People flock to baby with ‘tail’

People flock to baby with ‘tail’

August 22, 2004

A CAMBODIAN baby born with a 10cm “tail” has become the breadwinner for a poor family as hundreds of people flock to see her and make offerings, police say.

Yet unnamed, she was born with a spine considerably longer than normal, creating an uncharacteristic protruding tailbone, said Ngil Sophal, the police chief of Svay Chrum district 120km south-east of Phnom Penh.

“But she is healthy,” he said.

“The unusual baby was born to a poor family. Now a lot of locals are going to see her.”

Some were offering up to 2,000 reil (about 70 cents Australian) for a peek at the girl.

“Her physique is starting to earn a lot of money for the family,” Sophal said. “Many locals are lighting incense sticks to pray to her for good luck.”

Local newspaper Koh Santepheap quoted the infant’s mother, Sok Mao, as saying that when she was pregnant she dreamed of an old man who brought “a baby monkey” to her and told her she would have good luck when the baby grew up.

Cambodians are highly superstitious, particularly in the countryside where people continue to meld animist practices with Buddhism.

Agence France-Presse

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(I love the fact that the media accuse the Cambodians of superstition, but cover the visit of the pope to a “healing shrine” with straight faces. One person’s faith is another’s wacky superstition…)