Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Jungle Boy

It is not easy to find green grassland these days. Back then; grasslands were all over the neighbourhood. Trees, ‘lalang’, overgrown plants were within walking distance. Merpati Road was aligned with mulberry shrubs along it’s periphery. Whether effective or not, when we were bruised, we plucked a few mulberry leaves and pounded them into a mush and applied it over the wounds. No plaster. No handyplas.

Grasshoppers were in abundance. We captured them, set them free and catch them again. We yanked the hind legs one by one and observed how they jumped. Houseflies suffered the same fate. Some of us breeded praying mantis for their droppings. The folks told us that when infused with hot water, it was good for aliments. Not my cup of tea though.

We organised competition like who can gather the most butterflies and houseflies. I remembered vividly that one-day, Richard decided to play a game and see who can gather the most cockroaches. Everyone was game. Manholes and the neighbourhood dump were breeding ground. Imagine a bunch of boys rummaging through the dump and crawling into manholes, emerging with bags full of cockroaches.

In those days, mosquito’s population isn’t high as we were good at killing them with our hands. Of course, it was a game to see who can kill the most mosquitoes. Find a damp place and sit silently and entice the mosquitoes to feast on you. Once they puncture your skin, tense your muscle to grip the proboscis trapping the insect. Give a good slap and you got it nail down. Who needs mosquito repellent?

Moth, dragonfly, cricket……….. that’s another story.


nofearSingapore said...

I confess to also abusing grasshoppers. We pulled off the hind limbs and made them crawl up walls.
We form teams and see which teams could catch more and then boiled them ( but of course did not eat them!)
Dragon flies are caught and then threads tied to their long abdomen and then we have our personal remote control flying "thingy".
How my kids miss all the wonderful things that we did.
How I miss my friends from the Chinese village off 4 1/2 milestone Upp Serangoon road.
I wonder what happened to my friend Ah Tee, the youngest son of the provision shop owner?


uncle gilbert said...

Dr Huang. Yes. I got my fair share of the dark days of torturing the poor grasshoppers. Can't imagine that children these days scream when a grasshopper lands on their laps or excited over a grasshopper.