Henry – The Tuatara

Opera friend Henry had an excellent post about a New Zealand reptile called the Tuatara
also named Henry.

It was an interesting and fun post and because of my love of reptiles,
a little diddy began dancing in my head:

The Tuatara

At a hundred eleven,
was a grumpy old man
but stood the test of time.

He fathered a brood
of eleven tiny babes
and no longer was in a bad mood.

Mildred, his mate
as fate would have it
lost her tail the first time
they tried.

She grew it back
forgave Henry his deed
and didn’t give him a big whack.

by Pamela aka PainterWomanΒ© Jan. 28, 2009

The photo below is one of an Iguana I found in my yard. It was the reason my dogs were barking all night long. I took him to the Humane Society as I had no knowledge whatsoever of taking care of reptiles. One of the workers there already had rescued one and wanted this one too if the original owners didn't come forward.

About pam

I am retired from real 9 to 5 jobs. I do my artwork and occasionally write poetry. In September 2010, I moved to Fargo, ND after spending 60 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, five years later, July 2015, I'm back in Arizona. And yes, I love the heat!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to Henry – The Tuatara

  1. ellinidata says:

    My godson has 3 of them (he has the big cages in a house that can host such things), I like cats and dogs only for pets :heart:(not that there is anything wrong with other creatures)….

  2. gdare says:

    Are they usual for Arizona?

  3. zetorres says:

    Wow, she seems to cute! :up:

  4. AOTEAROAnz says:

    …they're very common in Arizona i think ? 1 i prepared earlier.Thats quite large! Love the little diddy…:)

  5. PainterWoman says:

    Darko: I don't think the iguana is usual for running loose in Arizona. The people at the Humane Society said it seemed in good health so it was someone's pet who got away. We have a lot of lizards but not like this. This one was three feet long. I think the Gila Monster is our largest lizard….and their bite is dangerous. Angeliki: Dogs, cats and birds for me. Although I can't have any more birds because of CJ. I love looking at reptiles and reading about them but wouldn't want one as a pet.Henry: Thanks for the link to your other post. I remember that one and was fascinated with the pictures. Ze: Actually, I think it was cute too but a little scary looking at the same time. When I saw it in my yard, it began walking towards me.:eyes: I kept backing up and it followed me through the gate. Then it started going towards the street. A car was coming and I ran out in the street to make sure the iguana didn't get hit. A man got out of the car and he got hold of the lizard and I ran to get a big box. I kinda felt bad putting it in the box but I couldn't chance having it loose in my car.

  6. BabyJay99 says:

    πŸ™‚ Hello Lady Pam, Iguana and all. πŸ˜‰

  7. PainterWoman says:

    Hi Lea, nice to see ya!:)

  8. AOTEAROAnz says:

    Oh :doh: ofcourse Iguana, not your usual visitor..:)

  9. BabyJay99 says:

    πŸ˜† πŸ˜† :hi: Its good to be here reading this :up: post πŸ˜‰

  10. ricewood says:

    Nice entry.I was always fascinated by these kinds of animals. Never had one, though.

  11. shipka45 says:

    so cute and smiling poem…so like the story about the creature you found. My kids and I were also big savers and experimenters…everything lost animals, without their home always found the place in our home…but this sort of animal in our collection absented:)Have a great day and be well dear Pam:)

  12. ForestFloor says:

    Such a cute little poem πŸ™‚ Good for you for rescuing the iguana! I know what it's like stopping cars on the road as I've done it for various animals, most frequently turtles walking slowly across highways. Nervewracking!! I'm so glad that there was someone to take it in case the owner didn't.

  13. PainterWoman says:

    Henry: Nope, no iguanas here. Except for the Gila Monster (I'm sure there is a more scientific name), most of the creatures in Arizona are tan and gray with some other markings of lighter colors. They blend in with the dirt quite well. Lea: That's what I think too when reading other posts. Allan: Thanks. I am fascinated with reptiles and their colors and markings. I have depicted a few in my paintings: a python, an aligator and an iguana. But, like you, have never had one. Although my son had two garter snakes when he was younger. We had to buy live minnows, crickets, etc. for their feeding. I didn't like that much.Maria: Thanks. If I had known anything about the care of this iguana, I might have kept him for a while; but I figured he was someone's pet and, hopefully, they'd go to the Humane Society to fetch him.Christine: Thank you. I think he might have been in my backyard for two nights because my dogs were quite restless and barking all the time. I kept going outside with a flashlight but never saw anything. The iguana was probably up in the tree plus it blends in so well with the vegetation.

  14. PainterWoman says:

    I do the same thing Isabel. At least they don't have teeth BUT look at those claws.:eyes: You couldn't exactly have it on your lap to cuddle and pet!

  15. wickedlizard says:

    πŸ˜† cute diddy! I often go to the pet shop and look at the iguanas there and fancy having one. BUT… I can't stand the idea of the poor thing living in a tank. :awww: And would be afraid for it's life if it wandered the house free…

  16. BabyJay99 says:

    Lady Pam πŸ™‚ 'Gila' in Malay language is 'Mad' or 'Crazy' πŸ˜† πŸ˜† . Err could you enlighten me what is 'Gila Monster' please? Does it gets crazy all the time? :doh:

  17. PainterWoman says:

    πŸ˜† Lea, I will try to find a picture on the net of our Gila Monster. Here is info from Wiki.Here's an interesting article where the Univ. of Arizona and Arizona State University researchers are looking for ways to help in diabetes from the saliva of the Gila Monster. In these pics you can see their size. They are generally 2 feet long. I don't think I'd want to be holding this one.

  18. Suntana says:

    A 3-foot lizard suddenly appearing in one's backyard would be scary, especially not knowing that it's not going to shoot out a 6-foot tongue and drag you in. :insane:

  19. BabyJay99 says:


  20. studio41 says:

    love the poem; the little creature, well, I'm glad someone came by and grabbed him for you… I would be too scared to go after him, myself.

  21. PainterWoman says:

    Hi Lea and Loku: Thank you, I love the topic too. It's making me want to go to a pet shop or zoo and photograph the reptiles. I have slept only four hours and am up at 2 am. It's going to be a long day. Will have to take a nap around 1 or 2pm.

  22. PainterWoman says:

    Graham: I don't think I'd want to kiss him either. I'm not even sure if I'd want injections containing the saliva. Sounds kind of gross….but, I suppose, if it got rid of diabetes completely, I'd try it.Carlos: This iguana was rather ominous looking because it just stared at me. And, if you remember how Godzilla looked when he walked, this is what I was thinking when it began walking towards me. He really scrambled around inside the big box in my car and I was so afraid he'd get out while I was driving. Thankfully, the Humane Society was only a couple miles away. Lea: Thank you for your artwork! I think I may be putting another reptile in one of my paintings. Jill: Thanks! I'm not sure what I would have done had the man not come along in his car. He seemed to have no fear at all grabbing the iguana by its tail and putting it in the box.

  23. BabyJay99 says:

    My pleasure Lady Pam and good morning to you. πŸ˜‰

  24. BabyJay99 says:

    Yes you better have that nap dear Lady Pam, dont wanna have baggage under your lovely eyes. πŸ˜‰

  25. BabyJay99 says:

    oh and thanks for the Gila Monster's info :up: :yes:

  26. lokutus-prime says:

    Hi Pam! – this is such a wonderful cheery cheerful cheering blog post :yes:I love the topic – love the poem too! :yes: – the pics and the artwork from dearest :queen: :heart: (- Hi! princess :heart:)Greetings also to Shipka, Allan, Henry, Isabel, et al :yes: :happy:

  27. Suntana says:

    I can just imagine if Mini Godzilla HAD escaped from the box. It would have started climbing over the back of your car's front seat. It would have shocked you and you would have opened your door right then and there with the car in motion and jumped out! :yikes: Your car and the ominous creature would have gone over a 700-foot cliff. CRASH! Then the creature, by now kinda pissed off, would crawl out of the burning car. :insane: The super-sized lizard would be going like the Martian from Bugs Bunny … "Ooooooo! That makes me VERY angry! VERY angry indeed!" πŸ˜† It would then start climbing the cliff to seek some revenge.But ………… It didn't escape from the box. πŸ˜€

  28. PainterWoman says:

    Lea: so far no bags under the eyes…just a tired brain. Carlos: You have even a more vivid imagination than I do.Darko: πŸ˜€ In the short drive to the Humane Society, I kept slowing down and would quickly peer over to the back seat to make sure the box was still closed. I also was expecting to see an iguana staring me face to face. Was sooo glad I got there in about five minutes.

  29. gdare says:


  30. edwardpiercy says:

    Gee, I was kinda hoping for the movie version — Iguana! :)A nice diddly. Is it the only song about a tuatara out there? Cause I would kinda expect that it would be. πŸ˜†

  31. PainterWoman says:

    πŸ˜† Yep, I think this is probably the only one.

  32. edwardpiercy says:


  33. BabyJay99 says:

    Glad to hear that dear pretty Lady Pam πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  34. Weatherlawyer says:

    Yeuch!Mind you, I once lived in a place that had a problem with mice. I suppose a pet reptile would have cured them of putting currants on my toast.

  35. PainterWoman says:

    "currants on my toast":eyes: :yuck: πŸ˜† or chocolate sprinkles……hahahaha

  36. lokutus-prime says:

    :yikes: :yuck: πŸ˜†

  37. Dacotah says:

    Great poem. Nice rescue. πŸ™‚

  38. BabyJay99 says:

    The Gila monster looks like a komodo lizard :sherlock:

  39. PainterWoman says:

    You're right Lea. I wonder if they're related.Thanks Carol.

  40. Dacotah says:


  41. BabyJay99 says:

    Wait let me go and interview Mr Gila and Mr Kodomo πŸ˜€

  42. lovinmalamutes says:

    Thanks for the laugh. I also was imagining the lizard getting free in the car. Very good.:D :up: Pam, I enjoy your work and I hope to see those you did during rough times.:happy:

  43. PainterWoman says:

    Lea: What were the results of the interview.:lol: Lovinmalamutes: You're welcome and thanks, I am in the process of photographing more of my work. It will be strange to see some of them on the screen.

  44. lovinmalamutes says:

    Please call me "D" or Doris if you'd like. I know what you mean. I am still in that 'surreal' feeling, when it doesn't feel like it's you, yet it is. I didn't think anyone be interested in my whining s, but they were, & are.:happy: I really enjoy your work and hope to see more soon!!!:up: :heart:

  45. lovinmalamutes says:

    Do do do do, Twilight Zone!?!:lol: I'm sure she was a great lady.:cool:

  46. PainterWoman says:

    Oh I just got goosebumps…my mom's name was Doris! Remember, not whinings, but catharsis. Sometimes we have to dig deep inside.

  47. PainterWoman says:


  48. SummerAngel says:

    Great diddy! I was not aware iguanas did not have teeth. You are a brave woman to overcome your fear and rescue him. I hope I would react in the same way were I put in that situation. But, like you, I think I prefer to see reptiles in a pet shop or at the zoo.;)

  49. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks Summer! You must have your blog up and running now? I'll go check.

  50. BabyJay99 says:

    Oh Lady Pam i got them both together and when i was about to interview them, Mr Gila has to use the bathroom and when he's done Mr Komodo mobile has to ring :doh: am still here waiting for them to start :eyes: looks like its their break time now :doh: :faint: But no worries i'll try again and I'll be back πŸ˜€

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s