Saturday, June 03, 2006

Look out!

We went to dinner last night with the couple that owns and operates the dive shop in Loreto. They are going to instruct Robert, Beau, and me in scuba diving so we can earn our certification. It's no cakewalk: 20 hours of CD instruction, five exams and four dives. Beau will have to cram to get it down before returning home to work. Allison is disappointed because at 6 she is 4 years too young. I'm surprised she'd want to put even one foot in the ocean after the stories we heard this week from Ana about how squid with their hard parrot-like beaks will attack; from our fishing guide, Jose Torres, about how his friend lost a foot to a shark while leisurely dangling his feet over the side of the boat; from Bruce and Susan about their friend who nearly lost a foot to a severe stingray stab (she forgot to shuffle her feet on the beachfloor.)

Speaking of attacks: After dinner we all stopped to see the progress of our casa chica. Beau and I were standing beneath the huge ficus tree on the sidewalk when he suddenly said, "I haven't seen much of any animals here on this trip" He was remembering the desert foxes, the white-faced owls, the cows, goats, and horses that seemed more abundant on his last visit here over Christmas break. Then, in a act of playfulness he grabbed a lower limb of the tree and lifted himself off the ground. We both heard fluttering and when he dropped I saw what looked like a small dark bird grab onto his shoulder. "A bat," I shrieked. Beau spun around shaking it from it's grip on his polo shirt. "It was trying to bite me!" he exclaimed.

I think it was less off an attack and more the case of a startled winged animal looking for another place to perch. When it discovered its new perch was something alive it reacted defensively. Maybe. Or maybe it was a rabid vicious vampire bat out for blood, said Robert, later. Either way, it's Beau's story to tell to others when he gets home. The bat may grow 12 inches and fangs by the time the story gets told to Beau's younger brother back home.

No comments: