Monday, September 29, 2008

Catapults and Kids' targets of dogs,tins,birds and others

You can buy a catapult like this in pasar malam or Tamu Muhibbah of Miri.

Some advertisement for catapults.

Another advert

This is a great modern high tech sling shot or catapult used by hunters and for the strong housewife who may need protection from burglars. Available in better sports equipment shops in Sarawak and Brunei!!

Last year I read an article about a 9 year old Chinese boy who used a catapult to taunt a crocodile. The croc turned around and ate him!!

The human rights groups in China was in an uproar!!(Source :

This brought me to think about how we as children used the catapult or "lastic" as we lovingly called it,for many purposes. We were innocent kids then. Below are examples of what we did with our catapults:

The boys in my neighbourhood would collect beautiful Y shaped guava tree wood to make their catapults and they did sell them for a good sum. We girls helped them collect the best rubber bands available. We never did buy the rubber bands. We went around picking them up from the streets and from any purchases our parents bought.

My neighbours used the catapults to chase away dogs which disturbed their rubbish bins. Late into the night I used to hear the stones hitting the rubbish bins and the yelping of dogs. I knew then someone was doing his job to keep the dogs at bay.

Kids used the catapults to shoot the swallows which sat like music notes on the overhead electric wires. After a heavy down pour especially in the evenings it was great to hear the beautiful bird song in the air. And then these swallows would sit on the wires for a restive moment. And all of a sudden a stone or two would shoot through the air and the birds would fly away leaving behind a few feathers which floated slowly and then landed on the pavements. The boys were not very good shots but they did hit a few birds.

I remember once a very angry neighour used his son's catapult to hit a motor bike which sped along our road. Years later this was not necessary as the traffic got heavier.

My father and brother used the catapult to chase away squirrels which tried to eat our yellow skinned and very "kopek" rambutans (the flesh could leave the seed easily when we bit into the crunchy fruit) and sweet juicy mangoes.

And finally the little boys liked to practise their sharp shooting by hitting tins at a distance.

This innocent home made and humble catapult may no longer be a toy which is good enough for present day boys. The creativity of making such a slingshot is disappearing.

And in the movie "The Kite Runner" the catapult was used by Hassan's son Sohrab to damage Assef's eye. Assef was the man (the bad guy) who was instrumental in causing all the hurts and sufferings to their families(the good guys) in Afghanistan. I thought it was brilliant. It reminded me of the story of David and Goliath.

0 memories:


web statistics