Siar Saming…Gruang Dong (Tiger That Is Haunted By Evil Spirit or Demon) – Part II

This is based on a real life story in Koosang Koosom Magazine, told by Nye Pran Kao written in Thai Language, translated by Ginger.

Continued from Part I

Pran Thou continued in telling the story, ‘My dad said that the tiger that ate countless human, can turn into Sair Saming, which would not come out and hunt during the day time because the sunlight will impair their vision, so they only hunt at night. They ‘d hide themselves in bushes or caves and sleep during the daytime in the deepest part of the forest. If you ever have the need to go into these area, then it ‘d be best to leave early in the morning, you’d get there by noon, then cut your firewood or what not and be done by 3 pm, this’s the best way to avoid from coming face-to-face with Siar Saming.

That day, my dad and I headed toward the jungle early in the morning, which my mom decided to stay home with my dog, Ai Nin. We finally came to the riverbank right on schedule; it was almost noontime.

When we got there, my dad cut some big branches and made a tree-stand, a sitting area for the both of us on top of a Ta Bag Tree, which stood right next to the riverbank; we’d see the animals coming to drink the water in plain sight. My dad then performed a ceremony/ritual of opening the forest, asking for protection from the spirits of animal that died of old age, also from Jour Tin, Jour Kaoh (guardian of the forest and guardian of the mountains). After he finished with the ceremony/ritual, we then climbed up the Ta Bag Tree. We sat and waited, and at that time, it was almost 3 pm, I’d tell by the positioning of the sun. We were in the deep part of the forest, so there were very little to almost no sunlight at all, just a few rays of lights here and there that shined through the leaves.

The tree-stand was narrowed; it was difficult to move around, so I sat there stiff most of the time. By dusk, it was a bit chilly; I had my blanket with me, which helped some. My dad had his riffle leaning against a homemade stand, his eyes were wide opened, slowly scanning below, by then we started to hear things moving below, it sounded like a heard of animals were moving toward our direction. I then saw a small heard of boars, roughly about 10 of them that came to the riverbank. Then I saw some deer/does that came to drink the water. My dad mentally picked out the pretty ones, but was just waiting for some moonlight, that by chance might shine through the leaves and would make his target more visible. At this time, it was 10 Kom of the month (local term for phrase of the moon), so there were some light shined from the moon, not by much, but it helped dad to see his targets a bit better. My dad was in an aiming position, ready to pull the trigger, but then we suddenly heard a roar from below, the loud noise startled the animals, and within a split of a second, they all took off running into the deep part of the forest, but strangely, we didn’t see anything below.

My dad then whispered to me, “Tiger, I’m not sure if it’s the Siar Saming.”

Pran Thou pause for a moment, then prepared him a homemade cigar, made out of leaves; he rolled, lit, and started to smoke.

He continued, ‘at that moment, the forest was dead silence; there weren’t even any crickets’ making those chirping noise, it was kind of eerie, and a bit scary. Dad held his hunting riffle tight, aimed, ready to shoot at any slightest movement below, and his eyes were scanning our surrounding. My heart was beating like a drum rolling, and then I saw a dim light at a distance, bobbing up and down, coming toward us. It got closer, at first, I couldn’t believe what I saw, I had to do a double take because the person standing below was my mom, and the light was from her lantern. I was confused, things didn’t add up, I kept thinking to myself, how in the world were she able to find us? and coming into this part of the forest by herself in the middle of the night, she knew there were dangers. As I was thinking, I then heard her calling out to me.

“Ai Thou aye, can you come down and get mom.”

She looked up as she was speaking, and sure enough, it was my mom because the lantern that she held, had shined enough light for us to see her face, but she had dark circles around her eyes. She then called to me once again, “Ai Thou, come down to get mom.”

By this time, I wasn’t thinking, it was as if I were in a trance, so I got up but my dad grabbed my wrist and whispered to me, “Ai Thou, don’t go down nor answer, that is Siar Saming, it’s in disguised as your mom, if it’s really your mom, then Ai Nin would have come with her, do you see him anywhere?”

After dad warned me, I seemed to have snapped out from that trance, I thought about what dad said, and it’s true, where was Ai Nin? Dad told me to be still, don’t go down nor answer back (it is commonly believed by the local that by answering back, the evil spirit can take your soul); then he aimed his riffle right at his target, which was the lantern held by what appeared to be the Siar Saming in disguised as my mom, I had mixed emotion, what if it was really mom? Before I’d say anything, dad shot 3 rounds, it was as if lightning were hitting nearby, we heard a loud roar, then it hit the Ta Bag Tree with great force that it literally shook, shortly after that it was once again dead silence.’

Pran Thou pause for a moment, then continued, ‘I was so scared at the time that I shriveled, chilled ran down my body and had goose bumps because the she beastly woman that I saw and thought was my mom turned into a huge tiger, Siar Saming as my dad had told me, and it plunged into the Ta Bag Tree, then fell back down on the ground lifeless. That night, it seemed like the longest night of my life; we didn’t see any other animals, and by morning, dad and I came down to look, and sure enough, it was the tiger, Siar Saming that my dad shot last night. The tiger was about 2 va long (measurement term commonly used by the local, loosely translated as stretch of your arms), but if measured from head to tail, then it was 4 va long, the feet were the size of the big bowl of rice noodle (bowl of fer, about 8-10 inches in diameter). My dad then said, “this is the one that roamed our village, and ate our lives stock, and countless human, and can disguise as human such as your mom, trying to trick you to go down, so it can then eat you.”If dad didn’t warn me last night, I couldn’t imagine what would happen to me, just the thought gave me chills and goose bumps.’

Pran Thou bragged, ‘after that, everything were back to normal because my dad killed the Siar Saming with his Yant riffle (blessed by Monh or black magic), this one.’ He once again held up the classic riffle, ‘with his own hand, and I was there and saw the whole thing with my own two eyes.’

This was the story told by Pran Thou, and if you ever have a chance to visit his villiage, you might get to meet him and hear this same story, it was the legend of the Siar Saming. There’s a saying in Lao/Thai that “Sip Paak Vought Bor Tor Song Ta Hen ( 10 words of mouth are not the same as seeing it with your own 2 eyes), so you decide for yourself as to how true the story is, or was it just a legend…as for me, I wish I was there.