After the closing of the puppet production of the episode of The Battle of the Red Cliff from The Three Kingdoms, in the small auditorium of theThailand Cultural Centre in 1990, with enormous success, the cast and crew, having worked together for quite some time, missed seeing each other. Particularly, our much revered senior mastersKhru Cheun Sakulkaew, Khru Boonyong Ketkong, Khru Boonyang Ketkong and Khru Chamnian Srithaipanwere sorely missed when we parted ways.

          Chakrabhand Posayakrit, the troupe master, invited the cast and crew to meet, have lunch and converse cordially.

          Khru Boonyong told me,

          Tong, youd better write a new script so we can play together againNot that I want to get paid for itbut it could be a lot of fun.

          I said, I want to do it too, Teacher, but I cant think of a new play to do. Im afraid it wont be as good as The Three Kingdoms.

          How about Taleng Phai, Tong? I think its quite good, with a nice flavour of Mon and Myanmar,

          Khru Prayong Kitnithet (Sergeant Kai), our leather percussionist, suggested strongly. Both Ajarn Chakrabhand and I remember him saying this. I said yes half-heartedly but was not very confident that I would have the intellect to write it as well as my Three Kingdoms. But I felt the strong gratitude I owed to King Naresuan. My mind was already inclined toward this project.

Vallabhis Sodprasert
Translated by Nopamat Veohong