Anxiety Inducing Tale #1-Setting: At the Crocodile Reserve on Green Island near Negril, Jamaica as my husband and I leaned over a four foot wire fence in an attempt to get a better look at the six foot crocodiles that stalked below us in the murky water.
"Yeah mon. These are just the babies you know, the little guys. Out there in the mangroves are the big guys, twelve feet they are. You wouldn't believe it. They don't usually show themselves when the little ones are around. They like to surprise people and pop out of the water. You know those guys can stand on their tales and jump nine feet in the air. That's how they hunt sometimes. You can't see them on the surface, they just jump out of the water and - POW!"
Anxiety Inducing Tale # 2-
Setting: A nature walk also on Green Island as my husband and I navigated a swampy dense mangrove in flip flops, clinging to and ducking beneath vines like Tarzan in order to not end up face first in shallow murky water. Did I mention I was simultaneously totting my almost two year old on my back in an Ergo carrier (24 1/2 lbs of wiggles).
"Mon, I'm always glad when a woman is around. You know what they say, snakes don't attack when a woman is around. It's true, they say that. Wow, you should see the snakes in these mangroves, especially in the mountains. Sometimes you don't even see them until they start swinging back and forth, holding onto a tree limb with the tip of their tale. Ha- it's wild. Once they start swinging, they're ready to swoop in for a bite- POW! You don't even see em' cause they blend in with the branches. See this bite here on my arm, a snake took a big piece out mon. He started swinging and he got me right here- POW! Yeah mon, I remember this time the mother of my baby was pregnant, I was working up in those hills and she came out with me one night. When morning come, I woke and there were snakes all over her. One on each arm and leg, a bunch of em' curled up under her dress. They come in for human body heat at night, but you got to be careful when you wake cause you can't startle a sleeping snake, oh no. I had to tape her mouth while she was sleeping, then take a stick and carefully lift her dress and remove each one gently so they wouldn't wake. That a mean bite mon."
What tales have you heard while traveling?