“He’s gone,” Ken wailed.
“Who’s gone?” Grace asked.
“My buddy, Harry,” Ken cried.
Grace looked at Marge. “We have someone living here named Harry?”
“Harry’s a gecko,” Marge said.
“He escaped,” Ken said. “I can’t find him anywhere.”
“He can’t have gotten out of the house,” Marge said. “Let’s search this place from top to bottom. We’ll find him.”
They started with a search of Ken’s room.
“I’d given him a corn cob as a treat,” Ken said. “Then Harry piled it on top of the branch that I put in the aquarium and that got him up high enough to push the screen off the glass and climb up and out.”
“Well, he’s certainly not in here,” Grace said. “I’ve looked under your bed, and in your closet, and through all your dirty clothes, and the only thing I can say is that you really should do a whole bunch of cleaning in here.”
“Never mind that,” Marge said. “Let’s search the other rooms.”
They had looked in every room and were back down on the first floor trying to think of other places that they might have forgotten when Darren came in. He was no longer on crutches but was using a cane to get around and still limping.
“Unbelievable,” Darren said.
“What?” asked Grace.
“I try to walk in this house and I’m attacked by a dragon,” Darren said.
“A dragon?” yelled Grace.
“Well, it was a small dragon, but it went charging outside when I opened the door and it almost knocked me over,” Darren said.
“Harry!” screeched Ken.
“I just thought of something,” Ken said as they began searching through the snow for signs of Harry.
“What did you think of?” Marge asked.
“The last time Harry tried to escape, he was warning me about the fire,” Ken said. “I wonder if this is his way of trying to say something.”
“Let’s find him first,” Marge said. “Then you can ask him.”
“It’s impossible to see lizard tracks with all these footprints around,” Grace said.
“I’ll try to get beyond all the human tracks,” Ken said. “I’ll walk to the edge and do a big circle there.”
“Be carefully not to stamp out any tracks while you’re doing it,” Marge said.
“I’ll be very careful,” Ken said. “I’m looking very carefully. And look…” He pointed out a place in the snow where tiny little tracks could be seen.
“Are you sure that they’re lizard tracks and not squirrel tracks?” Grace asked.
“I know my lizard,” Ken said. “Those are Harry’s tracks, I’m sure.”
“They lead toward the woods,” Marge said. “Toward the old camping ground.”
Ken was charging ahead. “Harry!” he called. “I’m coming.”
“Let’s wait here,” Marge said to Grace. “If he finds Harry, he’ll be very happy and if he doesn’t, we can keep looking.”
“I think these really are squirrel tracks,” Grace said, pointing at some heavier tracks that led to a nearby tree. “So I guess those were lizard tracks.”
“Harry!” Ken yelled. A minute later he yelled, “Found him!”
Marge and Grace waited patiently while Ken lingered in the wood for a few minute before he headed back.
“Let’s get him inside,” Marge said. “I don’t think geckos like the cold.”
Harry was huddled inside Ken’s jacket.
“I didn’t know that lizards shivered,” Grace said, “but I think he’s shivering.”
“That’s me,” Ken said. “He’s co-cold.”
When they finally got inside, Ken said, “I think Strange Brew was right.”
“Right about what?” Marge asked.
“I think there’s something out in those woods. You know, I think that’s what Harry was trying to tell us.”