Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A leech hitched a ride.

It was a wet day.  It was equally wet on the hill-slopes.  But since I've been avoiding the soggy tracks behind the hill, I thought I was safe.  I held a long chat with an old uncle (of course lah, I'm also 'uncle', but since he's in his 70s he says I'm a young man...) while we descended.  The slight drizzle didn't bother us.  We continued with our conversation until we got into our respective cars.

About a hundred meters down the road I felt a wee nibble on my left calf.  I reached down with my hand to find out what's causing the tickling and felt something soft and slightly sticky.  I realized immediately that was a leech stuck on my skin.  Errr...

I stopped the car by the roadside, got out and put on my reading glasses to see how deeply entrenched the critter was.  I tried to brush it off.  It refused to budge.  I tried to think of something to get it to let go of its grip.  Then I thought I could burn it. 

I pressed in the cigarette lighter to switch it on.  As soon as it popped out I grabbed it and put the hot element as close to the leech as possible.  It wriggled and squirmed but it refused to let go.  I repeated the heat treatment and even touched it with the hot metal.  Same result.

I swiped at it again.  It came off but clung to my right hand instead.  I flicked my hand.  It got stuck to my right leg this time.  In desperation I kept swiping at it until it dropped off.  I couldn't see where it went.  Somewhere on the grass I guess.  Just hopefully not my any part of my legs. 

I looked at my calf for the tell-tale sign of bleeding.  There was none.  No damage there, I thought.  Well, I was wrong.  Next day, the spot got itchy.  The bugger already sank its teeth in and started to apply anti-coagulant.  Which explains why it refused to let go. 

Bl**dy sucker... 

I must remember to pack some salt and keep it in the car.  The next one's gonna get a taste of salt instead of hot metal.


  1. Is it a myth, truth, or my crazy mind, works well w/ urine, too? :P

    I think I mix up with jellyfish :)

  2. I'm not sure with jellyfish, but I've seen leeches let go and bounce off the floor with blood spilling all over as soon as salt hits it.

  3. Yeah, I think I mixed up. Salt v. Leeches, and human urine v. :P

  4. I think it's old wife's tale... but here's what the Scientific American says.

  5. Oh Bummer! Otherwise, it would come in handy! :))