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The Big Gallery

Variable Tilings

The Adventures of Lulu Lizard and Bubba Bat

Bats and Lizards

Busy Beetles

Penrose Gallery



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Chapter 4

In Which Lulu Goes Flying

For a minute Lulu held her breath and listened hopefully for the sound of Bubba’s return. But the old house was completely silent and she heard nothing. “Oh dear”, said Lulu to herself disconsolately, “I’d not like anyone to say that I’m one to feel sorry for myself, but now that Bubba’s gone, there doesn’t seem to be anyone else to do it. So I might as well.” And she settled down to think sorry-for-herself thoughts in the warm and dimly moon-lit darkness of the old living room while idly sketching pictures of pitiful little lost lizards in the dust on the floor.

“Besides,” she said out loud and defiantly to the world in general, “I’m NOT an alligator!”

“Well,” said a flutteriness in the dark air above her, “I never really meant that you WERE an alligator. It’s just something my Dad used to say whenever he flew off.”

“Oh Bubba!” cried Lulu, “You’re back!”

“ ’Course I’m back. I just had to check out the route.”

“ But how did you..”

“ I went down inside the wall, and then out through the lattice just as you said, and then up to the old knothole and into the attic; down the crack I found in the upstairs hall ceiling, and Zowie! Here I am.”

“Oh. That’s wonderful,” said Lulu. “I‘m so glad you’re back. It’s nice to have company even if I am stuck here. Did you see my mother or my father on your way out?”

“No I didn’t,” replied Bubba, “It’s all quiet down there. I suppose they’re all asleep. Besides, I wouldn't know where to look for them.”

“Yes, I guess they would be,” replied Lulu, beginning to feel sorry for herself again. She had tried to imagine a distraught Lizard family up late and searching everywhere for their dear lost daughter, but she hadn’t quite managed to make the picture convincing even to herself.

Her older sister Ernestine had run off with a handsome traveling sales lizard and it had been days before anyone missed her.

After a while, Bubba, who was again hanging comfortably upside down from the bottom edge of their door, (the former electric outlet hole), mused, “Y’ know, I don't mean to brag, but I’m a pretty good flier. Ahem. .. I mean they don’t call me Bubba just, I mean only, because I sometimes stutter. I mean we Bats have made a whole way of life out of sort of stuttering! It’s how we find our way around in the dark, after all. Chittering, stuttering, you know---”

“I’m sure you’re a very good flier, Bubba,” replied Little Lulu, “And you’re ever so nice to come back to keep me company, but you don’t have to stay. You should be out catching millions of mosquitoes and enjoying the night sky. I’ll be all right here. It’s very safe and warm, really.”

“Well, er ..yes,” replied Bubba, “But what I meant was that I’m a very STRONG flier, and maybe I could lift you up to this door. That is, if you wouldn't mind hanging on to my feet.”

“Oh Bubba!” cried Lulu. “Do you really think you could? I’m kind of chubby. I mean my mother says I’m kind of heavy.”

“Well, I think we are just about the same size,” replied Bubba. “In fact, I think we are exactly the same size. It’s just that maybe you’re a little, er ..thicker than I am. I mean my wings are very thin.”

“Well, I wasn’t evolved for flying,” replied Lulu defensively, “Do you think we could try it right now? I’d really like to get back to my family. Not that I don’t enjoy your company. I mean, I really think you’re just wonderful, and I hope we can meet up here every afternoon, and maybe sooner or later I can find a way to get back to the underhouse without you lifting me.”

While Lulu was chattering on excitedly this way, Bubba dropped down to the floor and spread his wings out like an airplane about to take off.

“Grab a good strong hold on my feet, Lulu, and we’ll see if we can fly,” he said.

Lulu held firmly on to Bubba’s feet, and then, with a lot of flapping, Bubba and Lulu rose into the air.

“Don’t let go.” cried Bubba, “Let’s circle the room!”.

“Wheeee! But it’s so dark!” cried Lulu.


“No problema Senorita. We do it all the time. This is really pretty easy,” said Bubba, not a bit breathless, “Maybe I couldn’t catch many bugs flying this way, but just flying the two of us is no strain.”

“I. ..I’m kind of nervous”, said Lulu, hanging on for dear life. “Could we try for my door now?”

“Sure”, said Bubba, “I’ll make my usual bat-type flip-and-go-in-backward landing on the door sill, and you’ll find yourself halfway home before you know it.”

“Oooooo. It sounds scareeeee,” shrieked Lulu, but suddenly, sure enough, there she was inside her doorway, her head spinning and her eyes wide with excitement.

“Wow! she exclaimed, “I’ve never flown before. That was wonderful! Thank you so much, Bubba. How can I ever repay you?”

“Hey. For nothing, De nada, as they say south of the border. You found me a way out, and I found you a way home.”

“I’m sleepy,” said Lulu. “ I should go home.”

“And I’m hungry,” said Bubba. “I should be out catching dinner. Let’s meet here again tomorrow afternoon, a little earlier than today, Okay?”

“Oh yes!” said Lulu. “Let’s! I’ll scoot home now. See you tomorrow. ‘Bye Bubba!” And with that Lulu disappeared down inside the wall, leapt to the ground, and made her way in the dark to her family nest. Bubba, following, whispered, “‘Bye, Lulu” over her head so as not to disturb her family, and flew out through the lattice to disappear among the treetops on his way down to the river where the bug-catching was best.

On to Chapter 5

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