Why I thought An Iguana Urinating on Me Was Good Luck

27 Apr
The offending iguana before he was chased.

The offending iguana before he was chased.

I knew the moment the teen-aged boy chased the iguana that something was going to happen. The lizard had been happily sunning itself on a ledge about five feet above me and to the left just minding its’ own business and watching the ocean.

I was sitting on a little ledge below taking photos of my husband and a few others in a pool with two giant green turtles during a supervised turtle encounter. This was a preserve for all turtles on St. Thomas that were injured. Most were returned to the wild, these two were too badly injured to ever leave.

The shade and the breeze made sitting there perfect. While walking around the Coral World sea park, I had been warm and a bit uncomfortable. But here I was so comfortable that I put down my water bottle and focused on taking photos, until the iguana started running from the teen.

It went scurrying on the ledge above me. I looked up at the teen, and in my best mother voice said, sarcastically, “Thanks, that was really nice of you!” He got the message and left. The iguana did not leave. He was still, with his tail hanging over the ledge. I had nowhere to go, as I was sitting just above the pool in a restricted area on a small ledge. So I went back to taking photos.

My ledge.

My ledge.

Then I felt it.   A rain of urine fell on my arm and back, as well as landing all over my water bottle. I jumped up, luckily before the rest came out. I think I shrieked because everyone in the turtle pool looked at me, even the turtles. They actually swam over to where I was standing and popped their heads out of the water to look at me.

The turtles came to check me out after I screamed.

The turtles came to check me out after I screamed.

Sorry,” I said, “but an iguana just urinated on me.”

“I took some tissues out of my purse to clean off my arm. I could not reach my back. The biologist apologized. “For what?” I asked. “This is life. He didn’t do it on purpose. I was just startled. And my son is going to love this story.” We all laughed.

We always had lizards at home when my son was growing up: geckos, newts and snakes. He wanted a bearded lizard, but I ended that idea. So having an iguana urinate on me and defecate near me was not a big deal, just disgusting!

But the strange thing is being urinated on brought back a memory of my Mom. I was in college, but home for a vacation. My Mom and I went shopping on the Avenue in West New York. She was telling me about her days in college at the New Jersey College for Women, which was part of Rutgers. (Later it became Douglass
and then just Rutgers.)

In any case, she told me about the time she was walking to class and a bird pooped on her. She was so upset. She could not decide whether to go back to her room and shower again, or go to class. Class won out. When she told her mom, my grandma, her response was that when a bird poops on you it is good luck.

The best part of the story, as she told me, a bird pooped on my Mom, as we walked down the Avenue, all over her top. We were both so shocked and just started to laugh. We cleaned her off with tissues and continued on our way.  Later, when we told what happened to my Dad and siblings, we went inside. We were afraid if we told it outside, another bird would come along.

So when the iguana urinated on me, after I got over my shock, I wondered, “Good luck?” And I decided, “YES!” It brought my Mom alive for a minute as I remembered her bird encounters, which brought a smile to my mind.

And it provided me a wonderful story that I know my son (and daughter) will love!

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