My daughter has a pet lizard, an iguana that she calls Perry. Several months ago, I discovered that Perry can communicate. Through a series of dreams, I learned how to interpret his eye and tail movements. Unfortunately, Perry hasn't had similar dreams about me and so the communication is pretty much one-way. This story is actually Perry's own story, told in approximately his own "words".

I have taken some liberty with grammar and sentence structure to make the reading easier. For example, the three movements representing "water", "not", and "food" would be translated as "My food is dry." A sentence like this might be followed by a tail whip, representing anger or alarm. In that case, I would write "Damn, my food is dry."

One thing that I still haven't figured out yet is whom he is talking to. I would like to get another iguana and put them together to see if they would talk to each other. My suspicion is that they wouldn't. I believe that his "talking" is more like a person who moves his lips when he reads. It is more of a physical manifestation of his thought process. It's not intended to communicate at all.

Observation 1, Elapsed time: 20 minutes

Damn, there's the big monster again [he's refering to me]. I don't see why it doesn't just eat me and get it over with. There are no decent hiding places here. There's the fake plant, but any fool could see me under there. The glass walls ["barrier"+"not"] prevent me from getting to all the really good hiding places near here. Hopefully, it will just leave me alone. I'll play dead and it will forget about me.

[several minutes pass]

I'm cold. Time for a bask. Damn fake plant; what good is it? Can't eat it, can't really hide under it. I'll get on the log for a nice bask.

[several minutes pass]

The sun never moves. It feels wrong. When the monster moves it, it looses it's warmth [note: Perry seems to recognize the difference between me moving his light and the natural movement that the sun would have]. Even when it's warm, it's wrong. I want a new sun. Damn.

I check the food. Damn, it's dry. The monster might bring me more. Damn! I hate being dependant on it ["hate" + "like" + "need" + "monster" + "damn"]. Something's wrong. The plants should be all around. They should always be moist. The sun is wrong. The plants are wrong. The glass walls are wrong. The monster should just eat me. I'll eat him. Damn.

[I reach in to get him]

Damn! Damn! I'll run! Glass wall! I'll eat him! Ah, the monster retreats! I'll eat him!

[after dodging a bite attempt, I grab him. I let him stand on my outstreached hand and he bites me three times. Since he is so small, it's completely painless].

I can't eat the monster. It will eat me. I'll play dead. I'll close my eyes. It's touching me. I'm dead.

[As I pet him, he closes his eyes. This calms him. Unseen danger bothers him much less than seen danger (unlike humans). After a few moments, he opens his eyes.]

Maybe it will drop me. I see a multitude of hiding places. I'm pretty high up; I better not jump.

[At this point, I put some diced carrots on my hand.]

Food! Good, it's moist. It gives me more; I'll eat my fill. Ah. Ah. Ah.

Full now. Why does the monster do this? It's a fool. Maybe it doesn't eat. How can something alive not eat? [This statement suprised me; he understands more about the world than I ever imagined] Maybe it eats other monsters. Why does it hold me? Maybe I'm bait for other monsters. It gives me food so I will be alive. Other monsters come for me and this monster eats them. Yes. But what if other monsters come while this monster is gone? I hope not. I'm tired. I'll nap now.

[I put Perry on his log; he wakes up briefly as I move him but goes back to sleep]

Observation 2, Elapsed time: 15 minutes

The monster is here again. Will it eat me?

[Becky comes into sight]

Damn! Now there's a multitude of monsters. [Iguanas can't count past one. Any reference to plural is translated as "multitude"] I don't like the little one. [a fact that makes Becky upset] I'll play dead. They will go away.

[I pick up Perry and put him on Becky's bed]

Damn! Freedom! But the monsters are all around me. Maybe I can get away over here. Damn, they keep moving to block me. I'm going to get eaten now. I can tell. They keep making these noises. They're probably finishing off a monster they've just eaten. I'm next. I'll play dead. That seems to work.

Now the big one is picking me up. Who's going to bite me first? Now it's putting me back on my log. What is going on? Don't they ever eat?

Damn, my food's dry.