Yesterday, I woke up thinking that the day would be a normal school day. (I don’t know why I keep thinking that…)

Classes started and all was going well until our morning break time… I walked over to my house (all of 20 feet away from the school…talk about a GREAT commute!) and suddenly I heard one of the other teachers calling for me through my window. “Matt,” he said, “come outside but do NOT use your back door. You must go out another way.” So, naturally, I walked straight to the back door and slowly opened it up. Lo and behold, in the potted plants next to my door hid my long-lost friend, “Mr. Monitor Lizard!”

We first met back in March when he was sun-bathing on my neighbor’s woodpile. Since then the wood was removed and a fence was built so I wondered what had happened to my reptilian rafiki. So 1 month after our last meeting he came to pay his respects. Joining him, though, was about half the school standing in my back yard staring in my direction along with the pastor snapping pictures of the Kenge craziness happening. I finally convinced the students to return to their classrooms and NOT to stone my good buddy Mr. Kenge. Then I quickly moved to my bedroom to fetch my own camera for some up-close glamour shots! (Free of charge too!) Of course…when I returned he was gone! But then, I noticed something round the corner of my house. The chase began…

Over the porch and through the neighbor’s garden, towards the Pre-Schoolers, Mr. Kenge went! Fearing the panic of a 2-3 foot lizard entering an area of FIFTY 3-4 foot pre-schoolers, I quickly routed him away from them towards the school’s kitchen. I called out to Mama Josephina, our incredible cook, and gave her the heads-up of her incoming assistant. She helped me to keep it moving away from the children then it passed between us away from the pre-schoolers, away from my house…and towards the very center of our school!

Following him, he finally climbed up a tree between our school office and the classrooms and settled on one of the highest branches. During lunch the area below the tree was covered in curious but nervous students who dared for a closer look. A few of the 1st graders didn’t adher to my “No Stoning!” rule… Fortunately though, they are 1st graders and their throws never reached the kenge. My friend remained “on high” until well after school. When I returned to the school that evening, I was very saddened to see the ground COVERED in rocks below that tree but another teacher assured me that he actually chased it away instead of simply killing it… I hope he was right…

None the less, “Mr. Kenge” is a fantastic specimen and a nice neighbor that kept my yard free of mice and rats. I hope we meet again!

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