We’re staying at Black Rock Lodge in the western Belizean jungle — a surprisingly affordable three-star luxury hotel in which the most expensive rooms are $120 and change.
A couple of hours ago we were eating dinner on a huge open-air, grass-roof-covered veranda that overlooks the forested cliffs that face the hotel along with the Macal River. It was getting dark and we’d finished the main course when all of a sudden a live something-or-other dropped into my lap. I looked down with a studied nonchalance, brushed it off my lap and it hit the floor. We used Tatiana’s iPhone light to identity what had fallen from the sky.
It was a tiny gray bat that was writhing in some kind of pain. Tatiana nudged it slightly with her foot, and noticed that a trail of blood was pouring out of the little guy.
We did not kill it — nature or God or fate did.
Tatiana now believes that between the snarling pit bull and the bloody baby bat there is a vendetta on the part of Belizean animals to get me, in the same sense that birds were out to murder humanity in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic.
4:45 am update: Around 10 pm last night (Sunday, 6.6) I was sitting in darkness on the outdoor porch of our unit (cabin #16). I was editing something or other when I was swooped or dive-bombed by another bat. No visual confirmation but I felt it — the bat “attacked” my above-the-forehead hair in the same way that Tippi Hedren was dive-bombed in that Bodega Bay motorboat sequence in The Birds. And I heard it, of course — a furious wing-flutter sound, like a loud hummingbird.
This makes three animal attacks within the last 60 hours — Caye Caulker pit bull**, bloody baby bat in my lap during last night’s dinner, and Mr. Dive-Bomb seven hours ago.
5 am update: A Belizean puma just snuck up out of the dark and bit my ankle on the outdoor porch…kidding! Mick Jagger imagination.
But at the same time I am legend — seriously. I eat animal attacks for breakfast. My German genes snort derisively at any potential threat of infection.