Encounters with Marvelous Creatures
In encounters with an array of creatures, from both domesticated and wild animals inhabiting my Louisiana backyard to denizens of the Amazon I present these stories to illuminate our inseparability from the life around us by capturing peak moments in the natural world. These experiences are chronicled in the context of my day-to-day life and relationships, from childhood to retirement, highlighting a few unique glimpses of animal lives as they have intersected with mine.
I have been investigating my natural surroundings as long as I can remember, wherever my life and travels have taken me. From earthworms to egrets and from Indianapolis neighborhoods to the Amazon rainforest, I have paid careful attention to the creatures crossing my path, doing my best to respect each life and place as I do my own.
Imagine a bee sting that results in a 4-day flu; wondering how to discourage the monkey sitting on your head; staring in disbelief as your golden retriever gives a loving lick to the head of a wild duck; being within touching distance of a swimming jaguar; or finding yourself host to a young alligator living in your backyard pond. These and many other such surprising moments are recounted here, using both gentle humor and more serious self-study, with a reflective blending of nature narrative and memoir. I hope that my observations and imaginings of what might be in the minds of non-human creatures will bring new light to the lives readers share with the animals around them, no matter how mundane or extraordinary.
The Gecko in the Bathtub: Encounters with Marvelous Creatures
by Janina Marie Fuller (Philippines 1978-80)
with illustrations by Maggie Demorest
Peace Corps Writers