Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Icons of Halloween

 The islands of Samoa aren't exactly known as having witches, goblins, ghouls, evil spirits, or other traditional Halloween icons, but we have found a few special photos in our Samoan collection that might interest those with a passion for the season.

Although frogs aren't normally associated with Halloween, when they seem to show up in mass they tend to be quite disconcerting - along the lines of Hitchcock's movie The Birds. The frogs of Samoa are not the little frogs we are use to seeing in Utah, these are large bullfrogs that have an impressive leaping ability.  We have found that when the rains come, and by that I mean very heavy rains, the frogs seem to appear out of nowhere (or would it be more appropriate to say "out of everywhere").  The other night we were taking Elders Lamaroux and Larson home during a heavy rain and upon arriving at their house, we counted 14 frogs sitting on the front porch.  The elders seem to take pleasure in launching a few of them with their feet and I have to admit flattening a few more on the road than would have occurred normally.  I think the blue hue of the photo above provides the appropriate Halloween atmosphere for a picture of a frog.

The bats of Samoa are also quite impressive due to their large size.  The bat shown above will have a wing span of over two feet.  These are fruit bats that fly around in the early evening and seem to like to eat papaya.  They are really quite interesting to watch fly through our yard and although like all bats they can carry rabies, I think I am more concerned about all of the dogs that roam the streets with open wounds, missing hair, and limping on three legs.

And yes, one other traditional rodent of the season is the rat.  We provide a few mouse traps to our elders but most are interested in the much larger rat traps that we carry in our van.  Elder Smith had a rat that escaped from the trap only dazed, so he quickly scooped it up in a bucket, but then it came-to and tried to jump out of the bucket so after "screaming like a little girl" (his words), he stabbed it with a fork and had his companion take the photo.  (Yes, he threw the fork away)

Well, enough of the season of All Hallows' Eve.  I hope you and your goblins have an enjoyable time Trick or Treating.  I'm sure we will also, as long as we don't get a hard rain.

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