Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

19 April 2006


What an entirely uninspiring song to restart my singing. Ugh. Let's put this song--which I did not know previously--into the collection with 'Tara's Theme' of 'Instrumental Songs that Someone Insanely Put Words To'. And then let's burn all the words.

Years ago we had an iguana. I loved him--presuming that it was a him, I never could be really sure. I remember going to get him at the pet store, and this was before we had a car, so we carried him back on the bus in a cardboard box. We even had to transfer. Neither of us had ever had a reptile (my mom was decidedly against them) but we had done our homework the best that we could, and we were as prepared as one could be, I think. We started him in a small fish tank, then moved up to a fifty gallon tank, and eventually I built him a 4 ' x 2' x 8' high enclosure of wire mesh and 2x4s, with a large heated rock and a heat lamp (it took up most of our dining room, in a very small house). Psyandar (that's him) grew to be six feet long, and relatively active. He would escape occasionally, and we'd find him sunning on a window ledge; in the summer he would climb the screen back door. We were very glad that he and the cat never harmed one another. It was always a little unnerving picking him back up: his claws were sharp, but his tail was even more deadly, and it was fully half his overall length, his swinging it back and forth was a powerful weapon.

The last move to the cage was probably not for the best, though at the time it seemed a good thing. But our house was never warm enough, and although he survived that last winter, he never quite got the hang of eating again. We force fed him vegetable juice near the end, but he died in the two weeks before we moved into the new house we had bought. We buried him in a cardboard box in the front yard. My husband drew a picture of him as a lizard angel flying up into the sky, and us waving to him.

I miss him, and someday I'd like to try again with an iguana. It was nice to see them wild in the Virgin Islands last summer. Next time I'd purchase a better made final living enclosure, something where he/she could be kept warm through the Pittsburgh winter.

When Psyandar was unhappy--or when we imagined him as unhappy--he would tip back his head and open and close his mouth. We would tap him gently on the nose, and his tongue would dart out to lick our fingers.

Today, I felt a lot like making the unhappy lizard mouth. I resisted, but that's where I was. I feel a little better after felting my hedgehog. Life is full of small changes, little pleasures possible everywhere.


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