I remember when I was finally able to convince my parents to buy me a pet lizard. I was so excited! It lived inside a wooden cage with a wire mesh in front. I named it Mr. Lizard. I wasn't very good at coming up with names.
Everyday, when I came back home from school, I'd go to my room and would feed Mr. Lizard a cricket. I thought that was the neatest part about having a lizard. It was fun to watch as the cricket hopped around inside the cage as Mr. Lizard eyed it. I kept thinking, "Oh man, I wonder when he'll eat the cricket!" Then "Munch!" It was done. I was somewhat disgusted by it, but at the same time fascinated.
One night, I was watching a nature show on TV and the people in it were trying to rescue some animals that were captured illegally and being sold as pets. They managed to save a few and then released them back into the wild. Everyone was happy and patting each other on the back. I thought it was a wonderful story and it made me smile.
Later that evening, as I lay in bed staring at Mr. Lizard, I thought how cruel it was to keep him. I got up and went over to him and said, "How would you like to be free?" Mr. Lizard wasn't very talkative, but I could have sworn he nodded at me.
With the cage under my arm, I snuck past my parents' bedroom and quietly made my way outside. It was a very dark night and I was a little scared, but my desire to free Mr. Lizard helped me overcome my fear. I set the cage down and opened it. Without a moment's hesitation, he bolted out of the cage and ran off into the night. I was a little disappointed because I thought, at the very least, he could have said, "Thank you." Still, it made me feel good inside. I went to sleep that night with a smile on my face.
The next morning, I went to go play in a field that was across from my house. As I was walking past a tree, I noticed a bunch of ants at the base of it. There were so many of them that I couldn't see what they were eating. So, I got a stick and poked them. They scattered and then, to my horror, I saw Mr. Lizard. I felt really sick. I dropped the stick and ran home.
Once I got home, I sat on my bed and covered myself with a blanket. I was so very sad.
I learned something important that day:
Not all stories have happy endings.