When she finds an odd looking egg in the forest behind her house she decides to hide it in her bedroom in the hope that it will hatch into a lizard. What she gets is ‘Bubbles’, the oddest, fastest growing lizard she has ever seen. It doesn’t take long for her annoying little brother to discover her secret pet. It also doesn’t take long for Bubbles to grow out of her room. Lizzy begins to wonder whether Bubbles is a lizard at all, or something even more amazing. But how will Lizzy keep Bubbles a secret? And what will happen to Bubbles if anyone finds out about him?
‘No, you cannot have a pet lizard–’ Lizzy’s mum said, ‘And before you ask, no snakes either. No reptiles of any sort.’
‘But Mum!’ Lizzy complained, ‘You got Joey a puppy when he asked for one.’
‘She’s a working dog. She’ll be able to help on the farm when she’s older,’ her mum said.
‘But I love lizards.’
‘We have enough animals, end of story.’ Lizzy’s mum turned back to preparing dinner. Her little brother Joey, who had been sitting at the table eating his after school snack, began chanting just quietly enough so that his mum would not hear him, ‘Lizard-breath Elizabeth wants a pet lizard.’ It was more than Lizzy could take. She stamped her foot and went outside, the screen door slamming behind her. She ran to the big tree at the end of the garden and climbed into her secret hiding spot. It was perfect; she had a wonderful view of the house, the forest beginning at the back of their yard, and the surrounding paddocks. She loved that no one could see her – especially Joey.
‘It’s not fair!’ Lizzy muttered as she climbed. ‘Joey always gets whatever he wants.’ Lizzy settled into her favourite spot and swung her legs. She looked around her. The paddocks were dry and brown – there hadn’t been any rain for ages to make them green. The sun was setting in an explosion of colour that made the land seem even browner. Lizzy knew she would have to go inside soon, but for now she enjoyed her hiding place, and the fact her brother Joey was nowhere to be seen. He was a year and a half younger than her, but acted as though he was the boss of everything! She rested her head back against the trunk of the tree and felt herself relax.
I will get a lizard, she thought, one day.
The sun went a bit lower in the sky and Lizzy saw something shiny out of the corner of her eye. She sat up and looked to where she had seen the glint of light.
It must be some rubbish, or something Joey has left outside, she thought, and tried to ignore it. Her brother was always getting into trouble for not putting his things away, but that didn’t stop him getting a new puppy. She started getting annoyed again, especially as her eyes were drawn towards the shiny object.
‘I guess I should check it out,’ she said. She remembered a lesson at school about the sun’s rays being magnified by glass, and bursting into flame. With how dry everything was, Lizzy didn’t want to run the risk of a fire starting in their yard. She looked around to make sure the coast was clear, then swung down from her tree and went to have a closer look.
She arrived at the edge of the trees and saw the shiny object, sitting in a clump of grass. She knelt down to inspect it. It was round, like an egg, but shorter and fatter. It was smooth and shiny and a deep yellow, the same size as the palm of her hand.
‘Lizzy, Mum says you have to come in for dinner!’ Joey’s voice made her jump. ‘Hey, what have you found?’
‘Nothing,’ she said, and reached out to pick up the object and slip it in the pocket of her jacket before her brother could see it. ‘Tell Mum I’ll be right there.’
‘You have found something!’ Joey said. ‘Show me.’
‘No, it’s just a stone,’ she lied. ‘We’d better hurry and go inside before Mum gets mad.’
‘Fine, I’ll tell Mum and Dad, and they’ll make you tell me,’ Joey whined, and ran off towards the house before Lizzy could reply. Lizzy got up and followed him. She slipped into her bedroom and placed the object in her sock drawer before going to the bathroom to wash her hands and join her family for dinner.