All creatures great and small
In the “great white north” where I was raised just about all insects either expire or hibernate long before the onset of winter.
Homes are therefore virtually bug-free, to the point that an encounter with even a teeny spider in the bathroom is enough to send many city kids scurrying to find mom to save them.
So, you might be able to appreciate that even though I love animals and am fully simpatico with all things Bermuda, I have an enduring love-hate relationship with a few of the island’s “ickier” creatures and have had many odd encounters over the years.
The first time that I realised I might be in over my head occurred shortly after my arrival. I was attending a dinner party and the gentleman seated next to me casually looked up from his soup and remarked, “Robin did you know that we have a spider large enough to eat cockroaches?”
A little unsure how to respond (because he had to be joking right?), I looked across the room and suddenly spotted a six-inch brown house spider chilling on the opposite wall.
I wanted to scream but much to my amazement, no one else seemed the least bit phased by this occurrence, and to make matters worse, our hostess actually said, “Thank goodness, I hate using bug spray!”
I was speechless.
Then there was the first time that a cockroach flew through my bedroom. I leapt off the end of the bed, bolted into the bathroom, slammed the door behind me and refused to come out.
Yes, I knew that every house had them and yes, I knew how big they were, but no one had bothered to mention that they flew!
I still get the willies thinking about it.
Fast forward to this morning …
It’s now more than thirty years later. I’m a big girl now and I like to think that I’ve battled every type of bug that this beautiful island has to offer.
Boy was I wrong.
The day started with a lizard sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor contemplating a piece of dog chow.
Nothing so special about that. Apparently, room service was running a little slow on account of the weather, so he’d decided to investigate the dog food bowl. After taking time to gently confine him under a water glass and carefully transport him outside to the garden, I thought we were done.
Upon entering my office, I turned on a desk light to discover a thin twisted iridescent trail running all over the carpet.
At first, I admit, I was perplexed.
And so, I got down on my knees and started following the trail this way and that in an effort to discover what had made this pattern, from whence it had come, and more importantly “where to” it had gone.
Given what I shall simply term a “preponderance of evidence” for my more faint-hearted readers, I eventually deduced that the “whatever it was” had gained entry to the office by means of an air conditioner mounted high up on the wall on the second floor of my dwelling (meaning it had previously managed to scale the entire outside of the house in order to find its way in).
Where it had gone (because the trail did seem to lead from the office into the second-floor hallway) was slightly more problematic.
Or so I thought.
Heading back to the kitchen for reinforcements (aka more coffee), I found him halfway down the stairs – a three-inch-long garden slug.
Initial attempts to remove him did not go well and he responded by anchoring himself to the wall with iron glue.
Apparently, he wasn’t due to checkout until Wednesday and resented being asked to leave so abruptly but, after considerable coaxing, he eventually accepted a free ride in the dustpan and joined his friend the lizard on the lawn.
Now, if I could just find his wife …
Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/olderhoodgroup1/ or firstname.lastname@example.org