The theft of a duck during the early hours of Friday morning has had a profound effect on one local community, setting tongues wagging amid suspicions as to who the culprits might eventually turn out to be.
The audacious nature of the crime, thought to have been committed between the hours of 1am and 3am, has stunned the commune of Tapon near Battambang, but not into silence.
Today, jaws are aching after many of the local residents undertook a major investigation, based solely, it has to be said, on their 'local knowledge' and past experiences of this or that person who 'probably fits the bill'.
The duck was the property of Nem, a kind, trusting man who allowed his ducks to roam free during the night, knowing they'd still be there at dawn, if they had any sense. The ducks appreciated this, and stayed where they were.
A woman said:
"I bet it's Cham. He's the type!"
Another woman, whose teeth were browny-red, disagreed:
"Nah. Deng did it. He likes duck, and so does his wife. She's a right bitch!"
A policeman arrived to take details, and left five minutes later, after offering his tuppenceworth:
"There's been a lot of 'fowl play' just lately. Did you see what I did there?"
Nobody did. He went on:
"Pran has started selling duck eggs, but he didn't use to have a duck, so that's odd. And someone heard some 'quacking' coming from behind Kimtou's house, but when we investigated, we found nothing, apart from some feathers."
"It's called 'down'," somebody said.
The nocturnal naughtiness, coupled with Nem's naïvetie, has now unsettled the neighborhood, and made for nervous night-times.
Asked about the situation from their perspective, and whether or not they felt under threat from further theft, the ducks said: