Scared silly


To listen to this story in French click below″

My thanks to Mort at Octogenarian whose memoir reminded me of this story.

Claude in LamuMy husband and I travelled to Kenya back in the 70s and just loved it. I have been scanning slides on and off, (it is such a lengthy AND boring job) and occasionally posting the results on flickr. But I have only two of Kenya, one of them taken in Lamu, a small, heavenly island, where we had planned to stay for a few days. We went to some sort of Youth hostel where we rented a room.

There was a mosquito net on the window; as it was broken in places, my husband started fixing it with tape. Roland was just the opposite of me, a thoroughly organised person. When we went on a trip, he always had useful tools with him and I used to tease him about it. Once more, I was glad to see him fix the mosquito net.

I remember our room quite well. We had twin beds on either side of a small table, two stools and the door of the room let us see the light in the corridor outside. In fact, the gap between the door and the floor was quite big, the size of a hand.

We went to bed pretty late –we were in Lamu at the time of the Ramadan and when night came, everyone was out in the noisy streets– and I fell asleep straight away.

The next thing I remember, I woke up shrieking with anguish! I felt something move against my neck and sat up screaming. AND saw a rat escape through that gap under the door.
I was totally rattled and when I told my husband about the rat, he said I must have had a nightmare. But the renewed holes in the mosquito net confirmed what I had seen. Roland had closed the usual path of that rat, which opened it again, jumped on the bed and went out through the door.
I can still feel that frightening thing moving along my neck.
Rational Roland said that the rat must have been just as scared as I had been, but I insisted on changing beds and never managed to sleep another wink that night.
On the following day, we moved out. 😆

The photo of me was taken on a small fisherman’s boat, a couple of days after the rat episode.


17 thoughts on “Scared silly

  1. Now with the photo of your father’s black hair, it is obvious where your (thick) black hair came from! Roland with the rhino… where is he now? Just wondering.

    I have had two experience with mice… one that happened to find a way into a tent while camping on an archeological dig and another that came into our weekend farmhouse in the hill country. It was a very creepy experience. I hated it.

  2. Yikes Claude, I’m surprised you were able to smile in that picture after that horrid rat incident. I’d NEVER be able to sleep after that. I love the picture of you…just lovely.

  3. I once surprised a skunk, who had come in through a loose window screen and who was in the middle of eating the cats’ food! Panicked, I called the animal control person, who said to shut the doors and the skunk would go out the way he/she had come in. And it did!

    Nothing clambering over my neck in a foreign continent, though! I think that beats all.

  4. Ah, yes, I remember days and nights like that. It seems my international trips were usually at the “best” of places. I don’t remember any of the locals touching me though! 😯

  5. What a great story. You’re braver than I am. I would have been gone instantly!
    Love that photo of you. Such gorgeous, thick, hair. You sure did get that from your dad.
    Really enjoyed this post.

  6. What a story–You told it so well I could just see and hear you.

    Roland sounds like my husband, always prepared to handle any situation.

    What a great picture of you!! The face, the hair and those huge sunglasses – beautiful!!

  7. Beautiful holiday photo of you!!! it is so obvious that you’ve got your father’s thick black hair. Lucky you. Great story too. Good thing you didn’t get the SNAKES that rats will always attract. For me, I’d rather have snakes.

  8. I will be sure to visit your site here again, after reading this post and seing the places you go to I am in awe. I would love to venture to these places you mention, but I want to see Australia first off.
    Nice image of you, you do look very happy.

  9. You look gorgeous, Claude! You and Roland were a very handsome couple. I think I might have been nervous when I saw that big space between the door and the sill…I would probably have been thinking, “SNAKES?” and would not have been able to get to sleep at all. Would rather have a rat than a snake, I think! In any case, eeeeeyyyyeeeeewwww!

  10. hi Claude! What big glasses!!!
    The story is an urban lore story, you must write a short story about this. Fantastic! a rat moving along your nape; you know some ladies are ready to pay through the nose for this type of fur, you lucky girl! cool…

  11. Claude,
    Sorry that my piece brought back memories about a rat.
    Another subject: You are obviously a blog tech maven. How do you get the tag or labels at the end of a posting highlighted so they are distinguished from the regular text? Thanks.

  12. what a splendid photo, so full of energy and happiness. though partial to most of the images you share, the personal ones always are especially enjoyable. and i enjoy reading all the reactions to them–your father’s hair, the wallpaper, the phone–reminds me of when i did phototherapy.

  13. @Mort
    Mort, thanks for visiting. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to add tags or labels in blogger. I use WordPress and I could help you with that, but I haven’t used blogger except for the first few months of blogging, and back then, no one used labels or tags.

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