I’m sitting by a field, watching a soccer game unfold in front of my eyes.
Sweat dripping down their faces, the players run for the ball, similar to the way a cat would chase a mouse. One after another the teams score, and the spectators cheer and clap.
But my attention is quickly drawn somewhere else: A tug at my skirt indicating that someone wants to talk to me. I turn around in a swift motion, waiting to hear what the individual behind me wants.
But there’s no one looking at me.
Had someone not just tried to get my attention?
Thinking that my mind had begun to play tricks on me, I turn my attention yet again to the soccer game. But no sooner had the next player kicked the ball, that I felt the tugging again. This time, a bit higher up.
Tug. Tug. Tug.
This time I know it’s not my imagination, and so I turn around to see who is trying to get my attention.
Again, no one. So, in the same manner as before, I avert my gaze and look towards the soccer game.
Tug. Tug. Tug. The tugging ensues yet again, followed by a fit of laughter.
I know that I should look behind me again, but I’m too embarrassed to look. If there was laughter after the tugging, was someone playing a trick on me?
Tug. Tug. Tug.
The tugging had now wandered up from my skirt to my lower back. And I was beginning to think that whoever was playing this trick was beginning to act quite inappropriately. Did they realize where their hand was at?
Tug. Tug. Tug. The tugging had now wandered up higher.
I look to my friend, who sat at an angle that allowed her to see what was going on behind my back, and say in Farsi: “Is anyone poking me with a stick from behind? Or pulling at my shirt?”
Puzzled, she replies, “Not that I can tell?”
Tug. Tug. Tug. Tug. Tug.
The tugging had now become more frequent. So I ask my friend once again, “Are you sure? Really?”
Tug. Tug. Tug. Tug. Now it was in my hair and my annoyance had reached an all time high. While still looking at my friend, I put a hand in my hair, trying to get rid of the tugging.
But then, her face changes: her eyes widen, mouth contorts. And in that very moment my heart stopped. If this were a movie, I’m sure you would have heard the heart rate monitor’s flatline noise in the background. Because what else other than some spider like that in Harry Potter would cause someone to make a face like that?
“GECKO!” she shouts.
And my brain can’t decide whether to laugh out loud or have a minor panic attack.
As I shake my hair with my hand a little bit more, out pops a little gecko, perhaps 7 centimeters in length and possibly the cutest thing I have seen. Its eyes were wide and black and I think that I can be certain that it looked more terrified than I had been.
* * *
…Only in Israel…