Well, perhaps not actually in it, although he’s mentioned octopus fishing from time to time — I’m sure many readers of Language Hat have wondered about Siganus Sutor’s life in Mauritius, the French-speaking island near(ish) to Madagascar.  Sig, who is a structural engineer as well as a polyglot is obviously too busy to write his own blog, so I thought I could post some photos he’s taken of their local wildlife, including the foot-long local snails.  I’ll post more if he sends me more.  Here’s what he sent me:crapaud-4420091

In the garden we have loads of toads. Snails too. An odd tendrak (a kind of hedgehog) visits us every now and then. Every afternoon we have two bats that hang themselves in one tree in front of the kitchen door and at night their cousins often come and make a hell of a noise. (Either they are fighting for our litchis or longans, or they are mating. I’ve never dared go outside in the dark to check.) We have parakeets flying past, and bulbuls in their hundreds too.

(I hadn’t heard of Longans or  tendraks.  Apparently it’s tenrec in English. AJP)  chauves-souris-442009

Close up:



Martians call snails courtpas, literally “do-not-run”. They are not quite one foot long.


I wonder if there is only one snail in that foot-long shell, or if it’s an apartment building.  Either way, I’d like to see the resident.