SRISAKET: Villagers in Srisaket’s Khun Han district have been flocking to pay their respects to the body of a buffalo calf that not only looked human, but also had the superhuman ability to transmit the winning numbers in the upcoming lottery draw.
The calf was born at 2 pm on September 22 to a female buffalo belonging to farmers Yim Surachat, 56, and his wife Khit Surachat, 55. The newborn buffalo died soon after birth, but the couple whose first names translate as Smile and Think noticed that it looked rather peculiar.
Indeed, it looked much like a person, with a vaguely humanoid nose, mouth and ears. Although it was of indeterminate sex, its legs were spread-eagled to resemble those of a sleeping person.
K. Khit said they have nine buffalo and the “lucky” calf was born to a cow they fondly refer to as “Buffalo Number 5”.
Being practical, the couple thought little of the incident and buried the poor creature in a field.
That night, however, K. Khit’s ancestors appeared to her in a dream. From beyond the grave they instructed her to dig up the calf and conduct a religious ceremony for it, she said.
The next morning, K. Khit and her husband exhumed the calf from its grave. They carefully washed the body and laid it out in their house to perform the ceremony. Soon word of the wondrous creature spread and villagers flocked to catch a glimpse of it.
Many people brought flowers and donated money. Others dusted it with powder and asked the calf to make a lucky number appear in their minds’ eyes so they could use it to win the upcoming lottery.
K. Khit said they had intended to rebury the calf the next day. There was no mention of the state the carcass after a night in the ground and a day in the hot Isarn sun.
Senior monk Nenkham Chatiko, from Wat Pakhantitham in Khanthararom district, was dubious about the supposed benefits of conducting a Buddhist ritual around a rotting baby buffalo corpse.
“Paying respects to a buffalo calf is a personal belief that the villagers can follow if they like, but nowhere in Buddhist canon is there anything about the need to pay respects to animal carcasses.
“The Buddhist people of Srisaket should not be gullible. I would like to remind them that it is best to conduct their lives in strict accordance with the teachings of the Buddha,” he admonished.