Our new home comes with critters. This I knew before, but each new day my curious eyes search the grounds to seek out new animals. On our second night here, we saw the first gecko in the living room! Joy. I love geckos, both because they are fun little creatures and they eat bugs. I’m fine with bugs outside but when they’re inside, creeping into the corners of our bedroom, my discomfort level rises. The fact that this house wasn’t really lived in for three years means that plenty of insects have made it inside into the nooks and crannies everywhere. Geckos, welcome! There are plenty of moths too. All different shapes and sizes. The nice thing about them is that they are harmless, and are attracted to the light so we can always see them. At first, the light thumping noise against the windows irked me, but almost immediately, I knew that it was the harmless moths. Their day-time counterparts, the butterflies, come during the day which is always a treat. I much prefer them to pollinate the flowers than the buzzing bees. Then there are the spiders, some of which look scary, but aren’t at all and then there are the ones that look scary and are scary. They do catch the bugs you don’t want, so it’s a mixed bag. At first, the cockroaches really bothered me, but after smashing 2-3 each day, I have come to manage the heebie-jeebies that used to come on so strong. The ones I hate, are the ones that bite, mosquitoes and fleas. Why there are fleas inside, I have no idea. There hasn’t been anything inside that would attract them for three years. Of course, there is the mosquito, or in Chichewa, udzudzu “ood-zood-zoo”. Not only do they make you uncomfortable, but also the fear of malaria comes with them. Now, there are fewer of these buggars in the city, than the country. Nevertheless, there are enough so that at least one somehow gets into the house each evening. I’m not sure if it sneaks inside in the morning, then hides during the day finally to reveal itself after darkness has come. All I know is that when I find one buzzing in my ear I am determined to clap it in a death trap. When darkness does come, crickets emerge. I can hear their sweet chirp as they navigate through the yard outside our window. In the early morning comes the sound of the chickens mingled with chirps and caws from the wild birds that come for a visit in the trees. They also take turns in the birdbath that rests in the front yard. I have seen them yelling loudly at one another between trees, their long green tail feathers following them. There are many different birds, small ones that tend to hang out in the tree near the birdbath, and larger ones that choose the taller trees far above the ground. The unwanted crows turn up now and again, only to be chased away by mother hens, who will do anything to protect their chicks. I know for sure that alligator lizards enjoy scampering beneath the low bushes that line the house; I have seen them freeze for a push-up and then dart away. One more lizard dazzles me but I do not know its name. It’s a bit larger, perhaps ten or twelve inches long from nose to tail, and it has a shimmery blue-green throat that it proudly parades. It lives in the tree in the front that attracts bees, so I wonder if they eat the bees. I am confident that both my curiosity and intrigue with help me live with all of these critters.