It's twenty five years or more now, since Shash, my bride-to-be, and I returned back to Mauritius from a trek around the three cirque on Réunion. It was a couple of days before our wedding and we were taking lunch with France Staub, a dentist by trade, but a prominent amateur naturalist in the Mascarenes and other islands of the Indian Ocean.
France was eager for all the details as we described our trip through the array of habitats that greeted us, when we trekked through the cirques over the rims of the craters and up the slopes of the Piton Des Neiges.
With the books he had authored and the photographs we had taken, open on the restaurant table as we all ate, we discussed the indigenous, the endemic and the exotic. The safe, the threatened and the extinct; the differing worlds of flora and fauna.
As discussion progressed I relayed the story of the strange clicking noise that followed us through the inner basin of the Cirque de Mafate and as we began rising up the lower slopes of the crater's outer edge. Suddenly, I explained, the source of the noise landed on the ground, directly in front of me, I stumbled trying not to crush it under foot, and it flew off.