Sunday, 10 August 2008

Bedroom Menagerie

I am in bed, under the mosquito net, sleeping like a babe, when I wake up. Why? I hear a scurrying noise, that's why. I fumble around for my torch (there is no electricity in the house) and switch it on. I sweep the walls and there they are, the biggest bl00dy cockroaches I have ever seen in my life - three of them. They are big, about 4 cm long, mid brown, but slow-moving.

They scurry away from the beam of my torch and I draw a circle around them. They are confused now. They can't escape the light. I find that I can herd them with the torchlight.

Then I hear a crunch. I scour the walls with my light. In the corner, there is a small, pale lizard. Sticking out of its mouth there is the back end of another cockroach. It's legs are still wriggling slowly.

The lizard doesn't move. It just sits (or stands) there with its prize in its mouth. It is almost too small to each its catch, let alone catch the others with its meal still in its mouth.

The other cockroaches are trying to escape the hunter, but to do so, they have to go into the light of my torch, and they don't like that!

But soon (not soon enough for the cockroaches), I grow weary of my "game". You can only herd cockroaches with a torch for so long before it becomes tiresome.

I switch off the torch, and hear the free cockroaches marching across the wall, away from their predator.

A short while later, I switch my torch on and sweep the walls again. The menagerie has disappeared. I can hear no more crunching, or the scampering of tiny feet on the plaster.

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