A little later, I was off to Cayman Brac. Cayman Brac is one of the sister Islands in the Cayman Islands. It is just a few miles south of Cuba. We were helping a doctoral student learn how to capture and ‘process’ the iguanas. Process means all their body measurements are taken: weight, length, sex, scars, etc. Everything you would want to know about the animal. Oh, I need to tell you which iguana it is. Silly me. The species of iguana on CB, that’s short for Cayman Brac, is Cyclura nubila caymanensis. Since most humans don’t use scientific names, they are colloquially known as Sister Island Rock Iguanas. I love that word colloquially. They are native to CB and Little Cayman (Little Cayman is the other sister island). Not much is known about the CB iguanas, so we are helping out with the research now being done. There is so much to learn and we need to learn it before the SIRIs are all gone. The ig population is in decline due to habitat encroachment by human development and predation by feral dogs and cats. Extinction is a real possibility. So a few dedicated humans are working to ensure their survival.
a young SIRI
Going to CB also lets me visit with my cousins, the CB curly-tails. Yes, my ancestors wandered far and wide. I can see why some of them settled in the Caymans. They are lovely islands. Not as nice as the Bahamas, but I am biased.
My cousin, a Cayman Brac Curly-tail Lizard
Like us curly-tails, the igs like to bask. Only they do it on the roads where they get hit by cars. The DOE and DOT have put up signs warning drivers that there may be iguanas on the road. Sadly, too many igs are still being hit and killed. Maybe with time, the drivers will become more cautious. The CB iguanas are great animals and deserve respect. I encourage everyone to get to know an iguana, even if it’s not a SIRI.
Sorry for my absence of late. Humans say ‘time flies quickly,’ but it’s even quicker in curly-tail lizard time. I had many more interesting things to tell you about but then I got traveling. My friend Elaine needed someone to go with her on her trips and I couldn’t say no. So, in my next several posts, I’m going to tell you about the places I’ve been and the interesting curly-tails and people I’ve met.
In March, we went down to the University of Arizona campus for the Tucson Festival of Books. It was unbelievable. The festival was huge. It took me the entire two days to see everything. Hundreds of thousands of people came to share books, entertainment, and food. Famous authors gave talks on writing and the book business. Readers came to buy books from their favorite and soon-to-be new favorite authors. Performers sang and danced. All sorts of food, too. I confess while Elaine was busy, I went around sampled the crumbs. They were delicious. Elaine had a booth with some friends where she sold her books. The story of my adventure, “Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers,” sold the best. I was pleased to see that people wanted it in more than just English. Many grandparents wanted a book in Spanish to read to their grandchildren. I was happy to sell them my friend Dorothy’s translation.
The booth across from Elaine’s featured languages from around the world. Check out the gallery to see Elaine in front of posters from France, Mexico and the USA holding my story. I can pretend my story has gone around the world!
One of the main purposes of the festival is to encourage literacy. I’m all in favor of literacy. After all, I want everyone to read my books. Yes, books. My second story, “Curtis Curly-tail Hears a Hutia,” is just about to be released. I can’t wait. It features my good friend Horace Hutia and his family. Not only is it a great story but the reader gets to choose the ending they prefer. I think you’ll like it.
Well, it’s time for me to run down to the beach and see if any tourists are coming. Until next time, may the sun shine down upon you warmly, may the gulls be slow, and may your curly-tail be perfectly curled.