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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, June 5, 2017

Island Idylls, Being Thankful

Island Idylls: Stories of growing up in the Virgin Islands.




Adventure Under the Mosquito Net
For as long as I could remember I had either slept in the same room with my sister, or in the same bed.

Me at about the time of the incident.
When I was six, my sister, Erva, went BY HERSELF for TWO WEEKS to the Girl Scout camp in Puerto Rico. I went years later, a lovely spot up in the rain forests near El Yunque, one of the highest mountains in PR.

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 just a few feet away. They wisely left 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. In fact I think I rather liked being an only child, having Mom all to myself.

Everything was going alone just fine.

(Can you sense something about to change? Can you sense an adventure?)

I had settled into bed and Mom had pulled down the mosquito net 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 hills and traveling across the water three miles to St. Thomas.

Gecarcinidae,Gecarcinus ruricola. Land Crab - Flickr - gailhampshire (1)
There, inside the net with me was a... land crab. They are not small, and with claws extended can easily reach a foot or more across.

Dad rescued the poor disoriented thing and set it free outside, while Mom calmed me down. 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.

***
Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for the little bit of rain we've gotten.
***
What are you thankful for?  What's the strangest animal/insect surprise you've discovered in your home?

25 comments:

  1. I would probably screech too if I found that crab in my bed!

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    1. Yup, I know I'm not alone in the screeching department. :)

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  2. I would've screamed, too. You're just not expecting that.

    I walked out of our bedroom one morning to a baby rat snake curled upside down in the middle of the hall. He wasn't dead and we figured Rocko had beat the snot out of him all night long. I didn't scream, but I did call for Craig - loudly.

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    1. Ahhh, poor baby rat snake. I'm glad you rescued it. They're beneficial.

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  3. I would have screamed too. No question about

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    1. I'm screaming helps, but I haven't yet figured out how. :D

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  4. I'm thankful I haven't got holes in my shoes and I don't have to search through rubbish tips in Yemen for food like lots of children. On a happier I do escape to the world of Science Fiction for which I am grateful and lately wrote a Star Trek FanFiction to share some "fun"

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    1. I hear you, Spacer Guy. The people suffering in places like Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan causes me to be very grateful and to pray for their delivery as well.

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  5. I would've jumped.
    I found a live mouse in our fridge when I was a kid. He must've come in on some berries we'd picked and was just standing there on top of the bowl, staring at me.

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    1. Oh, now that's a hoot. I'm not going to ask what happened to him, even though I'm curious.

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  6. When I was fairly young, probably less than ten, I found what I assumed was a rubber spider on our dining room floor. I assumed it was a toy because 1) it was so much larger than any real spider I'd seen before, and 2) it wasn't moving. I wondered how it got there, as the only other child in my home was a much older sister, and this certainly wasn't the type of toy she'd own. Anyway, I picked it up, and squeezed its abdomen. A milky white venom squirted out of its head. This convinced me that the spider was real, albeit dead, and I immediately dropped it. Strange that it had just up and died in the middle of the dining room like that!

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    1. Oh my... did you ever find out what kind of spider it was?

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    2. No, never. I never got to see another one like it, either. We don't have too many large spiders in Massachusetts. Not that I've seen anyway.

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  7. Those little darlings look scary with those pincers, don't they? I'd have been on the roof if I found one in my bed.

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    1. And to a little girl, big as they are, I'm sure I thought it was monstrous huge.

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  8. Oooh, that would have scared me, too! Once, my brother brought home the classroom hamster for Christmas break. Maria was a real escape artist, and in our ancient home, we worried we'd never see her again when she managed to get out. I still don't know how she did it, but in the middle of the night I felt something crawling up my PJ's pant leg, under my covers, inside my closed room. It was Maria. Scared me to death!

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    1. At least it was Maria. I've had rats run over me in my sleep...

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  9. Crabs are fierce-looking creatures! I would've screamed, too. I don't remember anything truly strange getting into anyplace I've ever lived. We get wasps here sometimes, but not too often.

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    1. Only the occasional wasp? No scorpions or spiders? What do you live in a bug free part of Texas I don't know about? :D

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  10. Hi Bish - something different from a spider ... but at 6 I'd be shocked too - and I was always glad to have a low glow of light near my childhood bed ... I rather like the idea of supper of landcrab ... especially if they'd be fed cornmeal and coconut meat ... sweet!!! You must have some lovely and 'lovely' stories of your time on the islands - cheers Hilary

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    1. Oh yeah, that night light glow kept me safe and kept the monsters far away. :)

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  11. I screeched when I saw the photo of the crab. Because of all the dogs in my life, I can tell stories about moles, possums, and other little critters they've brought into the house. My favorite story, though, belongs to my oldest sister. One night one of her dogs brought in a squirrel he'd killed and put it in bed with her. I'm sure she let out quite a scream.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Oh my! I've had cats bring me "presents" but I don't recall any of our dogs doing that. To wake up to a dead squirrel... that would be kind of gross.

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    2. That's why I don't have a doggy door.

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Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!