The story of the monk and the peacocks.
When I was looking for the green peacocks in Thailand one of my ways led me to Payao ,a village on the border with Laos,into a reserve. The gamekeepers received me kindly and they showed me the places where the peacocks hold their courtship display. We joined in this spectacle.
Afterwards, the gamekeepers gave account of the following story.
Not far from the village there is a buddhist monastery. One fine day a
religious peasant from a nearby village, who was concerned about every living creature, brought a clutch of peacocks to the monastery. There he asked the monks how to proceed with the eggs, since the hen wouldn't care nor breed them anymore. One of the elderly monks looked after the eggs and had them bred by a chicken hen. He raised the young peacocks carefully, manufactured for each of them a ring and rang them. The peacocks followed the old monk closely,even on his regular morning begging. One morning he collapsed and dropped dead whereupon the peacocks circled around him without leaving from his side. The dead monk was brought to the monastery accompanied by the peacocks where he was laid out with the birds guarding him.Not until the body was cremated the birds vanished in the jungle. The villagers were very astonished at the birds behaviour and from that time on the people have stopped hunting them.
One day later I paid a visit to the aforementioned monastery. A good speaking English monk,whom I also asked for the green peacocks, came to tell the same story.Furthermore he told me that there are still some of them living which you could recognise by the rings they have. Every evening they come with their off-springs to the mountain top to find shelter for the night in the trees.Early in the morning they leave the area around the monastery in order to find food in the fields nearby.
There are many ways to protect the species, this is one of them.
Unfortunately, I had no more time to dwell upon this wonderful place, but I will certainly do it!
To complete the picture I must say that in the monasteries of Thailand, which bear the nameâ€œWATâ€œ, life in all its shapes is holy. All the animals brought to the monasteries will be cared of and looked after. That's why many of those Wats keep little Zoos where a variety of animals can be seen.
The aforementioned reserve has been exclusively established for the green peacocks found there, and is far from being known.