Saturday, 28 January 2012

Chinese New Year crawly tales

No, these are not our regular once-a-year Chinese New Year visitors. In fact, they come a-visiting many times in a year, so we are quite used to them already. It was just by coincidence that they chose to visit - or rather, their parent chose to visit - our plants this festive season.

Just the other day, I heard a shrill from my neighbour's maid. The shriek brought us running outside the house. She had discovered this huge, fat brown caterpillar making a feast for itself on our plant. A quick swipe of a spade brought the creature down from the stalk and into the dustbin.

We took a look at our plants. Alamak, almost all the leaves had been denuded by the pest. All around the base of the flower pots, the tell-tale signs of the caterpillar's droppings were strewn. As a precaution, we peered closely at the remaining leaves. Just in case we missed anything. Luckily we did so.

There, hidden among the young shoots was yet another monster. Easy to see as it was also brown. Must be siblings. Usually, the ones we caught were green and had blended right among the leaves. Not this one. So with another swipe of the spade, I deftly removed the second caterpillar. From the plant to the dustbin. End of story.

Wait, I haven't finished yet. There's another story. Also during this Chinese New Year week. There seemed to be no end to the invasion of crawling creepies or creepy crawlies. We found this three-inch-long slug - a shell-less snail which is rarely encountered - slowly oozing its way up on the porch wall on Chinese New Year day itself.  As usual, I had to be the defender of Threats to the family. So with my spade ready again, I gently prised the slug off from the wall and deposited it far away among some plants on the roadside. I know it will appreciate my kind action for what is there on my wall to feast upon? I know that it will be much happier frolicking among the decaying leaves in someone else's roadside plants.

Now, it's really the end of this story.

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