Saturday, 16 June 2007

Pass the Salt Please

The most wanted rains usher some unwelcome guests inside the house.Last night I discovered a leech clinging on the bathroom must have entered through the drain.I got into my pest control mode and sprinkled it liberally with salt.The blood-sucking,Dracula minion melted away in no time. Allahabad has a very low leech population so our pest control works.
Salt is the best ammunition against leeches, this I discovered in Mussoorie, up in the Himalayas.During the monsoon season the whole mountain-side was crawling with leeches and we were cautioned against them.One evening while taking off my shoes I discovered a large patch of blood on my socks.I knew it was a leech, and since it was my first encounter I wanted I scream, and do a tribal leech dance but I restrained myself as I was all alone in my apartment and no one would rush in to rescue me. Further examination revealed that the vampire had had its dinner and left.So I cleaned my foot and applied a Band Aid. At least I had a story to tell to the nations.
Later on when I took my students for a hike in leech country we stuffed our shoes and socks with salt.Kids are very good at spotting leeches,specially when they want to scare their teacher.Anyway we took it all in our stride.

My Iranian friend 's mother (living in Mussoorie) invited leeches to bite her as a remedy for arthritis.That 's ancient medicine.I could never try that.

We are happy that the monkey did not return, maybe it prefers pop-corn to corn on the cob.
Its global, but in India you encounter wild life up so close that it brings out the 'national geographic ' in you.Makes life interesting.

6 Fertilize my soul:

Becky Wolfe said...

Wow! You educated me today. I didn't know leeches could be anywhere but in water! I thought they could only get on you while swimming/walking through that water (usually murky mud-bottomed water) Thank goodness for death-by-salt!

Rebecca said...

I remember being at Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru and when the boat we would be in got stuck in bushes then we would have to get out and the dreaded leaches would attack. It was so gross......ugh, I still feel sick when I think about it.
I use salt as a weapon in my garden also to kill slugs and snails. Others tell me I am really cruel, but that is just toooooo bad.....away Damn pests!!!!! Disolve into salthood hell!

Carol-Ann Allen said...

You are just too funny! "A story to tell to the nations"!

Janet Jeyapaul said...

Amrita I think we have to get Buffy the Vampire Slayer... This is a serial that comes on US TV-Mnay of my church friends used to watch it..oooo

Janet Jeyapaul said...

Sorry that last comment was for the mnkey- vampire post..

Amrita said...

We get Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Star Plus. If it still comes I don 't know.
I know its quite cruel to see the poor creatures melt away, but what can we do.
I 've got a story of my grandfather killing a lion with his .22 and my Dad shooting a cobra and a wolf in our yard. My Dad 's hunting stories were great.Once they encountered a 'ghost deer ' in the jungle which refused to be shot.