Monday, May 25, 2009

Hey, where's my bitter gourd!

My bitter gourd in the sun.

Life is full of surprises. Last week I proudly wrote about my attempts in vegetable gardening - feeble attempts I would say judging by the size of my produce. The next morning, my precious bitter gourd went missing. The two smaller ones higher on the fence were still hanging on for their dear lives but the larger bottom gourd was gone. I live in a community where we take along plastic bags when we walk our dogs to make sure we do not leave any "accidents" behind. So, we definitely do not take punny gourds without permission. I can figure out a few answers to the disappearing gourd:

  1. It fell off cos' it was ready to be plucked.
  2. A rat climbed up the fence and ran away with it.
  3. A squirril took it home for dinner.
  4. A kid just plucked it for fun.
  5. Moon light shrinks bitter gourds to undetectable sizes.
GismoMan says, "Who wants your bitter gourd? 1. it's bitter ; 2. it's a waste of effort cooking cos it would have taken more time to clean, cut and cook than eat it." I do think he has a point.

Anyway, there are more pressing issues to worry about. When I got home from work yesterday, MartianGirl came screaming, "There is a "buaya" (crocodile) in the garden." We live miles away from rivers and the nearest crocodiles are basking in the zoo. But, I had to go pretend and look out for it. It was probably a large monitor lizard - they can grow up to 3 feet. I have seen 6 feet ones in the wet lands. They are carnivores and live on small animals. They look quite clumsy with their large bodies and short legs, but they are fast. MartianGirl was five years when we visited Kuala Selangor, a town on the outskirts of the city with parks and wetlands. She had wandered off about 6 feet away from me and a really hugh monitor lizard came up from the pond and fested its eyes on what he probably considered was lunch. MartianGirl wanted to make friends, "Cicak, cicak." It was terrifying, I just ran, grabbed her and fled in the opposite direction. A "cicak" is a harmless house lizard, similar to a gecko, that feeds on insects and runs up and down the walls of our homes. The monitor lizard that wanted MartianGirl was truely as large as the one in the pix below.

"Cicak" (house lizard) - pix from internet source

Malaysian monitor lizard - pix from internet source

This morning, GismoMan announces, "I saw a rat in the kitchen last night and it was as large as a cat." Prone to exaggerations, I would say it was as little as a kitten. But I hate rats and they are the only animals that will actually make me jump up a chair and go hysterical, typically as shown in movies. I have gone after a snake and fierce dogs but I cannot handle rats. So, I had to put out the Rat Bait in the cupboards and made very sure that Daemon K9 could not get to them. But no rat as yet.

This is what I call excitment in the city. I can't imagine living on a farm where a lot more surprises can happen in one day. I would't be able to cope.


  1. It's like my egg stealing mystery. If you wait a while you may stumble upon the answer!

  2. monitor lizards ! Very exciting :-)

    Wizz :-)

  3. The only lizards I've seen are titchy things. I always fancied owning an iguana as a pet but that would be cruel to the iguana.

  4. I'm so sorry you lost a gourd,they are truly gorgeous shining in the sunlight..Lizards are good,we have small ones but I surely was with you running with your baby from that large one and rats they can go too LOL My sister as a kid would put the small lizards into a trance rubbing their bellies and she would hang them from her ears like earrings;)