It was fairly dark by seven without the moon in the sky. I was a little scared when my guard dogs formed a circle around some kind of animal in the garden. However I could figure out that it was smaller than my smallest dog. It was not wriggling or standing up so I knew that it could not be a cobra.
By the time the dogs sensed my presence they had already killed what I thought was a small sawa or ripon( python). It turned out to be a small monitor lizard. This was the first time I actually had a minotor lizard in my garden. Usually I would see them near the river banks (either side) when I stand by my kitchen sink and they would slither away when I made some noise. Or when the neighbours' dogs pick up its scent they would start barking and the intelligent reptile would remain still for a while. Monitor lizards usually come around at about 11 in the morning when they know that the housewives could be killing a chicken or have some food remnants thrown out in the drains. But I have never met a monitor lizard at night!
Foochows have always enjoyed having monitor lizard soup. It would be very simply cooked. Slice ginger and stir fry it for a while and when the ginger is browned pour in one bowl of Foochow red wine and let it boil. When it has boiled add two bowls of hot water.
When the soup is boiling hot throw in the slices of monitor lizard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This is the Foochow style of cooking this reptile and I have eaten it once or twice in my life. Many of my relatives who grew up in the Rajang River villages would remember stories of having monitor lizard for supper. So here you are some pictures of my encounter with a monitor lizard.
Reptiles are not really on my food list. However as Foochows and many Chinese believe that this soup will do wonders to one's skin we should consider ordering it every now and then. Or if you have a chance to shoot one in the mangrove swamps you should get someone to clean and cook it for you.
As for this dog bitten very unlucky monitor lizard I had it wrapped up in a few plastic bags and thrown into my wheelie bin for the MMC to take away. If thrown back into the river the carcass would stink sky high for a few days should it get stuck on any part of the river bank.
It was quite a night for me and my brave mongrels with Bubba as captain.