Author: Monica Anggen Editor: Triani Retno Illustrator: Gilang Permadi Translator: Maharani Aulia Proofreader: Dameria Damayanti Origin: South Kalimantan

In a village toward the west of the slope of Meratus Mountains lived a boy with his mother. His name was Angui and his mother’s was Diang Ingsun. Their life was so poor. Angui helped his mother fishing in a river and collected tubers from the forest for their everyday meals.

One day, a ship docked in a small natural harbor in town. It was reported that the ship owner was a merchant engaged in retail trade of basic requirements. The residents of the village could do barter with him—purchasing the goods he sold with rattan palms, wax, or dammar gums. Hearing that news Angui hurried to collect rattan palms as much as he could, cleaned them up and bundled neatly. He meant to exchange them with rice, salt, and palm sugar. He was fed up with tasteless rice. He was also sad for his mother drinking coffee with no sugar because they never had any sugar.

Angui arrived in the harbor. He queued with all other people. Then it was his turn to give his rattan palms. A young, sturdy and well dressed man checked his rattan. It took long enough for the man to check each stem. Next he showed Angui’s rattan to a middle aged man—the merchant and the owner of the ship.

“Would you like to sail away with us?” asked the merchant after checking Angui’s rattan.

“For what?” wondered Angui.

“Your rattan palms told us who you really are. Only a person who works energetically and wholeheartedly could produce this high quality rattan palms,” said the merchant.

Angui said that he could only go with his mother’s permission, and that was what happened. Diang Ingsun, his mother, allowed him to.

“Just go, Dear. Sail away with the merchant. Maybe you could be a merchant like him. Who knows. But I hope you go home early once you succeed,” said Diang Ingsun.

Next morning, Angui went away with the merchant and his group. Deep in his heart he promised to go home early to see his mother.

Angui had been sailing for years. He learnt to sell, worked hard, neat, and clean. The merchant asked Angui to marry his daughter on account of his perseverance. Soon after their wedding, the merchant died. Angui and his wife came into all of the legacy.

One night, Angui was reminded of his mother. He said to his wife that he wanted to visit his mother and stayed with her. His wife agreed with his idea and looked happy for seeing her mother-in-law soon.

“Let’s prepare the biggest ship and some supplies for us to stay there,” said Angui to his wife.

The ship sailed out to the sea. A few days later, it moored at the harbor in Angui’s homeland. Its luxury cheered the folks up. Old Diang Ingsun heard the news, she trembled and wept from happiness. It was worth her time waiting for Angui’s coming.

Diang Ingsun walked very slowly to the trading port. From the distance she saw Angui and a beautiful lady on the ship’s bridge. Unfortunately at the same time Angui looked at her mother in her ragged clothes. He was ashamed that very instant.

“Angui… Angui, my dear son,” cried Diang Ingsun. She waved her right hand toward the ship, where Angui and his wife stood side by side.

“Is she your mother, Dear?” asked Angui’s wife.

“Of course not! My mother is not an ugly and poor woman like her!” denied Angui cynical. Then he turned and said to Diang Ingsun, “Hey, beggar, don’t you dare claiming to be my mother! I never have a bad looking mother like you.”

Diang Ingsun cried louder. Her tears rolled down on her wrinkled face. Angui’s denial really hurt her. She looked up to the sky and yelled, “O Lord, if the man on board ship is my son Angui, change him and all his property into a rock,” cursed Diang Ingsun.

After putting a curse on her son, Diang Ingsun’s wish came true. Hurricanes devastated the area. The ship split into two. A part consisted of Angui’s wife and her maids, and another one consisted of Angui and his ship’s crew. The hurricanes stopped. Two parts of the split ship transformed into two chunks of rock known as Batu Bini1 and Batu Laki2, while Diang Ingsun transformed into a black eagle.

***

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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