Pema Dorji has a story, of mule’s egg in Trashiyangtse. There is total silence in the room. The mule’s egg came to the museum in Paro in 1928. How it did, no one really knows. But then the believe is that Tshongpon Wangdi, a businessman, had two mules, Kezang Jamu and Tshering Jawla.
“The two mules were extraordinary, well built with amazing strength,” says Pema Dorji. Each could carry loads that five horses could carry. “The mules were his companions, his treasured possessions”, said Pema Dorji.
Silence reverberates through the room. Tshongpa Wangdi came back from his business trip to Gudama, present day Mela Bazaar in Daranga, India. It was early in the morning. The rays of the sun had just touched the village. Kezang Jamu stood close to a big stone, some distance away from the stable, facing west. Then the beast suddenly shivered in an unusual way, and for a long. It brayed and at the end of it all was an egg that came out.
Tshongpon Wangdi’s wife, Tandin, who observed from a distance, came to check on the mule. She discovered a steaming egg on a flat rock near the mule. The mule was dead by then. She lifted the egg. It was heavy and hot. She had to put it back on the flat rock.
In time, Tshongpon Wangdi lost his last surviving mule. But his business prospered and his popularity grew, making him the richest man in the neighbourhoods. And there were people who wanted to steal the egg. So Tshongpon Wangdi decided to offer the egg to Trashigang Dzongpon Sey Dopola in 1938. From Trashigang, it was transferred to the museum in Ta dzong, Paro, in 1968.
“But the departure from the egg spelled misfortune for Tshongpon Wangdi’s family, and they become poor,” says Pema Dorji. “ Sources also say that while all the neighbouring villages had been struck by the deadly epidemic of smallpox, Wangdi’s family remained unharmed”.
The sons and daughters of tshongpa Wangdi and Tandin told this story to their children. So the story of the mule egg has survived. Pema Dorji gathered most of the information from the direct descendants tshongpon Wangdi. Other sources were also consulted.
“It is important that a history of the egg’s origin is recorded before it becomes difficult to get the firsthand information,” says Pema Dorji. “There is no written record.” The actual place where the mule laid an egg is just few hours’ drive from Gomkora on the Trashigang-Trashiyangtse highway.
The museum’s curator, Singye Samdrup, said that the exhibit has been one of the most interesting things with tourists. “Listening to this story of its origin, similar tales of a dragon’s egg and a jachung’s egg found in the temples do not seem far-fetched,” said a student from Yoezerling Higher Secondary School in Paro.
The presentation was one of the 20 studies discussed with a panel of experts at a three-day colloquium in Paro that is funded by the Danish government.