two, will only eat live bugs. That means that Max has to go out every morning and search for Liz Two’s breakfast. 

Liz Two really likes to eat spiders, which can often be found hiding in the grass growing along the fence. This is also a favorite hiding spot for tiny frogs!

In the summertime, Max could find a spider right away, but since it has become colder, it is taking a lot longer to catch one. It took Max about 30 minutes to catch this one!

Once winter comes and the cold sets in, I think we will have to start buying crickets at the pet shop to feed Liz and Liz Two. Before, I didn’t like the idea of feeding live insects; I wished that we could have a vegetarian lizard as a pet, like a chameleon or an iguana. But now, even I’m getting used to hunting for spiders every morning to feed Max’s lizards!   

This morning, after Liz Two ate the spider I gave her for breakfast, she peeked her head out over the tree to look at me. I can’t tell if she was thanking me for the delicious spider, or if she was asking me for more to eat. Either way, I feel like we had a nice bonding moment!


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