I’ve been collecting footage of the various creatures and friends around our yard since we arrived. Some have already come and gone in the short time we’ve been here, but there is also a continuous renewal of life through new birth. In that way, the place is always, always full of life.

Most recently, we disposed of a particularly unwelcome guest, the forty-leg, a half-insect half-reptile with a terrible bite (or is it a sting?). You’ll see it in the video. This little bugger had been abiding among us with its elusive presence for over three whole weeks. It was spotted only twice- on the living room floor in the wee hours of the morning- before its final surrender. (I was first to see it and Jedd didn’t fully believe me until our friend was staying the night and caught the second sighting to confirm it’s existence.) We even tried to hunt it once, to no avail. But the other morning, it turned itself in and allowed us (after much groggy-morning planning and plotting) to pin it under a broom and push it outdoors where we could “finish it off.”

Ironically, as soon as this creature was out of our lives for good, we had another unwanted guest make an appearance that very same evening. At first I couldn’t tell what it was scurrying across the floor, a really big cockroach or a rodent. Turned out it was a mouse. Haven’t seen it since. Wish us luck.

UPDATE: Our 40-legger count is now up to two within 48 hours. And this time the joy of the kill was experienced by some visiting Peace Corps friends, Riley and Peter. Once again, I was first to spot the bugger. I was on the toilet, getting ready to pee, of all places, and it squiggled in under the bathroom door. It started for the shower, and by the time I called out to the guys, pulled up my shorts, and unlocked the door, it had started climbing up the inner side of the shower curtain. I had no weapons available to me in the bathroom so Riley and Peter came in with brooms, but from then on it completely eluded us. There were five of us, including our host dad who was hanging out with us at the time, inside the bathroom searching from top to bottom. I was flabbergasted that it had completely vanished and disheartened that no one else saw it. In fact, Jedd said he thought I imagined it. But later that night, when most of us were in bed, I heard Riley shouting through my earplugs. I knew the commotion must be about the 40-legger so I sprang out of bed, only to find that Riley had been showering. So he was there, freshly out of the shower with the water not draining fast enough and making a shallow pool. Suddenly, I spotted it. It was creepily swimming- like a snake with legs- through the water. Peter attempted to crush it with a broom to no avail. This thing didn’t drown and it didn’t break! It was almost unstoppable, unlike the first 40-legger which practically threw in the towel immediately. Finally, I found a stick and Peter was able to stab it a couple times. Even after it was chopped in half, it was still squirming and flexing its legs like it was trying to get away. Lawd of mercy, what an adventure.

On an another note, we are enjoying the little rascal puppies that occasionally hang out on our front porch. They really like to go for your toes. And we have to be careful to not leave our front door open because they have no qualms about sneaking under our make-shift “screen door” (which is just a hanging sheet of mesh). But they are quite delightful to watch as they play. As is the little kitten that looks like a mini panda bear. Life inna di yaad is good.

-M

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