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Re: leeches

Subject: Re: leeches
From: "Syd Curtis"
Date: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:28 am ((PDT))
I write from Australia and I don't know to what extent our leeches may
differ from those under discussion.  but for what it's worth ...

I grew up on a farm adjacent to subtropical rainforest.  Leeches were
plentiful and considered only a minor embuggerance.  Their clot-preventing
saliva meant you might bleed for a while, but so what?  The very minor
blood-loss was no big deal.

But late in life I made the acquaintance of a bloke who found blood in the
boots sufficiently off-putting to want to do something about it.  His
solution was to sew a pair of thick socks onto the bottom of thick
flannelette pyjamas - both sufficiently thick that a leech couldn't get at
his skin through them.  (I didn't inquire whether any looped their way up t=
the top of his pyjamas.  Which is where our scrub ticks would certainly go.=

As far a I know our leeches don't drop on you from above - just wait on the
shrubbery and fasten on as you brush past.  So for a small party in single
file, the leader alerts the leech which then gets someone further back ion
the line.

I once took an overseas visitor to a local rainforest national park.
Apparently where he came from they didn't have terrestrial leeches; only
aquatic ones.  Back in town we're in a hotel lounge having a quiet beer, an=
he happens to look down at his ankle: a fully engorged leech.

    "What's that?" he says.

    "It's a leech," I reply.

"The filthy thing!" he says, and before I can stop him, he drops it on the
hotel's nice clean terrazzo floor and stamps on it.  Blood explodes for hal=
a metre or so all round.  Spectacular, it was.



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