Yesterday, Silly Safaris, based out of Indiana, left Hoosier country for the Bluegrass and brought some fine animal friends along as well. My animal lovin' crew were thrilled to see Coyote Chris and all his critters. A hare, coatimundi, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, blue-tongued skink, snake, and an owl were all in attendance. Coyote Chris had an "Owen Wilson" kind of vibe and was quite the actor. For the children's sake, he over-dramatized everything... which worked well until Caleb got called down to the floor.
Caleb has had a fascination with lizards for quite some time, so he eagerly waved his raised hand to be chosen to come and pet the blue-tongued skink. He managed to catch the attention of Coyote Chris. Decked out in his swimming dud's (we were headed to the YMCA pool next), Caleb proudly went to the gym floor to have a close encounter with Bob, the skink. Oh yes, petting was great fun, and he reported Bob to be incredibly smooth.
Then, as Coyote Chris was handling the lizard, he got him close enough to his face to be licked, and then pandomonium ensued. He squealed like a girl, acted as if he couldn't get it to stop, and performed great antics trying to get the lizard off of his face. All of this was to the delight of the audience, but a very nervous Caleb taking it all in beside him. Coyote Chris, now composed, polled the audience to see if they would like to see Bob lick Caleb and the other volunteer on the nose to which the crowd screamed a resounding yes. Caleb's face turned red, the tears came, and he kept looking up at me shaking his head no as I tried to reassure him that he was ok... all the while Coyote Chris was oblivious. Volunteer 1 allowed the face licking and then Coyote Chris turned to see my very scared little boy. To his credit, he quickly changed his game plan. He asked if Caleb would like Bob to lick him on the hand and that compromise was acceptable.
Thankfully, Caleb left the scene unscathed, still LOVES animals, and recounted the entire 50 minute show to Daddy, Mamaw, and Papaw. I'm proud of him, and I must admit... a Face-Licking Lizards does't sound overly enjoyable to me either. I don't care what color tongue he had!