It made the front page of Jim Lincoln’s Tecumseh Herald: Dead iguana found in Raisin River. Big mystery! How did it get there?
Tecumseh sat a little high of the Ohio border, just a bit West of Lake Erie, the one that died. I guess the River dumped out down there, but I never took the boat that far. I never rowed near the dam, the one that broke in the flood. I was afraid of going over to the deep below, though it must have been, guessing, only fifty feet or so. Just enough fall to die, and that was enough for me.
The iguana got snagged at the dam, where the old men fished for carp. No good eating, carp, but they could sure bend a pole, and they made great fertilizer if you slit their throats so they didn’t dig themselves back out the hole. Watching that head wriggling up from one death to another death, probably worse, could sure put a nightmare or three into a kid. And then watching dad take the head off with a blunt shovel.
Johnny Rodriguez was in my forth grade class. I knew his family went down to Mexico. He told me about the iguana, how they brought it back as a pet, how it died and they threw it into the river. I tried to explain this in my sixth grade way to my friend, the son of Jim Lincoln of the Tecumseh Herald. That kid laughed. So did a couple other kids. I asked them how many iguanas could get from Mexico to Tecumseh without some help. They all laughed. Johnny Rodriguez laughed.
Small town people, population 7,003. They say the small town types aren’t too bright. My lizard story never made the paper. Small towns love a mystery. Just love one.
Too bad about Johnny. They found him at the bottom of the new dam. Kids were swimming in that muck. Too bad Johnny. To this day we’re waiting on word on what they pulled out of Lake Erie. At least Jim Lincoln is.
Nobody gives a shit about iguanas.