Author: Ratih Soe Editor: Triani Retno Illustrator: Dameria Damayanti Translator: Ratih Soe Proofreader: Dameria Damayanti Origin: Papua

That afternoon the sun was shining brightly on Bumberi Mountains in Fakfak, West Papua. A woman and her female dog were tired of walking in search for food.

“Hey, look! There’s fresh pandanus fruit,” she said. “You eat first, My Dog. You look starving. “

“Woof, woof!” The dog wagged her tail happily. She ate with gusto. Her body felt fresh. Her tummy was full.

A few moments later the woman looked worried. “Oh, My Dog, why does your tummy get bigger so suddenly? Are you sick?”

Unexpectedly, the dog gave birth to a cute puppy.

“I want to have a child, too.” The woman picked up a pandanus fruit and ate it. Then, the woman gave birth to a baby boy whom she named Kweiya.

After Kweiya grew bigger, he helped his mother to encroach upon some forest areas and to farm. Using a stone ax, Kweiya cutted down one tree per day.

One day, when Kweiya was cutting down a tree, an old man approached him. “It takes a long time if you use that ax. Here, I lend you my ax,” he said. He thrusted his iron ax to Kweiya.

With the iron ax, Kweiya was able to cut down several trees in a day.

“Kweiya, how did you manage to cut down many trees today?” She wondered.

“Today my hands felt very light.” Kweiya did not want to be in a rush to introduce the man to his mother. “Mom, let me get back to work first.”

Kweiya went back at work, while his mother was preparing a delicious lunch.

“Kweiya, take some break!” called his mother. “Come in. It’s time to eat. “

Kweiya leaned a large bunch of sugar cane stalks against the wall outside his home. Apparently, he hid the old man behind those stalks.

“Mom, I brought some sugar canes. I put them outside.”

“Nothing beats drinking sugar cane juice after a meal,” cried Mom as she walked outside to take a piece of sugar cane. To her surprise, a man suddenly appeared from behind the bonded cane. His Mom starteld and shouted, “Eeek! Who are you?! What do you want?“

Kweiya came storming and soothing her. “Sorry, Mom. I did not mean to startle you. This is the man who has helped me cutting down so many trees with his iron ax. I hope you would be willing to accept him as your significant other. He has done good to us, hasn’t he?”

Without a doubt, she granted Kweiya’s wish. The three of them lived happily. A few years later, she gave birth to two sons. Unfortunately, the relationship between Kweiya and his two younger brothers were never good. The two younger step brothers always bad mouthed Kweiya behind his back.

“Why on earth do Mom and Dad have more affection on Kweiya? He’s never been scolded. He always gets compliments.“

“Mom and Dad only love Kweiya. They do not love us. Let us get rid of him!”

One day, when their parents were away for fishing, Kweiya was beaten by her brothers and got injured severely. But the bruises on his body were nothing compared the heartbreak he felt. However, he did not want his parents to be sad because of their children’s feud. So, he took two pieces of rope made from the tree bark. He slipped one piece in koba-koba* at the corner of the house. Kweiya then went with another piece of rope tied around his toes.

A little while later, their parents came home.

“Where is your brother Kweiya?” Mom asked.

The two brothers went silent.

And they nudged each other.

Their mom went impatient seeing her two sons remained silent. “Kweiya! Kweiya!!!“ she yelled.

“Tweet… Tweet…!” A bird with beautiful feathers replied loudly. The bird was jumping around on rooftops, then moved to a tree branch near their home. There was a rope made of   tree bark at his feet.

Kweiya’s mother recognized the rope. She then bursted into tears. “Kweiya… Kweiya… Come home, my son …”

“Tweet… Tweet… Mom…”

“My son, Kweiya, did you leave a piece of rope to your mother?”

Kweiya, who has been transformed into a bird, said, “I inserted a piece on the koba-koba, Mom.”

After finding the rope, Mom tucked it in her arm. She turned into a bird of paradise with beautiful feathers like her son. She then joined Kweiya onto a limb.

Kweiya’s father was severely heartbroken. He was so sad that he got ill. Day by day, his illness worsened and he finally died. Kweiya’s brothers blamed each other, then threw ash to one another, so their faces got blackish gray. They then turned into birds with dull feathers, not as beautiful as the feathers of the birds of paradise.

Days changed, time passed. In the woods, Kweiya reunited with his two brothers.

“Big Brother Kweiya, forgive me.”

“I also apologize, Brother. Because of my doings, our family is torn apart.“

“C’mon, don’t be sad. I have forgiven you both. Trust me. “

“How’s Mom, Brother?”

“I’ll take care of Mom. Don’t worry. She also has forgiven you. Live in harmony. Do not fight again, OK?“

Kweiya’s two brothers nodded. They sincerely regretted their actions. Now, they are determined to take care of each other, according the last message of their father.

***

*) koba-koba = an umbrella made of woven straw

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

Share this on...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Leave a Reply