Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

By Ngoc Thanh   October 20, 2021 | 02:16 pm GMT+7
Flooding provides Hanoi's rice farmers an ample opportunity to catch meadow mice, either as food or for sale.
Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

Rain triggered by the now-dissipated Storm Kompasu flooded paddy fields in multiple communes of Thach That District. Locals have used this opportunity to catch meadow mice to add to their diets or sell for cash.

Thach That has around 5,000 hectares of agricultural land, 4,000 of which are paddy fields.

Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

From a high dune, residents of Ha Bang Commune search for mice.

Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

"When the water rises, mice at the edge of the field run to higher ground for shelter. To catch them, you must choose thick bushes where few people go," said Nguyen Van Linh of Dong Truc Commune as he pours water into a nest.

Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

The main tools to catch mice are traps, shovels and a water can. As water rushes in from one end of the nest, the mice escape from the other side, running straight into the traps.

Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

The mice are at their prime in October. People often enlist dogs to sniff them out and chase them as they run from their nests.

Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

Nguyen Van Nghia of Dong Truc Commune catches a mouse with his bare hands on a dune near Thang Long Highway. Mice have sharp teeth, so one must be careful not to get bitten.

Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

A meadow mouse has brown fur with hints of red, which is different from a rat's. They mainly eat roots, rice and other agricultural produce.

Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

Mice could either be cooked or sold at the market. In Thach That District, there are families who work as professional catchers. A kilogram of mice could be sold for VND180,000-200,000 ($7.90-8.78).

Hanoians play ‘cat and mouse’ with rising tides

A dish of roasted mice is ready to be served.

 
 
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