The Iguana Brothers'


July 14, 1999|By Tony Johnston

Editor's note: Dom and Tom, the iguana brothers, eat flowers, pretend to be dinosaurs and discover they can be best friends.

It was a sunny morning in Mexico. Tom and Dom were lolling on a roof. A bug crawled near Dom. Dom's tongue shot out.

Slurp. "Adios, bug," said Dom.

A bug crawled near Tom. It crawled on Tom. Tom did not move.

Dom moved. His tongue shot out.

Slurp. "Adios, bug."

Dom slurped many bugs. Tom slurped none. "Tom?" Dom asked at last. "I am catching many bugs. You are catching none." "Bugs are gross-os," said Tom. "You eat them all. They are not for me."

Dom said, "You will get thin, Tom. You will get flaco, flaco, flaco." "I will take that chance," said Tom.

Dom looked very worried. "But what will you eat?" he asked. "I will eat flowers, Dom. Flowers are pretty." "Flowers are prettier than pigs and snakes," said Dom. "But how do they taste?"

Tom tasted a flower.

He blinked. He thought.

He said, "Flowers taste pink, Dom. They taste better than bugs."

After that, Tom and Dom ate only flowers. No bugs.

The flowers tasted good.

Tom and Dom were happy. Nobody got flaco.

It was a lazy afternoon. Dom was sunning himself on a vine.

Tom was not sunning. He was blinking. And thinking. "Dom," he said. "I am thinking." "Por favor, Tom," said Dom.

Tom said, "Dom, look at me. What do you see?" "An iguana?" he asked. "Wrong, Dom," said Tom. "You do not see an iguana."

Dom was surprised. "What do I see, Tom?" "A dinosaur!"

Dom opened his other eye. "Si. Isn't it truly amazing?"

Dom said, "It is truly loco." "How can that be?"

Tom said, "Dinosaurs had scales, right?" "Right," Dom agreed. "And dinosaurs had long, lashy tails?" "Right." "And claws?" "Right." "And fearsome jaws?" "Right." "Dinosaurs roared a lot," he said. "Let me hear you roar, Dom."

Dom made a little coughing sound. "Rrrrr." "We are dinosaurs!" the brothers cried.

Dom and Tom felt proud. They puffed themselves up. They strutted up and down the vine. They roared. "Rrrrr."

Along came a little lizard. It heard them roaring. It looked at them.

The little lizard laughed and ran away.

Tom said, "Dom, let's not be dinosaurs anymore." "Let's not, Tom," said Dom. "Let's go sun ourselves."

It was evening now. The stars began to glow. "Tom?" he said. "Si, Dom?" "That is my favorite constellation." "What is your favorite, Dom?" asked Tom. "The Big Iguana." "Si. The Big Iguana is twinkly and beautiful," Tom agreed. "I would like a friend just like that, Tom," said Dom dreamily. "No hay problema. I will find you one."

So Tom went looking for a friend for Dom.

He heard a squawk. He saw a toucan in a tree. It did not look like the Big Iguana. But it was colorful, even at night. "Hola, toucan," said Tom. "I am looking for a friend for my brother. Will you be his friend?" "Can he fly?" it asked. "No," said Tom. "What a ninny," said the toucan. "I cannot have a ninny for a friend." The toucan flew off.

Tom went on. An armadillo came out of the bushes. "Hola, armadillo," said Tom. "My brother needs a friend." "Who doesn't?" said the armadillo. Then it asked, "Can he roll into a ball like this?" "No, he cannot do that," Tom said. "Well, when he can roll into a ball, maybe I will be his friend," the armadillo said. And it rolled away.

Tom went home. "Dom," he said sadly, "lo siento. I did not find you a friend. Everyone I found was not right." "Can brothers be friends, Tom?"

Tom blinked. Tom thought. "!Claro que si!" he shouted. "Brothers can be friends!" they both shouted.

Then Dom said, "I like you better than the Big Iguana, Tom. He cannot eat flowers. He cannot be a dinosaur. He can only twinkle."

Tom felt good. He felt like twinkling.

So did Dom.

From THE IGUANA BROTHERS by Tony Johnston. Published by The Blue Sky Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. Copyright c 1995 by Tony Johnston. Reprinted by permission.

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