November 22, 2014

Sibu Tales : Ducks and Pythons

Both my parents like any Foochows, loved eating duck.

Ducks in the early days of Sibu were mainly home reared. In Pulau Kerto, at the Hua Hong Ice Factory, my mum reared a lot of ducks.Besides chickens, and ducks, my parents also reared goats.

During high tide and the flood water got below our house and right up to the upper stair case,and that meant that we could see the water level reaching almost all the duck cages and chicken coops.

That spelt disaster as snakes would start coming, trying to eat the fowls.

One evening when the high was exceptionally high, a big snake came into one of the cages, and swallowed a small goat. That was an exceptional visit. My father was seldom angry. But that evening, he moved faster than ever, took the gun off the display shelf and marched downstairs.

We waited and watched. My timid mum stood behind us, carrying our newest sibling.

Two shots rang out and the dead snake dropped from the roof of the cage to the planks under the cage.

That evening all the factory hands had a grand feast.

My father never gave a thought to cooking the python for us because he thought that reptiles were just not good food.

But he gave instructions that we should eat four of the more mature ducks the next day, just in case more snakes would come and eat more fowls and goats.

Mum got two maids from next door to come and slaughter the ducks and pluck all the feathers. Dad sent one duck to our grand parents in Sungei Merah and gave two to his cousins next door.

Until today I do not eat reptiles.

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