THE FOLKTALE OF PENYUMPIT AND PUTRI MALAM

Image by Erlian Zakia Ayu Anggarani from Pixabay

Long ago, there lived a young man called Penyumpit in a village in Bangka-Belitung. He lived in a little house left by his parents. His father often borrowed money from Pak Raje the village head when he was alive.

Pak Raje was a rich man but he was very cunning and stingy. The debts of Penyumpit’s father had never been paid off because Pak Raje always raised the interest rates. Though both the parents already passed away, Pak Raje never legally declared the debts void.

Penyumpit should pay his late father’s debts by taking care of Pak Raje’s rice field. As the harvest was coming, Penyumpit should safeguard the rice field day and night.

Pak Raje would fine him if the rice field got damaged. This was what Pak Raje told Penyumpit before going to the rice field. In fact, Pak Raje knew it was very likely that wild pigs would enter the paddy field and ate the crop.

When the harvest came, Penyumpit had to cut and gather the crop in the daytime and he should keep an eye out for the boars at night. It was an extremely hard work that caused lack of sleep.

Penyumpit did his work well during the week. On the eighth day, he saw a boar coming into the area of the rice field while he was sitting in the shack. He quickly grasped the hunting spear and threw forward powerfully in a straight line.

The boar roared painfully as the spear hurt its leg. Penyumpit ran to the boar but it escaped faster. Drops of blood were left on the ground.

Penyumpit followed the trail left by the animal until he went in the forest. He wanted to find out where the boars hid themselves. He walked deep in to the forest and he was frightened to see the boar he hurt transformed itself into a beautiful young lady. He stood like a log a few moments and couldn’t believe what he saw.

“Young lady, are you the boar I hurt?” asked Penyumpit.

“Yes, I transformed myself into a boar. My name is Putri Malam,” replied the young lady, whimpering in pain.

“I’m sorry, let me help you put some remedy on your wounded leg,” said Penyumpit.

Penyimput cleaned the wound and applied the remedy carefully. Putri Malam was able to walk the next day. She gave the young man the package containing onions, nyatoh fruit, simpor leaves and juice.

“Bear in mind that you can only open the package after returning home,” said Putri Malam.

Penyumpit was very surprised to see that there were gold, diamonds, gems, emeralds and other precious stones inside the box. He became wealthy instantly and didn’t know what to do with such riches.

Later, he went to Pak Raje’s house to pay his late father’s debts. He was also free from the hard work he had to do day and night.

Pak Raje could hardly believe that Penyumpit was able to pay all the debts. His eyes wide opened, wondering how the young man got so much money.

“Where did you get so much money? You stole somebody’s money, didn’t you?” asked Pak Raje.

“I don’t want to accept unlawful money,” he continued.

“I never steal, my money is lawful,” said Penyumpit.

“A kind hearted young lady gave me the money,” explained Penyumpit.

“Who’s that lady?” asked Pak Raje, narrowing his eyes.

Penyumpit explained all that had happened the previous night. He also told Pak Raje that all the things in the parcel had changed in gold and silver. Pak Raje was very interested in the easiest way to hunt treasure.

Pak Raje silently did what Penyumpit had done before. He wanted to watch his paddy field himself and speared a boar that went into it. Pak Raje was willing to follow a wounded boar to the forest as Penyumpit successfully did. He wanted to help the boar cure its wound to hope that he would get a large amount of money.

In the evening, Pak Raje went to safeguard his paddy field. As he was not used to sleeping late at night, he fell asleep. While he was sleeping soundly, a sounder of boars approached and attacked him. Some butted him with tusks and some trampled his stomach. Pak Raje screamed painfully and died a horrible death.

The news of Pak Raje’s death spread everywhere the next day. Pak Raje’s eldest daughter told Penyumpit that her father had passed away. Penyumpit was sad to hear that the old man died in the attack of the wild boars. He came to Pak Raje’s house and saw the corpse that had been torn into pieces.

Penyumpit didn’t hate Pak Raje, though he had ever treated badly. The young man said his prayer and hoped that Pak Raje’s soul would be accepted in heaven.

The prayer was granted by God and there came the miracle. The parts of the dead body were reunited and the wounds healed in just a few seconds. Pak Raje was back to life and he was very ashamed for what he had formerly done to this young guy.

“Hi, Penyumpit.” Pak Raje said, “Forgive me for all my wrongdoings. I’m going to marry my daughter with you for your kindness and generosity.”

Several days later, Penyumpit married Pak Raje’s daughter. He lived a happy life with his wife.

Pak Raje became a good man and he was not arrogant anymore. When he retired, he asked his son in law to be the village head to replace him.

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