Trinidad is not only about the people, the liming, the good food and the music. Trinidad is also home to a host of others. The Creatures. Of course these creatures need a place to live-Trinidad is a huge jungle where merely a fraction is taken over by humans.In fact, many times a year it is the humans who must machete away the encroaching forest. Were they not to do so the roads would be swept under a blanket of green. In this land of plenty; cars, maxi taxis, rum shops, school children and pothongs (stray dogs) all share the land. Some creatures are happy to crawl around underfoot, sight unseen; others prefer to come inside and listen to me freak out. In our garden we have the largest snails and the smallest yet noisiest frogs. We have enormous toads and a million geckos trying to creep up walls. In our friend’s garden beside the pool he has electric green giant iguanas. He wakes up to see frogs struggling in the pool and stray cats sniffing beneath the trees. If we walk into the Bamboo Cathedral which is an enormous stretch of forest beneath a canopy of bamboo we hear but rarely glimpse the wild cry of the Howler Monkeys.
Some creatures we have seen at home:
My first night in our new house I spotted small black and white droppings on the floor. Of course I immediately assumed we had a mouse or, horror, perhaps a rat problem. Minutes later as I entered my new bathroom I saw the quick flash of brown scuttle behind the toilet. Cockroach. There was some screaming, definitely some shaking. Once I had calmed down and had reached the point of reconsidering the whole move to Trinidad thing I realized that measures needed to be taken. The next day I purchased moth balls that I dropped in every drain. Cockroach problem gone. Until the one that flew through the window a flew months later. As for the droppings…some research led to the thankful conclusion that they were in fact the little gifts of geckos.
We have a had a million millipedes, both slow moving and curled up spiral dead. One night a bat flew into our bedroom, quickly reconsidered and flew back out. But nothing has quite got to me like the teeny tiny ants that appear out of nowhere the minute a crumb is left unswept. This has turned me into a crumb nazi. My husband and kids have taken to rolling their eyes when I glimpse the movement on the counter and begin my sentence with “WHO LEFT A CRUMB…”
A recent weekend at a beach house found us babysitting some 2 week old abandoned puppies. My daughter, bottle of milk in hand, gave me the “how can we go home without them” look. She spent two days nursing them back to life and becoming very attached. Between feedings we skipped over Portuguese Man ‘O Wars on the beach and hunted for crabs. Luckily before we left we found a caretaker willing to adopt the puppies but I knew the chance to save a puppy would come again.
Meanwhile our own dog, love of my life, sweet Zola continues to sleep on our bed, never noticing the wildlife in her midst.