Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mentiko Buah - From Aceh

A long time ago, there was a kingdom in Simeulue, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. The king and the queen had a son, Prince Rohib. They loved the prince very much and they always gave him anything he wanted. That’s why the prince grew as a spoiled young man. The prince was then sent to study in a school. The King told him to study seriously. But because the prince was used to be spoiled, he couldn’t finish his study in time. The King was so angry. He realized his mistake. He wanted to give the prince a lesson. He then ordered the prince to leave the palace and became a merchant. "I will give you some money. Use the money only for trading. Don't come back until you are rich!" said the king. 

Prince Rohib was sad. He knew his father was angry with him because he was a spoiled boy. He then promised himself that he could become a great merchant. After he left the palace, he went to a village. While he was walking, he saw some kids were trying to shoot a bird using their slingshots. “Stop… Don't hurt the bird!” Rohib tried to stop the kids. “Hey, it’s none of your business,” replied one of the kids. “I'll give you some money if you stop hurting the bird," said Rohib. After that, he gave some money to those kids. 

Later on his journey, Rohib saw some men were torturing a snake. Again, he asked them to stop hurting the snake. He also gave them some money. He kept on giving some money to people who tortured animals. Finally he ran out of money. He was so worried. He knew he could not become a merchant without any money in his pocket. He was also scared of going home. He knew that his father would be very angry at him. 

The prince then went to the forest because he didn’t know anywhere to go. He was so tired, so he took some rest. While he was sitting under a big tree, a giant snake came to him. He was so scared. “Don't worry, young man. I will not eat you,” said the giant snake. “You…you can talk? Who are you?” Rohib asked. “I am the king of snakes in this jungle. I heard you helped many animals from being tortured. Now, I want to give you a gift. This is Mentiko Betuah. This magical stone can give you anything you want." Then the snake went deep into the forest. The prince was very happy. He asked the Mentiko Betuah to give him a lot of money. Then he went home and told his father that the money was from his business as a merchant. 

Rohib kept the Mentiko Betuah carefully. He then went to a goldsmith and asked him to make the magical stone as a ring. But the goldsmith stole the Mentiko Betuah. Luckily Rohib had made friends to the animals. He asked a cat, a dog, and a mouse to help him find Mentiko Betuah. The dog followed the smell of the goldsmith, and they found his hideaway. However they could not enter his house because it was locked. Only the mouse was small enough to enter through a small hole in the door. 

After waiting for a moment, the mouse came out of the house. He said he could not find the magical stone. After that they all went back to the palace. The cat and the dog did not know that the mouse actually had found the magical stone. He was hiding it in his mouth. The mouse then gave the Mentiko Betuah to the prince. Rohib was so happy and said that the mouse was the hero. The cat and the dog were jealous and angry. They knew that the mouse had tricked them. According to the local people, that’s why until now cats and dogs always tried to catch mice.


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