THE CHICKEN COOP ISLAND

Photo: https://pixabay.com/en/farm-hen-animal-beak-portrait-3497929/
There was once a Koranic reading and traditional self defence arts teacher called Tuk Solop. He was an old man with luxuriant white beard. When he walked, he usually needed a walking stick which had been given by his late master. He was a holy man who was well known throughout the country.

He was very humble even though he possessed the divine power and a good knowledge of Koran. He was very courteous in conversation. He loved the young and respected the old. He had a lot of disciples from all over the country.

However, there was no one came to him and wished to be his disciple after the seventh full moon of that year. He was quite alone as all his disciples who passed the test had gone.

In the meantime, there was a young man called Katung Swordsman who lived in Serimba village not far from Solop beach. He was very capable in martial arts and his double blade dagger was able to produce the thunder-like noise and flash lightning. His body was invulnerable to all kinds of weapons. He was very proud of himself and always looked down on others. He had quite a dozen disciples and faithful body guards.

Katung Swordsman was a rich man because he always won the cockfight gamble. His fighting cock was the best of all and had never been defeated. There were tons of fighting cocks died under the attacks of his invincible super cock. That was why he was extremely popular everywhere.

The young and proud swordsman had a beautiful younger sister, her name was Suri. Actually, Suri was the daughter of a cockfight gambler who was killed by the swordsman’s body guards in Serimba woods. The swordsman took the baby girl and brought her up.

One day, a wanderer came to Solop beach to learn martial arts. He heard that the old master was urgently seeking a faithful disciple to bequeath his knowledge because he would no longer live in the world and should go back to the side of Allah.

The wanderer felt puzzled as there was nobody found when he reached the beach of Solop. He saw that the white sandy beach was so beautiful and heard the sound of waves breaking the silence of the night.

“Why is nobody here? Where is the master?” the wanderer said in his mind.

After taking a careful look around there, he still couldn’t find the master he wanted to meet. As he was very tired after a long journey, he sat under a tree enjoying the gentle blow of the wind and kept watching the waves rolled in to the beach.

While he was admiring the beauty of the surroundings in the silver moonlight, he suddenly saw someone at the distance walking towards him. He felt pleased after seeing that.

“Is he the master I’m looking for?” he said to himself.

The wanderer’s heart was filled with admiration and doubt when that person came closer to him. It was a girl and perhaps she was the most beautiful one he had ever met.

“Wow, how beautiful the girl is! Isn’t she the angel from heaven?” he said in his heart.

The wanderer remained silent while the girl greeted him with a charming smile and asked eloquently. He was much mesmerized and stood like a statue.

“Where do you want to go, sir? It seems that you’re a stranger.”

The wanderer stared at the girl. He thought she was the ghost who was eager to disturb him. It was impossible that a beautiful girl lived alone in a quiet place.

“Why do you stare at me like that? Please, don’t be scared. I’m also a human being like you,” she tried to explain everything to make the wanderer believe.

“Is it true? Then why do you stay alone in such a quiet place?” the wanderer asked seriously as he wanted to clear all his doubts.

It’s true, sir. My name is Suri. I live by side of the woods. My village is over there,” said the girl, pointing to the North.

All the doubts in the wanderer’s heart vanished after hearing the girl’s explanation, yet he still looked at her without batting an eye.

“Oh, please don’t stare at me like that. It’s scary.” said the girl.

“Sorry, I’m so admired with your beauty. There’s no one as beautiful as you in my country,” praised the wanderer.

“Wow, I feel shy after hearing that.” she said.

“Oh yeah, my name is Bujang Kelana,” the wanderer introduced himself.

“May I know why you’re here and where are you from?” asked the girl.

“I’m a wanderer and I would like to learn martial arts. I’ve heard that a master intended to seek a faithful disciple to bequeath all his knowledge. Do you know who the master is?” he asked.

“Yes, I do. Here was the master named Tuk Solop. He went away after all his disciples had gone to Katung Swordsman to learn martial arts,” the girl replied.

“Katung Swordsman? I think I’ve ever heard that name. Do you know him, Miss?” he asked curiously.

Bujang Kelana was very surprised to see the girl run away without answering his question. It seemed that the girl was keeping something secret.

“Suri….! Why are you running away?” he shouted loudly.

“Come back, I haven’t finished asking you,” he shouted again.

“If you want to ask, please come back tomorrow morning,” the girl replied while she was running.

Bujang Kelana couldn’t understand why the girl ran away after hearing the name Katung Swordsman. “What’s happened to Suri? Have I said something insulted her?” he said to himself and looked at the girl quickly running to the woods.

After the girl disappeared in the shades of evening, Bujang Kelana decided to leave that place. When he started to step forwards, an old man suddenly came out of the bushes. The old man walked unsteadily with his walking stick. Bujang Kelana was very frightened while he saw the old man approach him.

“Hi, young man. Don’t be afraid. I heard all about the conversation. The girl is Katung Swordsman’s sister,” said the blind Datuk (Datuk = grandpa, old man).

“Why did she run away after I asked about her brother?” asked Bujang Kelana.

“Katung Swordsman is a brave and powerful young man. However, he doesn’t use his supernatural power for goodness. He uses all his black magic for torturing people. He’s also interested in cockfight. He stakes everything as well as his own life in gamble,” said the Datuk.

“Oh yeah, young man. Who’re you and why are you here?” asked the old man.

“I come here and wish to learn martial arts from Tuk Solop,” answered Bujang Kelana.

“Oh…. I see,” the old man nodded his head.

“Do you know where he is?” Bujang kelana asked the blind Datuk.

“Tuk Solop has left this place for a long time. I don’t know where he has gone. He left because there was no one wished to learn martial arts from him. People being persuaded by Katung Swordsman hate the old master a lot. Actually, he had long been seeking a faithful disciple to bequeath his knowledge of martial arts, but there was no one wanted to be his disciple. At last, he went away and no one knows where he has gone.”

The blind Datuk felt through his sixth sense that someone was approaching towards them, so the old man took his leave hastily.

“Why did the people I met go away hastily? It’s strange enough, isn’t it?” Bujang Kelana was so surprised at what he had seen.

It was true as what the old man felt by his instinct. Later on, Bujang Kelana saw that Suri was running back to him.

“Help me, sir! Help me, sir!” she shouted in a scared voice and gasped for breath.

“What’s happened to you? Did you say that you would come here the next day?” he asked doubtfully.

“Katung Swordsman wants to marry me. I heard him say the wedding would be at the end of this month,” answered Suri, turning her head backward to make sure whether the swordsman was following her.

“How come! Isn’t he your brother?” Bujang Kelana asked surprisingly.

“Please, don’t ask so much. We’ve to leave here immediately,” Suri said and drew his hand.

Bujang Kelana couldn’t do anything except run away in a great hurry. After they were in a safe place, Suri then told Bujang Kelana that she wasn’t Katung Swordsman’s sister. Her mother died while she was a baby and she was under the care of her father. However, her father was badly influenced by Katung Swordsman. He often took the cockfight gamble and he was always the loser.

At last, her father went bankrupt. He lost all his property and became homeless. As there wasn’t anything which could be used for gambling, her father put his life in the game. But he was so unlucky and his fighting cock died in the middle of the cockpit. Then her father was tortured to death and was abandoned in the woods. Suri was then brought up by Katung Swordsman.

“I’m very sad for the death of your father, Suri!” Bujang Kelana said with sorrow after hearing the girl’s words.

Suddenly, the blind Datuk appeared in front of them at that very moment.

“Eh…. Sir Datuk. Why are you still here? You went away, didn’t you?” Bujang Kelana asked with surprise.

“I didn’t go away. I just hid in the bushes,” replied the blind Datuk.

“If what Suri said is right, it means that I’m her father,” he continued.

“What do you mean, sir?” Suri couldn’t believe her ears.

“It’s true, I’m your father. Your real name is Intan, but the immoral Katung Swordsman had changed your name. It doesn’t matter, because you’re known as Suri rather than Intan. From now on, your name is Intan Suri,” said the blind Datuk.

 “But why are you still alive? Katung Swordsman killed you in the woods, didn't he?” Suri shook her head because it sounded unbelievable.

“It’s a long story. I’ll tell you all about that after the immoral Katung Swordsman dies,” replied the blind Datuk.

Suri was sure that the blind Datuk was her father, so she hugged the old man and wept in his arms.

“I’m sorry, dear. Daddy plunged you in great misery,” the old man said with tears.

“It’s Ok, Dad. Let bygone and be bygone,” said Suri.

“Now, we have to make a strategic plan of how to eliminate the evil swordsman,” said the old man.

“But… the swordsman is very powerful and invulnerable,” Suri said with scare.

“There’s nothing to worry about. I’ve known his weakness,” said the blind Datuk in great confidence.

Afterwards, they discussed to one another and made a perfect strategy to get rid of the immoral swordsman. First of all, they planned to change Katung Swordsman’s fighting cock with a similar gamecock. Then, they would challenge the swordsman for a cockfight gamble.

The Super Cockfight was announced everywhere, all the villagers in Serimba village knew about it. The news also spread to the neighbouring villages and people were very hopeful that they could see the fight.

Finally, the day which had been waited for a long time had come. A huge number of people came to Serimba village to witness the most wonderful cockfight that they had never seen before. There were juries sitting at the either side of the cockpit to have a careful watch and give a fair judgement, and not long after that the fight began.

At first, the fight seemed to be in balance. Katung Swordsman’s ordinary cock was able to fight well. However, it was killed by the ferocious super cock and lay lifeless in the cockpit. Katung Swordsman was very surprised to see that, because he didn’t know his adopted sister (Suri) had changed his super cock. He felt very ashamed as the fight had been watched by a great deal of people from different villages.

“No….. It’s impossible that my cock would lose its fight,” shouted the swordsman.

Katung Swordsman then called his body guards to chase Bujang Kelana out of the village, because he couldn’t accept the defeat. Bujang Kelana then went back to meet Suri and her father at the beach of Solop.

“Guards…… go and catch that crazy bustard then take him back to me,” the swordsman shouted out angrily.

Katung Swordsman and ten of his body guards left the village to search for Bujang Kelana. On the white sand beach, the wanderer was threatened and he was attacked by some of the body guards. He fought with all his might to defend himself. At first, he was able to repulse the enemies’ attacks, but still he was hurt in the leg by a lance.

At the same time, the blind Datuk jumped out of the bushes and grasped Katung Swordsman’s neck from the back. The swordsman struggled hard to free himself. The grasp was too strong and tight, so that he couldn’t move anymore.

“Bujang Kelana, stab your knife in his stomach!” the blind Datuk shouted loudly.

“Bujang Kelana couldn’t stab his knife in time, because he was facing the fearful attacks from the body guards.

“Come quickly! His body will be pierced after being caught by a blind man,” the old man shouted again.

After knowing the weakness of the evil swordsman, Bujang Kelana began to fight bravely, some of the enemies were hurt and some fell on the grass. He acted fast and stabbed his knife in the swordsman’s body repeatedly. The evil swordsman was seriously hurt and lost all his power. The blind old man then threw the swordsman on the white sand.

“Hi….. Katung. Do you know who I am? I’m Suri’s father that you killed and left in the woods. However, God still took mercy on me and let me live until now,” said the old man.

“Your master saved my life and he told me your weakness as well,” he added.

The injured swordsman couldn’t say anything and he stopped breathing after a moment. The body guards ran away after seeing their master die.

“Thank you Kelana, you’ve helped me kill the immoral swordsman. Let’s go to meet Intan Suri!” said the old man.

Suddenly, Intan Suri crept out of the bushes with bloody body.

“What’s happened to you, Suri?” Bujang Kelana asked in panic.

“A body guard discovered that I was hiding in the bushes. He wanted to kill me as he knew I had changed his master’s cock,” Suri said in a low and weak voice.

“I’m so sad that we’ve to part soon. Perhaps we’re not predestined to be pair,” she said with tears wetted her cheeks.

“Please take care of the villagers in this village, guide them out of the evil and let them live in harmony,” she continued with a coughing voice.

Suri passed away after saying her last words. Bujang Kelana cried out for anguish and shouted at the top of his voice.

“INTAN SURI………………………….!”

When he stopped shouting, he was in silence and stared in his dead lover’s face with sorrow.

“She’s gone. I’m also very sad for my daughter’s death. I feel sinful as I couldn’t take care of her,” the blind man said with regret.

“It’s better to take her body to my hut at the hillside,” he continued.

Later, they buried Intan Suri’s dead body by the side of blind Datuk’s hut.

“Because Suri has gone forever, I would like to leave this village to forget my great sorrow,” Bujang Kelana said to the blind old man.

Having expressed his sadness, Bujang Kelana took the chicken coop and ran to Solop beach rapidly. After he reached there, he threw the coop in the sea with all his strength.

“I swear I won’t be back again, although the cage forms itself into an island!” he called out his word.

The wanderer left the beautiful Solop beach. He went everywhere without destination. He didn’t want to stay at the beach, because he was afraid of recalling the sad moment of his dead lover.

It is said that a few years after the leave of Bujang Kelana, the chicken coop which was thrown in the sea had really become an island. It faces Solop beach and people call it The Chicken Coop Island.

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