Geckos--my favorite roommates. They chortle to each other at night and eat the ants, though unfortunately not enough of them.
Ants--I hate ants. Yesterday morning I went to grab some Vache Qui Rit from my shelves--it’s a processed soft cheese that doesn’t need refrigeration. It comes in sealed aluminum packets, and the ants had not only gotten into the plastic bag I kept the packets in, but had eaten a hole into the metal wrapping and had carried away half the cheese. Overnight. Before you get any ideas about my cleanliness, I should mention that I keep everything in plastic and wipe the tables down with bleach water. They still invade.
Cockroaches--I’m happy to say that there are fewer of these than when I first moved in, and the ones I find are smaller--I guess I killed or evicted the parents? I don’t know what it is about cockroaches that humans hate so much--how fast they move? Their evil little antennae?--but they are nasty.
Mosquitoes--I’ve been planting citronelle and tomatoes around my house, as the scent is supposed to discourage mosquitoes. The citronelle also make a yummy tea when you boil it.
Spiders--The daddy-longlegs type I gently evict with a broom, but the big nasty ones I smash. Last week I spent about 10 minutes chasing a granddaddy around with my hiking boot, and was eventually successful in Operation: Arachnid Death. Now you know how I spend my time.
Scorpions--Small and nocturnal, so happily our paths don’t cross much.
Centipedes--There’s only been one so far, which stung me on the foot while I was walking across my kitchen floor. Not to be confused with millipedes, which are much larger and which I REALLY don’t want crawling across my floor. Happily, none so far.
Dogs--I’ve already mentioned Malagasies’ attitude toward dogs. I think my compost pile may be the neighborhood dogs’ main source of nutrition. Like dogs everywhere, they enjoy barking at noises, chasing chickens, and getting into fights at four in the morning.
Cows--People in the neighborhood had stopped posting their cows in my yard for awhile--they’re not supposed to--but I returned home the other day to a bull in my yard. I don’t mind much--they’re pretty quiet--but they get tangled up in the bushes sometimes and I have to drag them out by their nose ropes to stop them from bellowing.
Chickens--I am God’s gift to chickens. Not only do I have a fabulous compost pile, but I unintentionally spill a generous amount when I throw rice (to get rid
Ducks--It is, I have decided, absolutely impossible to look at a duck and be glum. Try it sometime. Really, one of the most ridiculous animals. According to Gasies, they say “draka draka”--rather than quack quack.
Too good for my yard:
Geese--the Gasies rather creatively call them “big ducks”--gana be.
Turkeys--there’s a flock (herd?) of them at the other end of town. The Gasy name for them is kolokoloko (say that out loud for full onomatopoeic effect--Os are pronounced ooh in Malagasy).