|Our catch: Three boys showing their trophy catch for the camera.|Viet Nam News
Around the end of November when the rice is ripe for harvest, children in the Mekong Delta take to the fields, hunting for rats. A sworn enemy of farmers for long, the rats are known as “Mr. Longtail” in some places.
As waters rise during the delta’s flooding season, the rats move en masse to higher ground, making hunting them a much easier task. As harvesters move across the field picking up rice plants, their nests are often exposed.
It is not just a fun game for children, field rats can also provide farmer families with an extra source of income since the rodents are considered a delicacy when properly cooked. Many who have tasted the dish have compared it to venison.
After helping themselves to grains and vegetables in the fields for months, field rats can grow fat (and tasty). Prices may vary but one can often find roasted rat at local markets for sale at VNĐ60,000-70,000 (US$2.5-3.00) per kilogram. VNS
|They can bite: It’s smooth sailing most of the time, but sometimes the hunters can meet with minor accidents, like being bitten by the rodents. |
|In you go: A boy puts the rats he’s caught into a metal cage.|
|In its wake: Following harvesters is usually a good way to find rat nests. — VNA/VNS Photos Công Mạo|
|Voila!: Two boys find a rat nest. |
|Strung up: Apart from field rats, children may also catch a few tasty frogs. |