Puttlam is a coastal town In Sri Lanka well it has two main productions salt and cement .well it does not seems both has any relationship, but so far there are no any conflicts either. I have a friend who worked in Puttlam Hospital he is a doctor, As per his statistics Puttlam hospital has the highest number of child birth in Sri Lanka.Also he said often there are situations where the same man got two wives and both of them are admitted to the hospital same time for the delivery, I think it’s because there are large number of Muslim Population living in Puttlam and in Islam if you can afford you can marry four wives.No wonder Puttlam has heights number of child births.
Puttlam was the city which accepted large number of Muslim refugees when LTTE chased them from North within 24 hours. Even After the war most of them did not return back to their villagers.
Well this is not about Muslim community in Puttlam and Salt or cement. There are another uniqueness has Puttlam that is freely loitering donkeys in Puttlam town.
Donkeys are not native to Sri Lanka and it is believed that Arab traders brought them to Sri Lanka. They were useful to transport of salt. Now Salt transportation has been motorized so donkeys were neglected. Poor donkeys now been chased away by the people because it was believed that the smell of their dung kept away harmful insects from coconut plantations.
However these animals adapted to local conditions and they still exist as feral populations in Mannar and Puttalam.My Friend while he is working in the Puttlam Hospital invited me to spend the weekend with him in Puttlam.Actually he is a nice guy and keeping a Donkey as a pet. General believe is that Donkeys are not good as pets, but over two days I got to observe the donkey very closely.
The First day donkey did not do anything.it did not move an inch. When we looking at distance it seems that donkey is in a deep thought. There is a funny story about what Puttlam donkeys are thinking. Well this goes to the time of where the salt caravan did transporting salt across the Puttlam Lagoon. A one of donkey was fall in to water with its luggage while it was crossing the lagoon. With the sea water some of the salt got diluted and donkey felt little relief because of the less of the weight. Then donkey thought this is a good way of losing its weights as a habit the donkey started falling on water. The trader got lost his profit and identified the donkey is doing this purposely. Next they the trader thought teaching a lesson and instead of salt he gave dry soil as the luggage.as usual the donkey got felt in the water, but soil got heavy with the water and donkey felt more weight .So people of Puttlam say still that donkey thinking the reason of increasing the weight .Generally Donkey consider as very dumb animals.
The other observation of mine was the way of mating. Well my understanding donkeys have not understanding of being kind or love for each other. The male donkey just chasing over a female one when the female one tired of running they started mating each other. Both of them were making horrible sound very unpleasant to hear. The other thing is donkeys have no any feel of being territorial. They just walk through houses or mosques and everywhere till someone chased them. Again then next day same donkey going to the same place. They have no any sense of learning something from the previous experience. From the ancients times donkeys have been famous for their stubbornness. Whipped, mocked and without food. But my feel is they are not stubborn. Donkeys have very limited memory but they are very harmless creatures.
Well in that case donkeys may have very low memory. But can you believe there are over 40 million of donkeys living in around the world. Out of that 40 million most of donkeys are living in underdeveloped countries. Sometimes donkeys are mating with female horses and produce mules.
Donkeys were being subjected for many stories. I’m sure most of you have heard stories of Aesop and Nazirudeen If not, probably have watched at least one movie of Sharke movie series. But out of all I very much like the poem by G. K. Chesterton. As it appears to me this is a reasonable poem for all donkeys.
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
THE poem could be interpreted in different ways “The tattered outlaw of the earth” well that is something about donkeys.
But we all know the donkey’s hour of glory came when it carried Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, also still many donkeys think people praised to the donkey not to the Jesus Christ…..