Cautionary Tale of an Island Houseguest

Before moving to a rock, I had been warned that there would be lots of bugs and crawly creatures. I googled and googled what kind of predatory animals and creatures were here, and came to find out there really aren’t any. Just lots of bugs and reptiles. I thought, okay I can deal with that, they will be outside. In their own habitat.  If only I knew then, what I know now. I should have expected it wouldn’t be so simple. Some things you have to find out the hard way though, am I right.

Living on an island, you quickly realize that you will inevitably share your home with certain creatures. Lizards that slip in under the door, ants that continually find that one little crumb that was left unswept. Its hard to avoid no matter how much you bug proof your house. Believe me, I know, because I have tried everything the trusty internet has provided me with.

So this is a cautionary tale of an island houseguest. A human houseguest you might think. No, not quite.

On this one particular night, it started like any other. I walked down my stairs to let my golden retriever puppy out. Mind you, its dark inside and out. The kind of dark where you can see only the shadows of anything moving. As Im approaching the bottom step, I see something on the pure white, tile floor. Thats weird; it looks long, black, and skinny. Is it a centipede ? I immediately run back up to turn on the light as a precaution.
Instantaneously I scream the loudest ear-piercing shriek of Ivan(my fiancé) and grab my dog.  I suddenly know what Im looking at but avoid saying it; as if that makes it less real. Ivan comes running down and there it is, in all-encompassing eyesight; a snake! Or so I assumed. Granted it was a very tiny one; but still ! So as we’re both staring at it, not really knowing what to do; it starts slithering in its S shape towards our bathroom door frame. Frantically Im yelling and my fiancé is just staring. Many phrases, probably too inappropriate for this tale were said right there. That will be left to your imagination. All I can comment is that my true New Jerseyan came out in that moment.  Meanwhile, our dog is going senseless trying to get me to let her go hunt this new creature. We’re at the point now of something that can be portrayed only as a scene out of a National Lampoon movie.
Yup, there it goes, slithering right under the bathroom door frame. So both of our faces now have a look of pure disbelief. Now what? All I can bring myself to do at this point, is really freak out. Were going to have to remove the door frame I think. Instead my fiancé tries poking anything under the door frame he can, to get it to come out, spraying raid (like thats going to work). Yea, it didnt work. Hey, we’re no snake charmers.
Next step, the door frame is coming off and that snake is going to get out of this house one way or another!
I sat on my stairs in disbelief for a little while, thinking this cant be real. I thought snakes live in jungles and woods. I sat, wallowing in my own self pity for a while thinking why is this happening to me, WHY IS THERE A SNAKE IN MY HOUSE? We live in a city, not a jungle !  I had only just started accepting the fact that bugs here are inevitable. But snakes,  I will never be able to accept.

Needless to say, I stayed up all night googling snakes in the Dominican Republic, anxiety ridden, trying to find out if this is normal and how it got inside. After my nightlong google sessions, I realized it was a Brahminy snake which is often confused for a really long worm. But, and you can believe that is a big BUT, you can bet that I NEVER walk in the dark without some sort of light source now.  Lesson fully learned.

And, for those of you wondering, unfortunately it is normal. As much as I cringe admitting it, snakes are a natural part of island life.  Like I always say to my friends back in the states, living on an island is not for the faint of heart.

p.s I never shared this incident with my Mom, in fear of her not visiting, considering her deathly fear of snakes….Surprise Mom !

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