Memory is a strange thing! It plays tricks! I was sure that I had already blogged this story, but I’ve searched, and I just can’t find it. So, here it is, with apologies if you too feel that it sounds familiar. The story is true
Once upon a time there was an old herpetologist. Like all scientists he was enthralled by his subject, especially his specialist species which was Chameleon. Although I’m not a scientist, I can understand this absorption, and I happen to know that he contributed a lot to the discoveries made about this creature in the early part of the last century. A relative worked with him, not in the same department at the museum, but they were on equal standing within the organisation and he held him in great respect.
Both men worked at a large National Museum in a well know capital city. Both went about their work in small contained offices, crammed with files and documents. Microscopes and drawing implements were also in abundance as were samples of their passion, both alive and otherwise! The older of the two (by a number of years) was renowned for his absent-mindedness, so when one of the specimens went missing there was a sigh of ‘not again’ and a major search ensued. Now, this was no mean event. The missing creature was a live chameleon, and the search moved from room to room as drawers, bins and every other suitably considered area was investigated. Nothing was found, the search went on into the night and then to the next day. Finally, exhausted, the herpetologist returned to his place of lodging for a rest.
I assume that he had given up all hope of seeing the creature again, but I can’t imagine how he must have felt when he finally removed his clothes and got into bed. Out of the corner of his eye he saw something moving – and there, climbing out of his trousers was the chameleon, alive and undamaged.
Honestly, it’s true. I was reminded of it today when I read this post from Kate Shrewsday. I think you’ll agree that the practice described over there is a little more painful than the one I’ve recounted here!