Chameleons by Yamaguchi
I was born in Sendai, Japan. Sendai is a wonderful historic and naturally beautiful place deeply rooted in Japanese culture. I am fortunate to have called it my home. As a child, my family made frequent trips to several markets to buy and sell many goods. It was at one of these markets that as a young boy, I saw my first chameleon!
The markets were not only where my family purchased goods and sold goods, but was also a place to see exotic animals, foods, and people! I do not know who saw one another first. I do know that the instant that I looked over my shoulder, my eyes met with the two eyes of a chameleon! As you know, chameleon eyes are independent of one another but on this day, both of this chameleon's eyes were focused on me! Despite all of the activity of the market, he stared directly into my eyes. I was drawn to this curious looking green creature all cooped up into a small praying mantis cage! He stared at me while grasping onto the tiny bars with his tiny little hands. He looked like a small little green person! His little curly tail was sticking out of the bottom and as I reached for it, he curled it around my finger! I was shocked but laughed out loud! I was in love instantly and traded my entire catch of insects for him! (Japanese have always been very fond of insects and serve many purposes in our culture. It also served as a way for me to help supply my parents with money for food!)
In later years, I learned that he was a Chameleo dilepis. Normally, your very green typical chameleon. He did have a way to show me when he was happy or upset! Either very bright green when mellow and happy, bright with dark spots when agitated, or very dark while he basked in the sun while riding on my shoulder. He was a very good chameleon. He went on many adventures with me. Luckily, I spent a lot of time collecting insects so he had a ready and healthy food source! His intelligence and sixth sense about his surroundings acted as a little spirit on my shoulder, almost whispering in my ear. He lived for many years and planted a seed for a love for chameleons.
Chameleons have such a different primordial intelligence about the world. They too, are each such very different personalities. They have always fascinated me and almost daily, I seem to learn something new about them. Every few years, I happened to get another chameleon. Then another. Never really having the same one twice! Now that I am getting to be an old man, it is time to share my knowledge and the new line of genetics that I have encountered since coming to the USA.
I hope you come along in my new chameleon adventures and continue to learn with me. I will try to share as much information as is possible as well as share these wonderful creatures so that everyone can experience these mysterious animals that have been here longer than human beings.
Thank you for your time and I welcome the chance to converse about chameleons!