09 March 2011

Share the Planet?--I'm Not So Sure! A Photo Blog

Anytime you think you are in charge of this world, consider please we are just visitors, intruding on turf much earlier claimed by our forbears.

Here is my adventure for the day:  Steph and the two  babes (2 and 4 yrs old) were winding a up lovely five day stay in Paradise.  The luggage was mostly packed, and Steph and Pinks went off to do some emergency shopping before plane time.  I was upstairs reading the NYTimes at my desk when Dina, our local housecleaner, knocked on my door frantically, came rushing in, and said, "Mr. London, you must come downstairs immediatement.  Now. Quick.  There is a huge iguana in Stephanie's bedroom!"

Now I know iguanas are almost endangered here because for a long time they were considered a delicacy. Yum, yum.  But then Al Gore and the rest of his tree-hugging gang came along, and iguanas became protected nuisances.  They rule this place.  They stop traffic, empty restaurants, and they are scary ugly.  I do not know if they are direct descendants of dinosaurs. If not, the reverse is surely true.

What the fuck I was supposed to do about the terrifying reptile in Stephanie's bedroom, I do not know.  So I got my camera, peeked in and sure enough, there in the corner---look carefully now:

If you are not sure you are seeing what I am seeing, focus harder, and you will see:

Now I am the man of this house, (I thought) so I took immediate action.  I figured I could open the door and shoo him out with a broom.  Once I was suitably armed, I tiptoed toward the invader.  He was still as a statue. Very shy. Perhaps he figured if he was perfectly still I would not notice him. Hah. (They may be fearsome looking, but his brain is definitely smaller than mine,..I think)

As I got almost within broom-handle-length from the reptile, I heard a vigorous scratching noise from behind the chair on the left.  I jumped three feet in the air. Literally. Ran out the door.

Calmed myself, reminded myself I was in charge here, and re-approached, this time armed only with a camera.  Remember the chair on the left?  Remember, in the first picture, the packed white canvas bag behind the chair?  Look now:

Yikes. Only thing more scary than an iguana in your bedroom is two iguanas in your bedroom.  What were they doing there?  Personally, I think this was the iguanas' effort to sneak into the United States without a visa.  Their scheme was foiled only by the happenstance that Steph had already zippered the bags shut.  Can you imagine if she had not?  Steph would open her bag at home and her screams would be heard bouncing off Manhattan's towers.  We have all heard tales of alligators in the New York City sewer system, but iguanas in Soho?  Never.

It was clear I was in way over my head. This calls for Dawn!  She was in a meeting downtown, but school was out, and she promised to despatch Dofi and their two sons toute suite.  She laughed,  "Whatever you do, don't let the iguanas out of the room, the boys will be very disappointed if the iguanas are not there when they arrive."

Fat chance.  That door was closed and I was NOT going back in there. 

The cavalry arrived in five minutes.  The following sequence of pix tells the story:

In the picture above, Dofi holds the larger of the two.  He is a male, and is the one who was in the corner.   His shy girlfriend, iguana number 2, who was hiding behind the white canvas bag, is displayed in the pictures that follow:

The most careful among my readers will notice that i) the tail of the critter is at least twice the length of the body, and ii) yup, that is blood on Dofi's right arm--while iguanas are reasonably docile, when threatened they scamper away, and their claws are very sharp.  So please be careful the next time you pick one up.

In the next, and last picture, (below) we learn something else: Iguanas have something in common with dogs and humans-- they love to be scratched between the ears and they become virtually comatose when so fondled:

I am reminded of the legend sometimes seen on  tv auto commercials when the car skids around a corner, or leaps a gully:  "Done by professionals. Don't try this at home!"

Post Script:  While I tried to persuade Dofi to take the pair home with him, he declined, and released them in my garden, where, he says, they have a nest and make more iguanas.

Lucky us.

A bientot.

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