Author: Chitra Savitri Editor: Triani Retno A Illustrator: Jack Son Translator: Diah Dwi Arti Proofreader: Ratih Soe Origin: Dayak Ngaju Tribe of Central Kalimantan

Once upon a time, there lived a widow and her two sons in a village. The villagers addressed the mother Indu Palui because her eldest son named Palui.

Everyday Indu Palui worked in a vegetable garden in the backyard of her house. She used to carry her youngest son while working. Thanks to her good capability in growing crops, her garden produced good quality vegetables that she could sell to the market.

Indu Palui loved her sons too much, especially Palui. Such love turned Palui into a spoiled lazy child.
One day, Indu Palui was working in her vegetable garden to weed out the weeds around the crops. Suddenly, she found two sangkalap montak, super sized grasshoppers that can be eaten to substitute meat.

Indu Palui was very glad because those grasshoppers could be cooked for the lunch for the three of them. She brought the grasshoppers to the kitchen and put them in a small wooden cage.

Seeing the huge grasshoppers that his mother had found, Palui’s hunger pushed him to eat them. He tried to find a way to enjoy them without being scolded by his mother.

Palui tiptoed over his brother who was playing near the kitchen. He took a slingshot from his pocket and he threw a small stone at his brother. Twang! The stone hit Palui’s brother’s head. The boy soon cried in pain.

“O, Palui! Why is your brother crying?” Indu Palui shouted.

“He cries because he wants to eat those sangkalap montak, Mother.”

“Well, I guess you should cook them now for our lunch.”

“Alright, Mother!” answered Palui excitedly.

Palui cooked the two grasshoppers quickly. After cooking, he served the head and the wings for his brother. For himself, he took the fleshy chest. Palui ate everything and he forgot to leave something for his mother.

At noon, Indu Palui came home. She was exhausted and hungry. She rushed to the kitchen and looked for the cooked grasshoppers. But, she didn’t find what she was looking for.

“Lui, Palui! Where did you keep the cooked grasshoppers? I want to eat.”

“We have already eaten them all, Mother,” Palui answered indifferently.

“Well, then, the leftover is alright, Son. I just want to taste those sangkalap montak a little.”

“Oh, Mother. Didn’t I tell you that the we ate them,” Palui answered angrily.

Realizing there were nothing left for her, Indu Palui felt very sad. Driven by her sadness, Indu Palui walked to the forest to see Manganga Stone, a magical talking stone. Manganga Stone was huge. The stone had a mouth-shaped cavity so that it could swallow a man.

“What a poor fate I have. Living widowed, my son Palui doesn’t love me. I have no reason to live anymore. It’s better if you just swallow me, O, Manganga Stone,” cried Indu Palui in front of Manganga Stone.
Hearing Indu Palui’s cries, Manganga Stone felt pity and then it swallowed Indu Palui.

Meanwhile, at home, Palui’s brother cried, longing for his mother to come home. Not being able to hear his brother crying, Palui looked for his mother around the village. But, until the dawn, he couldn’t find his mother. Palui got confused. Without his mother, he couldn’t do anything.

A guilty feeling arose within Palui. With his brother, he looked for their mother into the forest. They finally got to where Manganga Stone was.

“Master Manganga Stone, have you seen our mother, Sir?”

Although the stone’s mouth was closed, there came a voice from within the stone. “What’s your name?”

“I ‘m Palui. I’m looking for my mother who hasn’t come home since noon.”

Hearing that, Manganga Stone understood that the woman it swallowed turned out to be the mother of these two children.

“Oh, so you are the sinful son! I have swallowed your mother!” said Manganga Stone.

“Please, forgive me, Sir. I’m really sorry for making my mother sad. I promise I will never do it anymore. Please, release our mother,” Palui begged in tears.

“I can’t!” said Manganga Stone. “It was your mother herself who asked me to swallow her. Only magic spell from three hermits that can release your mother. Go and see Indu Bubut, Indu Ampit and Indu Balida for help!”

Palui quickly looked for the three hermits who were meditating not far from Manganga Stone.

Fortunately, the three hermits agreed to help Palui under one condition: Palui must change his behaviour and must help his mother to make a living.

The first spell was spoken by Indu Bubut. “But, but, but! Majuhut Indu Palui bara rumbak Batu Ngangaaa!”

Magical! Both Indu Palui’s hands and toes emerged.

Indu Ampit continued with her spell, “Pit, pit, pit…! Majijit Indu Palui bara rumbak Batu Ngangaaa!”

Half of Indu Palui’s body came out of Manganga Stone.

The last one was Indu Balida’s spell. “Da, da, da! Manunda Indu Palui bara rumbak Batu Ngangaaa!”

Finally, Indu Palui came out of Manganga Stone completely.

Palui and his brother were very happy. They immediately embraced their mother. Palui asked for forgiveness for what he had done.

Since then, Palui became a loving diligent boy. The changes in him made Indu Palui glad. They lived happily together.

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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