Tuesday, April 22, 2008

PART 1: MY CHILDHOOD

 
I was born in a small, tiny village where the populations are maybe around 250 people. In my family I have my dad, mum, three brothers and five sisters. During my childhood, I already love animals. However, the way I express is very mean. I just love to keep animals as my pets because for me they look very cute and for sure they can become tame. My sister once told me a story about myself with a young long-tailed macaque. My dad came back from work as a “Pembalak” at Kapit and brought back a juvenile of long-tailed macaque. I really love to play with that little creature until almost every day I slept with it and my parents become worried about me. They decided to separate me with my little friend and I am not sure what they did with it after that.

Actually almost all of my family members have this habit; keep wild animals as a pet. My eldest brother brings back home a sub-adult sun bear from Kapit and it was very aggressive. When my brother left it at home, we don’t know how to handle it because it was very fierce until one day when raining heavily we can not save it. It was dead in its cage because it was freezing. Pity sun bear. My third brother and two of my sisters love to keep birds as their pets such as spotted dove, pigeons and hill mynas. Even myself, I have had an imperial pigeon as my pet for seven years. I named it Fantagiro but my mum changed the name to Zorro. Then I tried to keep the common palm civet as my pet but it was escaped from the wire-cage on the next day. I named it Stinky because it really stinks.

Somehow, we are very cruel to the animals that disturb our paddy field, fruits orchard and sago palm plantations. My mum and sister always set up cage traps when our fruits are fruiting or when we plant our sago trees. At some point, my sister got almost about forty individuals of long-tailed macaque and the numbers just increased until my sister start to feel scared to set up traps anymore. When our durians, rambutans, langsat, dabai trees fruiting my mum will set a cage traps to traps squirrels and she got a lots of plantain squirrels. When I was a kid, I barbeque those squirrels and we eat the meat. I remember when our dog captured the pangolin and we eat the meat also. Hmmm..when I think back, I get used to eat wild meat before but now, I just can’t do it anymore. I love to see them alive and live happily in the forest.
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