The iguana that should have been Lucifer


‘Twas my junior year of high school. My sister had an iguana named Kovu, after Kovu in The Lion King II. I wanted her to call him Piccolo after the Dragon Ball Z character, but I couldn’t complain about her decision. However, I could complain about the pet himself. Iguanas are challenging pets to own. Coincidentally, her relationship with Kovu was very, dare I say, toxic, and his hatred randomly slithered into our lives.

One day my mother drove me home from school, and when we drove up to our house, we saw Holly standing in the front yard. She was smiling as if she had wonderful news available for us the second we exited the Acura. It turns out she could reveal the news from outside the car. While Mom parked the car, Holly leaned forward, revealing a giant lizard on her back. He stayed there with the help of his claws, which sunk into her clothing. This instance marked the first of many times Kovu’s nails proved to be problematic.

My sister obtained Kovu when he was still relatively young. You would think that his young age would give her time to indoctrinate the smaller iguana with messages of docility and nonviolence. Wrong. Kovu grew to about four feet, including his tail, and his malice grew along with his body. Perhaps even faster. Eventually, Kovu and his malice could no longer fit in the cage in which my sister restrained him. Because of this, my sister allowed him to roam free around her room. Soon, her room became Kovu’s, and she slept on the couch in the living room. That was after putting up a tent in her bedroom to shield herself from the malevolent beast that she called a pet.

When Kovu lived with us, he left quite a few scratches on my sister’s arms, and he jumped on her quite often, which was why she slept outside her room. Talk about biting the hand that feeds him! Only he didn’t bite the hand that fed him in a literal sense. However, he did harass his feeder. Every morning when my mother tried to feed him, he would repay her with a sudden pounce and then cling to her dress with his untrimmed claws. Even though Mom anticipated Kovu’s jump, he never ceased to startle her. When we reported Kovu’s behavior to Holly, she laughed and dismissed his herpetological aggression. Surprisingly, she was the one who suffered most from his actions.

All Kovu ever did was take from my sister and not just her bedroom. Of course, as the animal lover Holly is, she invested a lot of time in this teeny leviathan, but also a lot of money. The demanding and evil iguana’s diet consisted of fresh fruits and vegetables, which can be very expensive and extremely perishable foods. In addition to his pricey vegan meals, my sister paid for this powdery supplement that claimed to make him healthier. It was some sort of purplish iguana vitamin, and whenever I fed Kovu, I had to sprinkle it on Kovu’s salad mix and hope to God that he would not bite me. 

In short, Kovu’s diet was not the cheapest, but neither were his living conditions. Again, he had an entire room to himself. He got a room, and my sister bought this heat lamp for her, or—excuse me—Kovu’s room. That light added an extra three hundred dollars to the family’s electric bill and for what? Improving this rude, skin-shedding freeloader’s already high quality of life? Give me a break! Despite Kovu’s problematic at best behavior and high standards, he kept living in my sister’s room, while she continued spending nights on the couch. One day, I see my lovely sister with some weird mark on her wrist. The scar looked no larger than a half dollar, and it was three shades darker than the rest of her epidermis.

When I noted this, I said something along the lines of, “What is on your wrist?”

I find out that the injury came from Kovu. Shocker. Later I find out that iguanas bite their partners when they mate. Shocker, this time without sarcasm.

We officially had a grumpy and horny iguana living in our house. A hard-up creature with claws lived in the same vicinity as us. The only thing that separated my room from the wanton lizard was a half-foot wall.


Needless to say, everyone kept their distance from Kovu. He was pissed off and in need of a woman. His sexual anger became even more evident when my sister entered Kovu’s territory and saw the mirror blurry with iguana semen. Something had to be done; Kovu needed to exorcise his libidinous demons. Not knowing where to find a ladyguana, my sister looked up ways to care for iguanas during mating season. Of course, various websites and forums said to be cautious when interacting with randy iguanas and to find them, partners. Minutes later, Holly came across videos of iguanas dry-humping towels and plush toys. I’m not kidding.

Pitying the sexually deprived reptile, my mother and I bought some plushies from a swap meet. When buying the trinkets, Mom told a little white lie.

“These are play toys for a real iguana,” she said while I internally grinned and chuckled like the freckly pervert I was and still am.

In a way, my Mom told the truth, but the man selling us the stuffed animals probably had a different type of play in mind. We bought three plushies, one of them a large, sparkly alligator, another was a smaller, lime-green lizard, and to be quite honest I forgot the third one. When we came home, we placed all toys on the floor of Kovu’s territory, and he found pleasure in none of them. To our dismay, Kovu continued being lustful, and his desire to mate had an impact on me as well.


It was a day much like every other, and my sister and I were talking in the hallway. Without thinking, my poor sister walked into Kovu’s––the iguana that attempted to make her his partner’s––property. Then I made a mistake; I followed her, which meant I too entered the lair of the scaly molester. When I went in, I could see Kovu’s dewlap fully expanded, and his head was bobbing up and down in aggression. He turned his head to the right to get a better look at me.

While Kovu displayed his primal behavior, Holly gave me the warning of, “Be careful, he can sense that we’re female.”

Seconds later, he crept around my sister’s loft bed and then made his way to her floor, where I sat on my feet. The reptilian rapist ran toward me, hormones and all. When he brushed up against my leg, I let out a silenced squeak. I was almost positive that Kovu tried to mate with me. All the signs pointed to it. Holly’s warning. The soiled mirror. The rejection of the stuffed toys. Every defensive behavior before he touched me. This igunana just attacked me. Before Kovu could climb on me, my sister proceeded to shoo him away from me.

“No, Kovu. We don’t do that here,” she said like she was scolding a two-year-old who had just done something as minor as burp in class.

To my surprise, our family put up with Kovu for at least a few more months, until we finally had to get rid of him. My sister had to continue her education away from home, our family couldn’t take Kovu’s hostile antics, and caring for Kovu cost a considerable amount of money. We gave him to a man who lived deep in San Diego. Luckily, this man had a female iguana for Kovu to take out his *ahem*…frustrations. So now the lascivious lizard lives in Balboa Park with a partner of his species.

When his car drove off, peace was restored in the Keating household. The itty-bitty dragon had been slain. He was gone, but not forgotten, or missed.

And that concludes the story of how I almost got raped by an iguana.


By Danielle Keating


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