Lizard in the Band-Aid Box

In a box of odds and ends at the estate sale I spied an old, metal Band-aid box with a hinged lid that snapped shut. I hadn’t seen one in a while. It brought back childhood memories of well used crayons stored in a Band-Aid tin after their original cardboard box fell apart.

Curious to know if my husband shared similar memories I asked, “What uses did you find for a Band-Aid box? You know the metal kind with hinged lids.”

“I used one to send a lizard in the mail in one time,” he mused.

“You what?”

“Yes. During basic training in South Carolina I found a little lizard. We don’t have lizards back in Indiana. I wanted to show my mother. I saw the lizard as I walked from one place to another during free time. I moved closer to look at it. It started to run away from me. I am used to catching little things like that so I caught it just like I used to catch salamanders in Indiana.”

“There are salamanders in Indiana, but not lizards? What’s the difference?” I asked.

“Lizards have scales. Salamanders have a skin and they exude a fluid when you pick them up.

Lizards don’t; they are dry. Anyway, I picked it up and studied it because I had never seen a lizard.”

“So where did you get the Band-Aid box?”

“Oh, I asked guys, ‘Do you have a Band-Aid box?’ until I found someone who had one. I wanted to put the lizard in it to ship to my mom. I asked guys who had leave that day if they would mail it for me. The refused so I had to let that lizard go.”

“When I had leave, I found another tiny lizard. I tied a red thread around it, put it in the Band-Aid box with some of the thread hanging outside of the Band-Aid box. I put a note on the outside for Mom that read, ‘pick up thread and hold tight before opening box.’”

Knowing his mother, she would have been equally curious to see a different species. She had no qualms with picking up creepy crawly stuff and studying it.

The lizard arrived safely. She liked it enough that she made a terrarium for the lizard in the kitchen near the window and kept it there for a long time.”

“Really!” I had never heard that story before. My original question had simply sought to discover ways that he had found to re-use the old fashion metal Band-Aid box. In the past containers for so many other things used to be more substantial.

In my not so creative world, Band-Aid boxes only held crayons. Every time I opened the lid I whiffed the delightful crayola smell of colored pictures.

Still, the lizard-salamander issue intrigued me. “So no lizards in Indiana?”

“Not in northern Indiana. It’s too cold. Maybe they have them in the southern part,” he shrugged.

I thought about that a minute. When we moved to southern Arkansas, I suddenly discovered lizards wandering around in our newly built house near a wooded area. Not big lizards, just those a couple inches long. The first time I saw one it was halfway up the curtain. I left it there until my sons came home from school. I am not husband’s mother. Lizards only interest me from a distance. The boys caught it, but they never made a thread harness, put it in a Band-Aid box and proudly brought it to show me. They knew I would not have appreciated it even if it had been in an old Band-Aid tin.

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