The Legend of the Lizard or Common House Gecko
The common gecko or the house lizard can be considered part of the Philippine household. These lizards can be spotted anywhere in the home and they are harmless. I grew up used to seeing them on our house walls, on the table as they look for crumbs often rice grains, on the ceiling going after an insect and even on the floor on some occasions.
I remember being fascinated by their small eggs, such are so tiny and fragile. Those are from times I would accidentally spot some hidden eggs when doing some house cleaning. And there's this one time I had spotted few eggs on the crack of a coconut tree. That's the first time I saw their tiny eggs and I was barely 7 years old and didn't know those are house lizard or gecko's eggs.
The scientific name for the house lizard is hemidactylus frenatus and since it lives in the house, it got the name Asian house gecko, or plainly the house lizard. They eat insects and hangs around lights patiently watching lured insects by the light and waits for the right moment to go after their meal.
But did you know that even house lizards has their own legend? An interesting Filipino legend explaining how or where the first lizard or house gecko came from?
There was a young naughty boy who always play tricks to anyone and everything in the village. He's indeed a mischievous young one. This character of him makes a lot of people angry. People don't like him. The reason why he always get spanking and scolding from his mom and dad.
However, this kid didn't change his attitude but instead he got more hardheaded and is being disrespectful of the elderly. No one doesn't want to be his friend because of this. And the animals has been his source of entertainment because nobody wants to play with him. And this created another problem, the tame animals become elusive once this mischievous boy got close or around these animals doing them harm.
Later on, he even got to the point of secretly destroying plants in the neighborhood.
One day, he did another mischief.
He got to the mound and ruined the mound while his mother was busy sweeping their yard. His mother saw this and she got so mad and scolded his son. Afterwards, she did all her best to ask for forgiveness to the mound's dweller (the goblin) that might be residing in there for what her son did.
"I ask for forgiveness ancestors," she pleaded to the mound. "My son wouldn't do it again and that he would be good, I promised."
The mother preached her son never to do it again to the mound because the goblin can get very angry.
In the country, it is such a dreaded thing to stomp and step on the mounds as they might be inhabited by this unseen beings.
But this kid didn't learn his lesson. After lashing the carabao the following day, he concentrated on going after a monitor lizard. The stubborn child followed the monitor lizard around but he missed it when the animal went through a protruding roots of a tree. He continuously search the area holding his slingshot.
How happy he was when he found the monitor lizard's eggs! He happily used his slingshot on each one of the eggs.
But he got startled when a goblin suddenly appeared in front of him.
"Hey there mischievous child! Didn't you know that there's life inside those eggs? Why did you cracked those eggs?" the goblin asked him. "I am going to punish you because of what you did. You are going to be a consanguine of the monitor lizard."
"Please don't do that. Have pity on me. I'm going to be a good kid now. I swear!" pleaded the naughty kid.
"You are such a liar! How many times have you promised that every time your dad spanks you? And just yesterday it was your mom who made a promised on your behalf, but you still hadn't changed one bit. Now, as your punishment, you will kiss the ground just before sundown. But you will still live inside a home because you are a human the Creator had made. You will be called as the house lizar," the goblin said.
Have you seen a house lizard?
The first house lizard
The horrified naughty child hurriedly rush to his home while screaming.
"Help me mom! Please help me! I don't want to be a house lizard. I don't want to be a house gecko," he cried.
The mother had a glanced of her son from the window and she saw how her child fall on his face even before he could go up the bamboo stairs. She wondered on her son's transformation until he became so small and looks just like a monitor lizard.
House lizard or the common house gecko was the last word she heard from his son and so that's what she called him. And even though the strange animal was gentle, it is elusive because of shame. Shame realizing of his wrongdoings that led him to become like this - the first house gecko.
Up to this day the house lizard or gecko still continuously kisses the ground at sundown.
Can he still go back to his human form and be with his parents? He might be feeling really sorry for all the mischief he had done.
But only time can tell.