Sunday, October 19, 2008

A visitor to our garden

Ours is not exactly the Garden of Eden. In fact there isn’t even any fruit tree left. This beautiful guava tree that I used to see outside my window died recently.

Sigh .. and these beauties shan’t be visiting anymore.


Nevertheless, the serpent came a visiting.

My children caught this little fellow recently. In my time, we certainly would have killed it. But thankfully kids nowadays are more enlightened; plus they have the internet to inform them that it is a harmless House Wolf Snake. According to this blog,

“This snake is common (relative to other species) in buildings, probably because their food, geckos, are also abundant in this type of habitat. However, this species is still rarely encountered by people because of their secretive nature. Fortunately to us, it is neither venomous nor dangerous.”

My children kept it in a bottle for a couple of days and then released it in a nearby field. I still do not feel comfortable. They should have brought it to MacRitchie or somewhere far away from houses.

I guess the snake was attracted by the many geckos (chit chat in Malay, yim sare in Cantonese) in our house. Lately, we even spotted a mouse. We set up a mouse trap but caught this noisy mynah instead. Later we did manage to catch a mouse, but again my kids were too humane to kill it. In our kampong days, we would drown it by immersing the cage in a pail of water. My children released it instead – where, I didn’t want to know; as long as it is not my neighbour’s house.


14 comments:

Brian Mitchell said...

ah chit chats - I am looking forward to seeing them again! As a young child preparing to leave the UK for Singapore we service families were given various booklets of information about the array of small creepy crawlies we were about to have to live with! Whilst not being entirely scared of the prospect I did wonder how it was possible to live in a place with little lizards running around above your head! I soon got used to it however.

stanley said...

From the photograph, it looks like this noisy mynah is no ordinary mynah. It is bigger than the common mynahs found in HDB estates. The one that you caught could possibly belong to an American species which could imitate human sound. Anyway, have you released it?

JollyGreenP said...

The first chit chat that my mother saw frightened the life out of her but she soon got used to them and was quite accepting of them on our second night in Singapore. Snakes were something that I never did get used to especially after waking up one night around Christmas and seeing one coiled up on the floor at the foot of my bed. When my brother tells the tale nowadays it has grown into being a cobra but was probably only about the size of the snake in the photograph.

The rodent trap in the photo looks like the traps we used to have. We actually caught a few rats in them and we used to hold the dog whilst we let them out and then let him chase them. None of them ever escaped, he was fast and hated rats! It was the only way we could think of getting rid of the trapped animals without having to drown them.

yg said...

chun see, i think the malay name for the house lizard is chichak.

Lam Chun See said...

Yes, we released the mynah.

Truong Giai Van said...

the correct malay spelling for lizard is 'cicak'

btw, immersing in a pail of water was still rather humane. As a kid, I once saw a neighbour pouring boiling water into a rat cage.

Zen said...

Talking about mouse reminds me of the kampong days. There was one unique way to solve the rat problem then. Folks would pour hot water into rat hideouts and threw in lumps of calcium carbide. Trapped rats would invariably die from chemical reaction. Nowadays pest control experts use poison to kill rats, but this has a drawback. The pests would die at hidden places (e.g. wet markets and drains) whereby giving off a foul odour and worst - maybe spreading dreaded bacteria. One pest controller told me that rats are terribly intelligent, when seeing their fellow rats died in such a manner - once bitten twice shy- would distance themselves from the poison-sites for a period of time, until the coast is cleared before resuming normal 'services'.

Tom said...

Tom said...
I remember the small lizard called the chitchat, I use to grip the chitchats tail and when it move of the tail would come of,some one told me that the tail would grow back on in time, I aways woundered if it was true.?Ah the rats I do not like them, but I think they are a very intelligent animal, when I was a young lad I remember seeing Alot of rats on the move,and I seen rats leading the blind rats, how they did ,the rat that could see was holding the end of a blade of grass in its mouth, and the blind one would hold the other end of the grass, I have never ever seen that happen again in my life,I was amaze when I saw all those rats.

Victor said...

>Truong Giai Van said: "the correct malay spelling for lizard is 'cicak'."

Hmm... looks like it takes a Vietnamese to tell us what's the correct spelling of "cicak". He's right, of course. In the old Malay spelling system, it was spelled as "chichak". Then sometime in the 1970s/80s, they changed all "ch" to simply "c".

Zen said...

Nature has a way to balance the eco-system. Snakes would reduce the number rats in the padi fields. But unfortunately the chinese being notorious snake-eaters make a delicacy out of them, including snakes in their exotic menu. With the snake population dwindling the rats have a field day.

fighting fit said...

Nowadays, some of those rats become so big that the cats appear hesitant about going after them. But to avoid looking out of place, they turn a blind eye (kinda like act blur, pretend not to see).

peter said...

Chun See
U got a very kind (or soft?????) heart. Feathered pests you can let go. You should ask Victor about what happened to the mynor that flew to my house. I got it videotaped...I mean the whole process....

Lam Chun See said...

If you live near to a kopitiam or food centre, chances of encountering rats quite high. Many cleaners have bad habit of sweeping food scraps on the floor.

uncle Dick said...

Am glad that the snake was released. It's an important part of our eco-system. There's another reason too.I learnt this after I was bitten by a snake at Kg Genting on Pulau Tioman in the mid 70's. It was a green grass snake. But just to play safe, I picked up that snake and brought it to the Kg Headman. He confirmed it was a non-poisonous variety and told me to release the snake, not to kill it. He explained the folklore behind it...to my group. Since those days, I have caught many snakes including killers like cobras and have always released them back into the forest.