Suan Serithai

It is rainy season now and it has been bucketing down here. Loud thunder claps were going off nearby and the soi was full of big puddles. But now it has stopped and I can walk to the market for lunch. I walk down my soi and cross Thannon Serithai. Instead of going straight to the market I decide today to go through the park.

I live opposite Suan Serithai and love it very much. I come here almost everyday to run or use the gym equipment that is provided free by the government and some of the local residents. The other day as I entered the park for a walk I saw a squirrel running up a tree. Today I see a medium sized lizard just inside the gate. I look at him, he looks at me. As I go closer for a better look he dives into the lake to get away from me. I keep on walking. There are lots of sparrows and little fan- tailed birds dancing about.

It is almost 2km around the walking path. I go over the large bridge and stop half way over. The big fish are jumping today and giving me a good view of them. They seem happy with the rain. The turtles seem less happy and are sitting up out of the water. I watch them for a few minutes and then keep on walking. A man rides past on a bike, he smiles and says hello. Almost all the people I walk past always smile and many say hello (Sawat Dii) and quite often people stop and talk also. Thai people are very friendly.

As I go a bit further I see a small animal, about the size of a sparrow moving in the grass ahead of me. I don’t take much notice, but as I get closer it doesn’t fly away like a sparrow would. I look down. It is a small fish. How did it get here? WOW! It was raining very heavily, but was it so heavy that it was raining fish? A bird could have dropped it. There are lots of birds flying around in the park but I have never seen one, in the park, big enough to carry this fish. I don’t know. Maybe the Monitor Lizards dropped it here? But they could swallow this fish in a gulp, so why would they drop it? I can’t see any around and there are not many people here to scare them into dropping a fish. I don’t know.

Anyway, I pick it up. It slips out of my hands. I pick the fish up again and take it and put it in the water. I keep on walking.

Around the next bend I see 3 monitor lizards. 1 medium sized one and 2 big ones that are in an embrace. I have never seen them hug each other like that, with their front two legs wrapped around each other’s chests. Are they fighting or hugging? So, maybe it was the lizards that dropped the fish. The man on the bike rides past again but this time stops and chats. He tells me what these lizards are called in Thai language and mentions that it means bad luck if they come inside your house. Hmmm, they are big, so I think it would be very bad luck if they came into my small 1 bedroom apartment. The man has a son who studied in Melbourne. He met a Japanese lady there and they are married, now living in Bangkok. The man also has a daughter. She is a receptionist in a hotel. The man’s wife is at work. It is very easy to make friends with Thai people. The man rides off. I keep walking.

After a while the man appears again and stops and talks some more. He says I am very friendly looking. He goes again to do another lap and I keep walking. Now, near the end of my walk, I see a small animal about the size of a mouse moving on the path ahead of me. As I get closer it moves into the puddle. It is another fish. Hmmm, OK, it wasn’t the lizards that dropped the last one. The banks of the lake are very big and it would take a big jump for these little fish to get out of the pond and onto the ground. But I think this is what they have done. My theory is that these little fish, after heavy rain, jump from their homes into the puddles and perhaps into the next lake or river. In the wild this would help this species populate other rivers and lakes and would improve the chances of survival of the species. Now I think they did not come down with the rain, the birds did not drop them and neither did the monitor lizards. The fish are ‘programmed’ to jump from one water source to another, after heavy rains produce puddles and swell the rivers and lakes.

I pick this one up. It slips out. I pick it up again and put it back in the lake. I hope my theory is correct and I am not hurting the little fish by putting it back in the lake, but it cannot survive in that puddle. I keep on walking, in the Moo Baan and to the markets to get some lunch. I love it in Thailand. It is a beautiful place, filled with fascinating creatures and wonderful people.

Does anyone what these little fish are? Do you think my theory is correct?

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