Image by Lothar Dieterich from Pixabay

Long ago, there was a family living near Cerucuk River. The family was very poor and could only live from hand to mouth. The family members went to seek leaves and fruits in the forest and sold them in the market every day.

The husband and wife had a son called Si Kulup and he was very glad to help his parents. Though they were poor, they never felt unpleasant suffering.

One day, Si Kulup’s father (Pak Kulup) went to find bamboo shoots. While he was cutting the bamboo sprouts, he saw a walking stick in the bamboo trees. He was about to throw the walking stick away and suddenly saw that it was ornamented with diamonds and precious gems. He was so surprised and felt lucky.

Pak Kulup’s hands were trembling and he said to himself, “This is the sign of good fortune! Is this the walking stick of Prophet Suleiman or is it the treasure from olden days? My God! I’ll be a rich man.”

Pak Kulup’s heart was beating like a hammer along the way back home. When he reached home, he saw his son (Si Kulup) was sleeping, while his wife had gone to visit the next door neighbor.

Pak Kulup asked his son to call his mother, but his son didn’t want to. Si Kulup had just finished pulling firewood cart, so he felt very tired. He didn’t know his father had brought a precious walking stick home.

At dinner time, the family sat together, talking about the precious walking stick. Pak Kulup suggested that they should keep the walking stick safely. Perhaps somebody would come to want it back.

Mak Kulup (Pak kulup’s wife) said, “Where should we keep it? We don’t have cupboard.”

Si Kulup said, “It’s better to sell it, so we don’t need to keep it.”

Finally, they agreed to sell it. The parents asked their son to go to foreign country to sell the walking stick. Si Kulup left his village and not long after that, the walking stick was sold at extremely high price.

Si Kulup became a merchant and he didn’t want to go back to his village. He chose to live abroad as he was fond of making friends with businessmen.

Si Kulup and his wife lived a nice life, he had already forgotten his parents who asked him to sell the walking stick.

One day, the father in law asked Si Kulup to expand his business overseas. Si Kulup and his wife bought a big merchant ship and hired a great number of sailors. They said goodbye to everyone and hoped God would bless their business with success.

Si Kulup suddenly recalled his hometown and he intended to pay a short visit there. While they arrived, they cast anchor at Cerucuk River. It was very crowded on the ship because they brought a lot of chickens, ducks, swans and birds.

The parents heard that their son (Si Kulup) had returned. They were very glad as they had been longing to see him for years. Both the parents brought Si Kulup’s favorite food, such as ketupat, bamboo shoots, fried catfish, etc to the merchant ship.

After stepping on the ship, the parents went to meet their son. Si Kulup was a rich merchant now and he felt ashamed to see his parents. He asked his men to drive his parents out of the ship. Si Kulup also threw away the food brought by his parents.

Pak Kulup and his wife felt much humiliated, they left the ship quickly. Not only had they been humiliated, they received the rough speech from their son as well.

Si Kulup’s mother could hardly control her anger. She was very shock to have such an experience. She called down a curse, “If the merchant is our beloved son and he doesn’t want to accept us as his parents, God will curse the ship to sink in the sea.”

Having finished saying so, Si Kulup’s father and mother went home with their heart filled with extreme grief and sorrow.

Shortly after the ship left the harbor, there came the miracle that caused the sea to turn rough. Strong waves hit the merchant ship forcefully. The ship began to shake heavily, causing great panic to the passengers. At last, the ship tipped over and sank to the bottom of the sea.

A few days later, a small island resembling the shape of a ship revealed itself to view at the spot where the merchant ship sank. It is said that strange sounds of animals can sometimes be heard near the island. It is also believed that the howls and cries are the sounds of the animals that sank together with the merchant ship in the wavy sea. That’s why people call the island The Ship Island.


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