Some surprises are more welcome than others. Years ago, when a friend and I took a trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica, every day we would wake up in our hotel rooms to this sight on our curtains.

This is the Jamaican turquoise anole. According to Wikipedia, it is indigenous to Jamaica.

Though I was surprised by them, I wasn’t bothered by them. Not as bothered as the people in this thread. I just shooed them out the nearest window.

When I was a kid, I got up to go to the bathroom one night in the early morning hours. I flicked on the lights and—surprise! I walked softly, so that was probably why the two mice on the rim of the bathtub didn’t immediately scatter. Instead, they stood there, looking as startled as I felt. This moment is what I can only describe as a pregnant pause. It was like the world stopped, waiting to see what would happen.

Well, my shout woke up my grandmother, who was visiting at the time and sharing my room. She ran into the bathroom, grabbed a tube of toothpaste, and gave chase. One mouse escaped, while the other foolishly ran into my room, which was directly across the hall. Grandma cornered it under the bed she had been sleeping in, and . . . Well, I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, we had to get another tube of toothpaste.

So, since I had suffered through mice and roaches at different points (the fruit of big city life—you just never knew what would surprise you when you flicked on the light), I wasn’t bothered by lizards. They were too chill to be a nuisance.

Now onto what I hope is a good surprise! Jennie and Charles—surprise! You are the winners of Coming Up Short by Laurie Morrison (Jennie) and She Persisted: Temple Grandin (Charles). (See interview posts here and here.)


Thank you to everyone who commented!

Lizard image from Wikipedia. Mouse from Clipart Panda.

34 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. I remember lizards getting into the Florida apartment. I didn’t mind them after the first time. It was the roaches and palmetto bugs that I couldn’t stand. They were everywhere sometimes and I’d usually spend an hour each night hunting them down in the kitchen.

    So cool that I won the book. Thanks.

  2. I’m back, L. Marie. Finally!
    You are a fantastic storyteller, and I can relate to all kinds of creepy-crawly things as a Florida resident. What you call lizards, I think we call chameleons because they change color to match the environment, a defense mechanism. The roaches I deal with without pesticides, which I think are carcinogenic, scrubbing down the kitchen sink and counter areas every morning. 😀

  3. Heh. Enjoyed the mouse story. When I lived in Florida, there were always lizards in our back screen porch (not the Jamaican kind, of course). I used to talk to them like pets. LOL. They were my heroes for eating the bugs. I much preferred lizards to bugs. Have a nice weekend, EL.

    • That is another reason why I don’t lizards! They can have all the bugs they want, in my opinion!
      Have a good weekend too! I’m glad for today’s rain!

  4. The green anoles around our house are sensitive to our voices and listen as we speak to them upon encountering them from time to time. They also are not shy in displaying their throat balloons during mating! Also, around here, mom & pop pet stores sell them. They make personable ‘pets’, I’m told. Not sure how I feel about buying one, but just mentioning it.
    The one from your times in Jamaica is gorgeously colored!
    Congrats to Jennie & Charles on two good book wins!

  5. It’s all in what you’re used to seeing. My first night in the Philippines, I saw a gecko climbing on the ceiling of our room. Being young and from the Pacific Northwest, I’d never seen one, and I didn’t like the idea of it falling on me in the middle of the night. I tried to get my husband to get rid of it. But he just laughed and told me it was harmless. I later agreed. They’re such cute little things.

    Another surprise was cockroaches. I’d never seen them either, and in the Philippines, they’re about 2 inches long. I learned to wear slippers at night and stomp on them.

    • 😖 I think I’d feel the same way if i saw something crawling across the ceiling. And ewww on the large roaches–though I saw plenty down in Louisiana. You definitely needed shoes on to kill those things!

  6. Hmm, not sure I could cope with lizards in the room! My various cats over the years have trained me to deal with mice, although I still can’t say I enjoy it. Especially since there is no way I could kill one, so I have to trap them in a special tupperware dish that I keep for the purpose and then wander off and release them back into the wild, much to the amusement of my neighbours! Fortunately Tommy is a rotten hunter for which I am extremely grateful.

  7. We have lizards by our beach huts they are too quick to photograph . We had pet mice when I was a child , I don’t mind mice as long as they don’t come inthe kitchen and leave droppings!

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