Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Adventures Under the Mosquito Net - Part Two

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?


  1. nothing quite so exotic *grin* big spiders and mice thanks to our cat Griffin who likes to bring them in then release them...

  2. Poor crabs!

    We've had a few mice in and around the kitchen (very common in London) and we had a bird that flew in straight through the open window. But thankfully nothing more than that!

  3. Ahhhh! That's my scream from here. I am so not an animal person. I think the biggest surprise for me was cockroaches. We don't really live in a place where they infest, but our neighbors were less than clean...

  4. I love reading about your adventures, Bish. One, you had to sleep under a mosquito net and two, a crab was in there with you!!!!!!!
    We keep getting bats in our fireplace and it totally freaks me out. Someone's going to fix the chimney soon!

  5. Those crabs are HUGE! eek! Nice story, loved reading both parts! My fear is moths and they seem to find me. Seriously. One day I was putting on a pair of pants, and a moth was in my pantleg!!! My reaction was similar to yours in the first story where you trampled your sister. And there always seems to be a huge moth trapped in the car with me while driving. I'm lucky to not have been in a wreck because of that! And, I'm a screamer. I can sympathize with you.

  6. I would've screamed too ... let's see. I've had snakes, centipedes and scorpions in my bed. And those darned mosquitoes as well. Grin. Love, love, love the Pacific NW. Have I mentioned that before?

  7. WOW! That land crab is creepy! And you've had more than one run in with one. Yikes!

    This reminds me of a story my mom told me. She and her sister were tucked in a bed with mosquito netting while visiting their grandparents in the Dominican Republic. In the dark, they heard, "Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh." Finally one of them turned on the light and saw a bug with wings as big as a bat flapping on the mosquito netting. They screamed.

    Their parents came running and my grandmother, an island native, rolled her eyes. "Aye aye aye. Es solo una mariposa!" she said. (It's only a butterfly.) "Kill it," she said to my grandfather, a native Hungarian whose eyes bluged at the sight of the birdlike creature.

    Then she went back to bed.

    The family still jokes about "mariposas" all the time. ;)

  8. Roaches and spiders... and ANTS!!!! I hate bugs... but those different apartments I've lived in over the years has created some weird monsters!!!

    I thought roaches happened when you were dirty, because in Iowa that's what we labeled it as... in Texas, not the case!

    Yuck! Now I have the heebie jeebies!

  9. Nothing too exotic inside the house...the usual pests. However, when my oldest was a baby we were moving into a duplex. I had an exterminator come by before we moved in. He couldn't get in the house because the landlord wasn't around, so he just sprayed around the outside the day before we moved in. The next day THE ENTIRE PERIMETER of the house was outlined with those big black beetle bugs (some call them asian roaches, some water bugs). They were 2-3 inches long and were in a perfect line around the whole outside. There were hundreds of them. UGH. Didn't find many inside though, thankfully!

  10. Whoa! No land crabs crawling around our house, I'm happy to report. But we have had a bird fly in through an open door. Imagine the fun with four cats in the house. Still, I think I'd rather rescue a bird than a land crab.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!