Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Butterfly Battles and Sloths for Sale

Yesterday we had the brilliant idea to move into the front room of our house. It is a smaller room, but it has two windows – which in theory will result in fresher living space. The two windows also mean that there are twice as many opportunities for creatures to enter our room.

One of the creatures that entered our room was a giant butterfly. It was kind of like a welcoming gift. We looked up at the ceiling when getting ready for bed, and there it was hanging out by the light. Chris tried to take a photo, because this is seriously one of the largest butterflies we have ever seen. Unfortunately his movement scared the butterfly, it went crazy. Its flight in front of the light-bulb created a unique type of eclipse and the sound of its wings on the ceiling alerted us to its incredible strength. I was certain that if this butterfly lost control and hit one of us on the head it would result in a concussion. I did my best to protect myself by utilizing the duck and cover drills that we would do in elementary school. I curled into a ball and covered my neck and head and laughed until I ceased to hear butterfly noises. When at last the butterfly settled, once more on the ceiling (much to my displeasure), I was able to take a quick photo utilizing the zoom. We turned off the light and hoped that we wouldn't be attacked during the night.

(It may look small here, but the plank it is on is 8" wide)

Unfortunately, I had to get up and go to the bathroom a short while later. I got out of bed in the dark to grab my headlamp – only to step on the butterfly. This caused it to fly up into my hair, bounce off of my head (thankfully it did not have enough force to cause the aforementioned concussion,) and start sputtering around the room, once more bouncing off of the walls. This all happened as I was turning on my headlamp, and when I could finally see well enough to locate the butterfly it was staring at me like a menace from the door that I had to walk through. I was brave and flung the door open – hoping the butterfly would have the decency to leave during my absence. But no, when I returned it had only managed to crawl closer to the lock on the door. Not wanting to put my hand that close to it, I grabbed a pen and tried to provoke its departure. Unfortunately, this just caused the giant beast to start flying around again. I quickly shut the door and proceeded to run to the bed and once again use my duck and cover skills.

The night passed without incident, though I did wake up several times to the sounds of the butterfly bouncing off of the walls again. In my sleepy daze my mind wandered to those creepy movies such as Mothman, where those that see the moth end up dying. Thankfully, this was a butterfly, not a moth, and I wasn't just seeing it in my dreams. We survived the night and the creature was gone in the morning. I imagine it left through our window – I just hope that we don't have a repeat performance in the near future.

One of the benefits of our new room is that we are able to see out into the street with ease now. This morning I happened to look out the window to see a couple of the guys from the colegio (high school) walking down the road. They were carrying a broken tree branch with one of their uniform shirts draped over it. We see all sorts of odd things in town, so this wasn't a particularly strange sight, but they came directly to our house. This was a little strange due to the fact that we mostly talk with these guys when we are at the colegio or when we're playing Frisbee with them. They proceeded to take the shirt off of the branch and present us with a baby sloth.

A baby sloth! YES – a baby sloth. It was really adorable. We asked where its parents were – it was abandoned (or at least that's the story we got). Where did they find it – it was just hanging out (the lack of specifics makes me wonder about the validity of its being abandoned). It's so cute, can we touch it – of course. So today, we petted a baby sloth. It was much softer than we had expected. Cool, we saw and touched a sloth. This is what being here is all about right? New experiences. We were good to go, we took some photos and were ready to send the guys back to school. That's when the real purpose for their visit was revealed.

What are you going to do with it, we asked curiously – we're trying to sell it. Do you want it? DO WE WANT A PET SLOTH???? Were they being serious, you better believe it. Being curious as to how much a baby sloth costs I proceeded to ask how much. 10,000 colones was the reply. What?! We could buy a pet sloth for $20. What are the chances! We did have our wits about us though and told them we regretted that we were not able to have pets (a slight untruth, but more polite than we don't want pets) due to our lack of money and we are only renting a room, so we wouldn't have space. They eventually left our front porch, a little sad that they hadn't been able to sell their sloth, but we had gained a new story to tell.

(What could have been ours)

As an aside, you might wonder, what does one do with a pet sloth? We're not really sure what you would do. I guess stay up all night to watch it be active. Otherwise you would just watch it sleep. I don't think they make the list of the most exciting pets you could have. We had both had the thought of buying it so that we could take it into the jungle and set it free – but then we'd be short $20 and not have a baby sloth (of course we could always tell stories of the one time that we had a pet sloth).

An additional point of interest: in Spanish a sloth is called perezoso. This makes me smile because perezoso also means lazy. How fitting (I suppose this is the same as the dual meaning of sloth in English, I just like the way it sounds in Spanish a little more.)

And so, these are our animal adventures as of late. Hopefully we'll have more (as long as they are not attacking butterfly adventures.)

*Please note, the sloth was given to a gentleman who lived near a wildlife reserve. To the best of our knowledge, the sloth is living a happy life, dangling from trees and eating as many leaves as its belly will allow.


Ashley said...

I love the butterfly story. Lol. I was laughing while reading it!!! And that is so cool about the baby sloth!!!! You could of sent it to mckenzie as a birthday present!!!! Lol. Can't wait for more stories!!!

JD said...

Great stories. Thanks for posting, guys!