Through an umbrella of dark green leaves, only a spot or two of blue sky peeked through the thick tree branches. Wild flowers grew upon the trees and there was a constant sound of insects, birds, and falling twigs. In the distance large animals like gorillas and jaguars could be heard. This was the rainforest and the home of a lonely lizard named Hillary.
Hillary had leathery skin, much like a snake, with four short legs and three toes on each. She had a long pointy tail, a blue tongue and little holes for ears. Yet she was different from other lizards because she was neon pink.
Hillary loved to climb up to the highest branch she could find and sun herself.
She watched the other lizards and never saw one like herself. She wondered why.
One day she decided to make some friends.
Hillary climbed down into the pond where the other lizards gathered to eat. There the lizards ate smaller bugs and insects like flies, mosquitoes, butterflies and ants. When Hillary approached the lizards teased her and made her feel badly about herself. Hillary couldn't understand why the other lizards were mean to her. She felt lonely and sad as she wandered back to her resting place.
She decided to return to the pond. "I will treat them kindly," she vowed.
The next morning when Hillary passed the group at the pond, she said, "Good morning,” cheerfully to the lizards.
Again, no one answered her. They just ate and mumbled among themselves.
At sunset Hillary gathered lots of insects for dinner with her long, blue tongue and offered some to the other lizards. But they would not accept any of her offerings.
"We would never eat anything that you caught for dinner. We might turn pink," they scoffed.
Hillary felt terribly sad. Nevertheless, she held her head high, smiled and climbed up to her resting place, high above the other lizards.
"I am special,” she told herself. Then she fell asleep.
Hillary was special, not just different. She was a chameleon, a lizard that could change her color. But this only occurred when her mood changed.
The next morning when Hillary slithered down to the pond, a funny thing happened. The other lizards didn't run away from her.
"Good morning," she said cheerily.
"It is a lovely morning," they replied.
Why are they nice to me today? she wondered.
Hillary moved closer to the pond to get some water and caught a glimpse of her reflection. She had turned green during the night! In fact, the sadder she was, the greener she became. Now I am like the others, she thought. They must be very sad all the time......