Amid last week’s Water and Power Authority’s failure lasting several hours, I found a big lizard in the house. And by big, I mean really big.

This was the kind of lizard that tries to crawl up your wall, and is so big and fat it just keeps popping down on the floor. The size of the lizard the stuff tall tales are made of.

A lizard I knew had been eating cat food and growing to proportions the line of which would make history. The beast of lizard, that you know you’ve got to get out of the house because when it goes rustling in the dead of night, it’s going to wake you up. The size of a lizard that would frighten a dog.

And while there is nothing new about a lizard being in anyone’s house in the Virgin Islands, somehow its presence turned into a major irritant.

I tried to figure out why that lizard was bothering that today, when on another day I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Was it because I was particularly upset that we had a territorial announcement, on the 85th death due to COVID? Was it the WAPA failure — a never-ending fiasco that costs us our quality of life and livelihood? Or, was it that I was just being overly sensitive about a minor irritation that is common place. No matter what, that lizard was not staying, no way, no how.

So, I had a few choice words with that enormous lizard and hunted him down like any respectable Virgin Islander would do.

Armed with several dish towels, I snagged him and carried him out. He struggled admirably, but I held on, fighting my way to the door. And, as that giant lizard slithered away, I thought life in Paradise is an everyday challenge. You just can’t make this stuff up.

— Maria Ferreras is a longtime St. Thomas resident and community volunteer. She can be reached at