Jan 18, 2010

Long Horn

Baby is the most adorable creature in the world. Baby can cry loudly in the middle of the night, pees at your lap while you’re holding him, poops wherever he wants and you still call him “what a cute little baby.”

Baby plays many roles in the society. For some people, having baby boy is more proudly than having a baby girl. Baby boy is believed as the heir of family name and a leader of the family. Baby boy is also believed as a great investment to gain wealthy and social status.

So when this baby boy comes to the world, this little family is very excited. The status of the family will rise.

This baby is born healthy. He has a beautiful smile and soft skin. But there is something unusual on his head. It’s like a horn stuck on his forehead. His parents look shocking. They think the baby is an evil.

“We can’t have him. He’s a devil. Look at his horn.” the father says. This night is a sad night for the baby. His father puts him in a blanket. It covers his body from head to his little feet. Then he grabs a basket near him and puts the baby in it. The baby is sleeping, not knowing what his father does to him. The father takes the basket to the river. He looks at the baby again, wonders if he’s making a mistake. But the horn on baby’s head covers his conscience. He is too afraid. He puts bowl filled with rice and an egg next to baby’s head. Then the basket is flowing away to the river.

The father doesn’t know that there is a girl following him from his house to the river. She is hiding behind big tree watching him flows a baby to the river. When the father leaves, she comes out. Under a moon light, she looks worried and afraid. She is trying to reach the basket but it’s too far from her hand. The basket flows through the river, getting far from the edge. The girl follows the basket from the edge of the river.

Whenever the baby’s crying, she sings to the basket”my baby brother, don’t worry. Your sister’s here. You’re not alone. If you’re hungry, eat the rice in the bowl.”

For couple days, she has followed the basket. The egg has broken and a chick comes out of it. The chick then becomes the baby’s friend.

One day, the basket is stuck in a branch of tree on the water. The girl reaches the basket. She gets the baby out of it and takes the bowl and the chicken with her.

They stay near the river. If they’re hungry, she cooks the rice or gets fruits in the forest.

As they’ve grown, the chicken has become a rooster. It’s a dashing rooster. It has large wings and great crest. Now they decide to go out from the forest, try to find a better luck in another land.

They walk through the forest to near village. When they get there, the guards of the gate don’t let them in. “You look weird. You got curse or something?” The guards look at the boy’s head.

“No, I just have unusual thing in my head. But it’s not a curse or anything. Please, let us pass.” the boy said.

“I see you have a rooster” the guard is checking the boy’s bag. A rooster’s head comes out from the bag. “It’s a nice rooster. I’ll let you pass if you can win the cockfighting” he gets his rooster and put it to the ground. “But if you lose, your rooster is mine and you are going to be my slave.” the guard gives his condition.

“Ok. If I win this bet, you’ll let us in” the boy gets his rooster out of his bag and put it to the ground. Other people are swarming to see the cockfighting. They also put their money on the rooster.

The roosters are face to face on the ground. When the guard gives mark, they start to fight. The boy’s rooster pecks the guard’s rooster. The blood comes out of rooster’s head. The guard looks unpleased with his rooster. The gamblers are shouting. The guard’s rooster is knockdown. The boy wins the bet. The guards let them pass and give the money from the bet.

When they arrive at another village, the same thing happens. The guards want to bet the rooster as their condition for entering the village. And if the boy wins, he’ll get the money from the bet. The boy put his rooster to the ground and the cockfight begins. The boy’s rooster attacks the guard’s rooster. It doesn’t give a change for the opponent to fight back. The boy’s rooster wins easily. So they enter the village with lots money in their pocket.

They rest at a drink place. A waiter takes their order. He looks at them and asks “I’ve never seen you before. Where are you from?”

“We come from a distance.” the boy said.

“What is that on your head?” the waiter looks amazed.

“It’s like a horn. I’ve got this since I was born” then the boy starts telling their story. The waiter listens well.

“I heard a story about devil’s kid when I was a boy.” the waiter said. ”There was a rumor about a boy born with a horn on his forehead. A midwife told me long time ago. But the parents deny that it was their boy. They said their son was died. This family was rich but now everything had gone. They’re just a poor old couple” the waiter ends his story. 

The boy is shock hearing the waiter’s story. It’s probably his life story.

“Where are they?” the boy asks curious.

“They live not far from here. Just follow the road, you’ll get there.” the waiter says.

They continue walking and follow the road just like the waiter said. At the end of the road, there is a house covers with high bushes. The roof is almost unrecognized. The house looks abandoned. It’s like nobody lives there. But there’s an old man comes out. The girl looks surprise. She remembers that face. It’s old but that the face of her father.

“Father... “the girl calls him.

The old man looks surprise seeing his daughter out side the door. And he looks more shock when he sees the boy next to her, a boy with a horn on his forehead. Suddenly his tears come out from his eyes. Terrible regrets fill his heart. He remembers what he did long time ago to his son.

“My son... I’m sorry” he holds the boy.

The boy is just standing there. His heart is cold with sad and anger. He doesn’t say anything, just staring the old man.

In children story book I red, the boy didn’t forgive his parents. He left them like they left him. The parents regretted until they died.

Now, to me, that doesn’t sound a good ending. I know what they did was terrible. Loving money and status more than their son is just mean. But fighting with parents just makes you more miserable, either you’re right or wrong. You know, people do mistakes all the time, sometime the mistake is worst and hard to forgive. But when they already regret it and ask for your forgiveness, you should forgive them, right? Do you know regret is a killer? Live with guilty feeling is really killing you slowly. It really does. So give your forgiveness. It’s a noble thing to do.

So, in this story, I like if the ending is like this: the boy forgives his father. They’re together again, forget the whole thing and start a new life. And this time, the rooster has company. They breed hen and start a chicken farm. But it’s not for cockfighting, only for eggs and meat.

Cockfighting is not a good way of making money. It looks easy and fun but it also brings many negative consequences. It tortures your rooster. You get sin for that and betting. You become lazy and your money will lose easily.

Jan 7, 2010

To Dilaling

Once upon a time, kingdom of Napo was ruled by a crazy king called King Balanipa. The king thought that the kingdom was his little toy so he could play what ever he wanted. He could order anything to anyone and no body would against him. Since he know that power was very sweet, he got too much and drunk. The king became very irrational and lived in afraid. He didn’t trust anyone. He always thought someone would take his throne. He protected it very tight and wouldn’t let anyone got change to rule the kingdom. And because of this crazy irrational thought, he killed his sons so there was no heir in his kingdom. (It reminds me of Pharaoh’s story)

One day, the queen got pregnant again. She got feeling it was a boy. She was afraid that the king would kill him. So she asked the court adviser to protect the baby. ”Please, I need you to save him. If the king knows his baby is a boy, he will kill him.” the queen begged.” I can’t see him die” her eyes started to cry. She couldn’t stand thinking about her baby’s fate. It was just too tragic.

The adviser, Puang Mosso, was a kind person. He couldn’t let an innocent baby died because his crazy father was drunk by power. He thought something, something that might save the baby.

When the baby’s date was getting closer, Puang Mosso persuaded the king to go hunting. ”It’s a hunting season, my King. There are many dears to hunt. The clouds are clear. It’s a perfect time. You don't want to miss them, do you?” Puang Mosso organized his words carefully. “Don’t worry about the queen. I’ll guard her with my soul.”

The king liked hunting. So when Puang Mosso put those words in his ears, he couldn’t reject. ”You are right, Puang Mosso. It’s perfect time.”

“Prepare a horse for me. I’m going for hunting” he ordered his guards.

While his guards prepared the hunting equipments, the king talked quietly to his adviser “Puang Mosso, when the baby is born, I want you to make sure it is a girl. If it is a boy, you have to eliminate him. There is no room for a boy in my palace.”

“Yes, my king” Puang Mosso answered.

In the middle of the night, the queen was giving birth to a baby boy. He was handsome but he had a really dark and hairy tongue. The queen gave the baby to Puang Mosso. “Save him.” She begged.

“Don’t worry, my queen. I’ll save him” Puang Mosso put him in a blanket and brought him outside the palace. Puang Mosso then smeared blood from the birth to his dog nose and sent it to the king in the forest. The king believed that the baby was eliminated.

Meanwhile the baby was treated by Puang Mosso’s trusted people. He grew as a healthy boy. Puang Mosso was afraid that the boy was founded by the king so he sent him to Salemo Island, away from Napo hill.

As the boy grew, he became strong little guy. He liked running and climbing tree. One day, when he climbed a tree, a large black hawk gripped him and took him far away. It was hanging him for couple hours. When the hawk got exhausted, it released him in the middle of paddy field. The farmers were amazed when they saw a child dropping off by hawk. One of them reported him to the King.

“My King, there was a boy in my field. He came from the sky, dropping off by large black hawk. He must be God’s son” the farmer said.

“Hmmm… Bring him to me” the King ordered. The king turned out to be the King of Gowa. The king looked the boy. He turned the boy, checked every little detail of his body. When he saw the boy’s tongue, he was surprised “He is not just a boy. He must bring luck for this kingdom”

“Get him food and clothes. Teach him everything he needs to know. He’s going to be Gowa’s soldier” The King ordered.

Under King’s surveillance, the boy learned to fight. Soon he became young soldier. He was smart so he could easily understand all the lessons that had been taught. He was agile too. No wonder he became the best soldier in his class. When he was old enough, the King sent him to war. Because of his braveness and smart tactics, they always won the wars. The King then made him as his General. The Gowa’s King knighted him as I Manyambungi.

As time went by, King Balanipa died. How hard he tried to hold the throne, it would go to another person. Nothing would last forever, not even your breath. The throne had a new king. King Lego ruled Napo. I’m not sure how he got it since King Balanipa didn’t have heir. Maybe there was power struggle among them, and then King Lego killed King Balanipa, I don’t know. Leave it to historians, ok.

Unfortunately, King Lego was nothing different then the old King Balanipa. He was drunk by power too. He killed people like he killed ants. The people of Balanipa lived in terror. They wanted to fight but the King Lego and his men were too strong for them. Their fights were easily defeated. They then decided to get some help from another Kingdom. They heard about the great General of Gowa, the powerful man who won every battle. They sent someone to ask help.

The messenger met I Manyambungi. He said his aim and hoped I Manyambungi wanted to help them.

“Where are you from, Sir?” I Manyambungi asked his guess.

“I’m from Napo.” The man said.

Hearing the word ‘Napo’, I Manyambungi stood. His mind went to his childhood. He remembered Puang Mosso, the old man who always protected him. “It had been a long time since I met him. Puang Mosso must have gray hair now” I Manyambangi thought about Puang Mosso.

“King Lego is very cruel. We live in tyranny. We can’t fight him. He’s too strong. Will you help us?” the messenger asked.

“If you want my help, there’s one thing you must do.” I Manyambungi said.

“What is it?” the man asked.

“Bring Puang Mosso here. Then we can talk about help you need” I Manyambangi said his condition.

The messenger went home. All the people surrounding him wondered about the news he brought. The messenger then told about the condition that I Manyambungi asked.

“Why he wanted Puang Mosso?” another person asked.

“I don’t know. Defeating King Lego is not easy. Puang Mosso is the greatest man that this Kingdom ever had. Maybe Puang Mosso is the price he wants.” the other man said.

“It could be. So Puang Mosso, what do you think?” the people asked.

“I’ll do what ever it takes for my kingdom. If my soul can bring the joy to this kingdom, I’ll do it” Puang Mosso said with no doubt on his voice. He was ready and confident.

Then Puang Mosso ready to go to Gowa Kingdom. He was accompanied by several soldiers. When he got there, he met I Manyambangi but he didn’t recognized the little baby he was saved.

“I Manyambangi, I’m Puang Mosso. I ‘ll give you my soul for exchange of your help.” Puang Mosso gave his honor to I Manyambangi.

I Manyambangi stood in front of Muang Posso. He was staring at him. He recognized the face and the voice of Muang Posso. “Muang Posso, didn’t you remember me?” I Manyambangi asked.

Muang Posso got surprised with the question. He looked I Manyambangi carefully, trying to recognize the young man who standing in front of him. But his old head couldn’t think of anyone he knew. “I’m sorry I can’t remember you. Have we met?” Puang Mosso asked.

“Do you remember this?” I Manyambangi stick his tongue out. Puang Mosso was surprised saw a dark and hairy tongue. He remembered that tongue. It was tongue of King Balanipa’s son that he saved long time ago.

“It’s you. Oh, my king’s son. You still live” Puang Mosso hold I Manyambangi. “You’ve became a great man now. I’m so proud of you”

“Puang Mosso, tell me about the kingdom.” I Manyambangi said.

Puang Mosso told I Manyambangi about King Balanipa and King Lego. I Manyambangi decided to take over Napo. He gathered his army and attacked Napo.

With his super power, I Manyambangi defeated King Lego. I Manyambangi ruled Napo and made the Kingdom wealthy. Because I Manyambangi moved back from Gowa to Napo, South Sulawesi, he was known as To Dilaling. It means person who moved.