Larry the gumball lizard.[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
Down at the corner pet store, past the gumball machine A gumball machine is a toy or commercial device, a specific type of vending machine, which dispenses gumballs, usually for a small fee paid in coins.
Originally one penny, the current standard cost of one gumball in the United States is one quarter. and the pet toys, a chameleon chameleon (kəmē`lēən, –mēl`yən), small- to medium-sized lizard of the family Chamaeleonidae. About eighty species are found in sub-Saharan Africa, with a few in S Asia. named Larry lived in an aquarium filled with leaves and twigs. He was easy to overlook thanks to his color-changing skin, which was usually green or brown to help him blend in Verb 1. blend in - blend or harmonize; "This flavor will blend with those in your dish"; "This sofa won't go with the chairs"
fit, go - be the right size or shape; fit correctly or as desired; "This piece won't fit into the puzzle" with his surroundings.
One day Larry gazed through the glass as some children ran by his aquarium toward the puppies. He stuck out his tongue and waved with his tail, but they didn't stop.
That night Larry couldn't sleep, I'll never find a home if nobody notices me; he thought. He looked at the gumball machine in the corner. Hmmm, he thought. Hardly a kid leaves the store without getting a gumball gum·ball
A small ball of chewing gum with a colored sugar coating. . Maybe if I concentrate hard enough, I can become red, blue, and yellow like the gumballs. No one could miss me then!
The next morning after a hearty breakfast of crickets and flies, Larry was anxious to test his plan. Even before Mr. Snorkley, the pet shop clerk, unlocked the door, Larry was focused on the gumballs. He squeezed his eyes shut and repeated in his mind, I'm a gumball. I'm a gumball. I'm a gumball.
He opened one eye and peeked at his tail. It was blue! He closed his eye again. I'm a gumball. I'm a gumball. I'm a gumball. He opened both eyes. Now his body was yellow and his head was red! Success! thought Larry.
Two little girls, the first customers of the day, entered the store. As they passed Larry's cage, one of the girls skidded to a stop. "Whoa!" she said. "Look at that crazy lizard lizard, a reptile of the order Squamata, which also includes the snake. Lizards form the suborder Sauria, and there are over 3,000 lizard species distributed throughout the world (except for the polar regions), with the greatest number found in warm climates. ? He's the color of the gumballs in the gumball machine!"
"I don't like lizards," huffed the other girl. "They're slimy."
"Fine," the first girl said with a shrug. "Let's go pet the kittens."
Larry was a little discouraged. But he'd put a lot of effort into becoming colorful, so he wasn't going to just give up! He continued concentrating.
A boy and his mother entered the store.
Larry pressed his red nose against the glass and twisted his blue tail into a curlicue.
The boy noticed. "Check it out, Mom," he called.
"What a weird reptile!"
"Don't even think about it, Jeffrey," the woman said. "We're here to get your sister a guinea pig--and that's all."
Larry's head ached from concentrating so hard, but the day had only just begun. I'm a gumball. I'm a gumball. I'm a gumball, he repeated.
A girl and her father stepped through the door. "We're looking for a chameleon," the man said to Mr. Snorkley.
"Well, we do have one," Mr. Snorkley sighed, "but I'm worried that he's sick or something. He's been turning all kinds of strange colors this morning? I've never seen a chameleon turn red, blue, and yellow before."
Oh no! Larry thought. By trying to be something I'm not, I might have ruined my chance to find a home! Quickly he changed his silent chant chant, general name for one-voiced, unaccompanied, liturgical music. Usually it refers to the liturgical melodies of the Byzantine, Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches and is analogous to cantillation in Jewish liturgical music, Qur'anic chanting to I'm Larry. I'm Larry. I'm Larry.
Just as the little girl stepped up to his aquarium, Larry's blue tail, yellow body, and red head changed back into the colors of the green leaves and brown twigs behind him.
The little girl peered through the glass into Larry's anxious eyes. She smiled. "He looks fine to me. Please, Daddy, can we get him?"
The man gave his daughter a pat on the head. "Of course," he said. "He'll make a perfect friend for your other chameleon, Lorraine."
Larry and Lorraine, Larry thought. I like the sound of that.