Curious and Devout Flock to Bizarre Birthplace

chamkar samrong, Battambang – Reich Oun, a 38-year-old farmer in this small farming village, says her pig just gave birth to a monkey and a horse. And she’s got the charred carcasses to prove it.

The birth took two days and nights. But by the morning of Nov 11, Reich Oun said, her pig had given birth to nine piglets, a baby horse and a small monkey. Un­fortunately, they all died.

Reich Oun, a farmer, and her five children buried the piglets in the backyard of their small hut. But they grilled the fetuses of the horse and the monkey until they became black like charcoal, tied them with string and placed them on an altar in the middle of their home.

News of the bizarre birth spread throughout the countryside and soon the small hut a few kilometers from Battambang town was filled with hundreds of curious onlookers and villagers wanting to pray, villagers said.

Reich Oun said she had been warned her pregnant sow might have a strange birth. A villager told her he had a dream that the pig would give birth to a monkey and a horse, but she didn’t believe it.

When a reporter asked to see and take a photo of the blackened animals, Reich Oun said, “You need to pray with the in­cense and ask their permission first.” Af­ter the prayer to “Mr Horse and Mr Monk­ey”—and a 500 riel donation—incense was placed in two tin cans already overflowing with the thin sticks. Then a small sau­cer was brought down from an altar mounted in the middle of the hut.

Reich Oun pointed to a smaller fetus and said it was the horse, adding that the body had shrunk during the cooking process. The larger square-shaped chunk was the monkey, Reich Oun said.

Some of the curious onlookers found winning lottery numbers by rubbing the head of the monkey carcass and Reich Oun’s hands, said Som Huon, Reich Oun’s 28-year-old neighbor.

But they never returned to share the winning lottery mon­ey and now the monkey carcass, angry, won’t give out correct numbers anymore, Som Huon said.

As for the mother of the ill-fated offspring, she’s doing fine. The pig, a 2-year-old sow named Chamroeun, is a healthy 120 kg.

When a reporter pointed out that perhaps the cause of Cham­roeun’s problems might be that the pig lives in a shed next to the family’s horse, Reich Oun shook her head no and laughed.

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