I GREW up in a town where people considered the tuko, or Tokay Gecko, as part of the family. A house was considered blessed if a tuko lived there. We respected the tuko not because it rid the house of pests. We respected the tuko the way we respected the objects of faith inside the house: with a mixed feeling of fear and awe toward something mysterious and powerful.
We had a least one tuko while I was growing up. The whole time he was with us, I can only count with my fingers the times I saw him in the flesh. When he chose to reveal himself, he only exposed part of his head, and only for a few seconds, but long enough for me to take a good look at his large, brown eyes. He would sneak out from a hole or a crack and quickly disappear when I tried to get close.