the house lizard (gecko, cecak) must be the stupidest animal on god's green earth. this is what a friend claimed a few years' ago. at the time i was still too charitable, or else hadn't found enough evidence to make my own verdict. today i found the last straw, after saving a lizard from death by drowning in a pot of swill water that someone left in the kitchenette.
when i saw the lizard it was floating belly up and i thought it was surely dead, look at that greenish tint on its pale, puffy skin. then it gulped. i went for a closer look, and the lizard suddenly jumped into action. either it was smarter than i had thought, knowing that help was at hand, or else it was much stupider, perhaps thinking that i was a predator who's going to gobble its appetising form up.
i fished it out of the scummy water with a fork (not mine, thank goodness) and suddenly realised that it was the third time in my life that i saved a lizard from certain death. the magic number. lizards are stupid.
for the sake of completeness, the other two incidences involving lizards are:
1. one starving fella thought he had stumbled into lizard heaven when he saw a flypaper full of, what else, flies. crawled up and got stuck. i had to peel it off the sticky paper.
2. found a forlorn and rather dessicated (but alive) lizard when i poured some powdered drinks out of it's foil container. finding itself at the bottom of my mug, it sprang into action by running in circles, before finally catching on to the idea that a mug has an opening at the top.
and the friend of mine, who didn't need three examples to prove the idiocy (or rather, lack of self-preservation; you don't find cocroaches getting into all these embarassing situations) of this species, once found that a kettle of water he set to boil turned into lizard stock as one managed to crawl in and got boiled to death. i never asked if he found out only after he drank the water.