In the latest of a series of bizarre, unlikely, and, quite frankly, barely-believable occurences in the Battambang commune of Tapon, a wheel has fallen off a tractor, injuring nobody but itself.
The tractor, once yellow but now mostly rust-colored, was being driven along the road to Battambang early this morning by a local farmer who clearly hadn't heard of 'vehicle maintenance'.
The left rear wheel - one of the big ones - suddenly broke away from its axle about 30 yards from a school, leaving the tractor leaning precariously across the road, as if it were lying in wait for a passing schoolchild to eat.
Panic broke out. The farmer looked around to see what the problem was, then grinned at a motorcyclist who was also grinning, having narrowly avoided being flattened by the escaped wheel. Children going into school screamed - in glee - they'd not seen anything quite like this since the last time it happened, in March. A dog barked - once.
The farmer finished smoking his cigarette, then carefully climbed down from his cab and took a closer look at the busted wheel, which lay still, in silent agony, about 20 feet behind the stricken tractor.
After this inspection, he fetched two small branches (with leaves) from the side of the road, and placed one behind the vehicle, and one in front of it, to 'warn' other road users of its huge presence. It's thought that, without this pertinent warning, other drivers and motorcyclists may well have plowed straight into the tractor, with horrifying results.
This done, he spoke to a man in a group of people that had come to look at the fun, and that man got on a motorbike and left the scene, grinning as he went. The farmer lit a cigarette, and sat down on the low wall that surrounds the school to wait for help, or the end of time, whichever came first.