For as long as I could remember I had either slept in the same room with my sister, or in the same bed.
While we were still living at The Shell in Cruz Bay, Erva went, BY HERSELF, and spent TWO WEEKS at Camp Elisa, a Girl Scout camp in Puerto Rico. (I went years later, a lovely spot up in the mountains. I have no idea if it's still there or not.)
Anyway, it was the first time in my long life of 6 or so years, that I had ever slept by myself. There I was, a small little thing, lost in that big double bed under that big mosquito net.
Lucky for me my parent's room was like 2 feet away. They were wise enough to leave their door open so the light from their room cast a comforting glow over the bed and I didn't feel so alone.
I don't think I made a fuss about going to bed, that wasn't like me. And I didn't have any nightmares. If fact I think I rather liked being a only child, having Mom all to myself, having her read at night to me and me alone.
Everything was going alone just fine.
(Can you sense something is about to change? Can you sense an adventure?)
I was settled into bed and Mom was pulling down the mosquito net and getting ready to tuck it in when I let out a screech. Now Mom didn't call me one of God's Screechers for nothing. I had a piercing scream that could carry for miles, bouncing off the hills and traveling across the water three miles to St. Thomas.
There, inside the net with me was...a land crab. You MUST click over and see what they look like. Dad of course rescued the poor disoriented thing and set it free outside. How it got inside the mosquito net remains a mystery to this day.
Land crabs mostly live in mangrove swamps in holes they dig down to water level. This way they can keep their gills wet. However, they do wander around top-side, particularly at night. They are good to eat. In the old days people would catch them, put them in a 55 gallon drum and feed them coconut meat and corn meal. It cleaned out their swampy innards and made the meat sweet, sweet.
One night while I was on St. Thomas this summer, the dogs began to bark and worry around the sofa. Erva and I finally pulled it away from the wall, and low and behold, there was a land crab. What was so unusual is that they aren't normally seen much above sea level. This poor crab was definitely lost, up there 500 feet on the hillside. We captured it in a large jar and I took it down to Magens Bay where there's a huge mangrove swamp. I let it go and it immediately found a nice hollow log to hide in while it got itself oriented to its new digs. (ha, ha...get it? digs?)
So the question is, what kind of animal/insect surprises have you found in your home?