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Sphincter

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Sphincter.

Was the name of my Tokay Gekko.  

In the quiet house on a quiet street after midnight came his unworldly bark.

SPHincter. He was a Phantom of the Opera

Even now, We pronounce the name  

tentatively

And in a whisper.

Many a traveller has turned white with fear of the unusual sound.

Sphincter was shy and lived behind the refrigerator.

The sad fact was that there were some cockroaches and I had gotten the gecko to eat them   It took the creature a week to get rid of the roaches and then I fed him pinkies.   I kept the pinkies in the freezer.  But finally I couldn't stand any of them.

We set a tender trap for him and I gave him to a friend with a feed store.

The gekko was a lovely creature: pink and green.  But churlish.  Not like iguanas or pandas.

I don't know whether the cockroaches have returned to the little house.  I have not.

—Janice Ambrose

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