Author: Nur Baidha Editor: Triani Retno Illustrator: Art Lus Translator: Dameria Damayanti Proofreader: Ratih Soe Origin: Sumbawa

Once upon a time on Sumbawa island, lived a very diligent farmer. Although he worked on his rice field by himself, he felt grateful all the time and never complained

One day, he borrowed a plow from his friend to work on his rice field.

“The rainy season has come. I want to work at the field. May I borrow your plow?” he asked.

“Of course you may. But there will be one condition.”

“What is it?”

“You must return my plow in a good condition.”

“Alright. I will do as you wish,” said the farmer delightfully.

The farmer began working in the rice field using the plow. Unfortunately, the buffalo that usually used to plough the field ran uncontrollably. The buffalo crashed into the rice field breaking the plow. Seeing the broken plow, the farmer’s heart sank.

“What an unfortunate person I am,” said he to himself.

The farmer tried to replace the plow with a better one. He bought a new plow. He hoped that his friend would forgive him. Alas, his friend rejected the new plow right away.

“I don’t want that new plow! Bring back my plow in a good condition!” shouted his friend.

The farmer did not lose hope. He tried to fix the broken plow. He tried to wrap the broken part together using various herbs and nailed it using the most powerful pegs. Unfortunately, his friend still refused to accept the plow.

“I told you I don’t want a plow that looks broken! Look at that wrap and your pegs! They look ugly!” complained him.

The farmer was confused. He was wondering what else he could do. It is impossible to put together a broken thing. Even though he could wrap them together, it wouldn’t look as good as it was before it was broken.

The farmer decided to take a breather in the mountain and tried to forget his problem with the broken plow. He felt happy in the mountain. He ate wild fruit and hunted a deer. The roasted deer tasted delicious. But the joyful life in the mountain failed to make him forget about his broken plow.

One day, the farmer felt hungry. He couldn’t find one single deer to hunt. He found a snake instead. He was so scared that he tried to kill the snake. And he succeeded.

He was so hungry that he decided to slice the snake’s body. He let the head and the tail lied on the ground. He chopped the other parts of the snake into small pieces, clamped it into a bamboo stick and grilled it.

Suddenly he heard a hiss coming from his back. He turned his head and was terrified. There were so many snakes slithering toward him. He ran fast and climbed a high tree.

From the tree top, he watched those snakes collected the dead snake’s body parts then arranged it one by one from the head part to the tail. After that, each snake went over a tree. Those snakes ripped the tree stem and chewed it until it became smooth. The smooth stem then sprayed into the body part of the dead snake.

Oncethe entire body parts of the dead snake completely covered with smooth stem, magic happened. The dead snake was moving and it was alive with no scars left. Then, the snakes went away.

Still on top of the tree, the farmer was amazed by the miracle he had just witnessed. He straight away remembered about his broken plow. Is it possible to fix a broken plow using the smooth stem?

He rushed down from the tree. He cut the stem that had been ripped by those snakes.

“I need to return immediately to the village. Hopefully God gives me the same miracle,” he murmured.

When he got home, he chewed the tree stem then spit it on the broken plow. The same miracle happened. The plow returned to its perfect condition without leaving a trace of defect. With a cheerful smile on his face, the farmer took the plow to his friend.

“I really don’t believe it. How could you fix the plow without leaving any sign of defect at all? Or maybe this plow is not mine,” replied his friend suspiciously.

The farmer told his friend about what happened during his stay in the mountain. His friend went awe. Although the farmer’s story sounded impossible, the plow he gave looked exactly like his plow.

After that incident, the farmer became famous. Many people came to him to fix broken stuff. Some even came to him for healing broken bones. The stem used by the farmer is known as snake wood. Today, several sandro (medicine man) in Sumbawa still believe that snake wood potion is potent for healing broken bones.

***

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Dameria says:

    Dear temans admin,

    ada inconsistency di paragraf terakhir. Berikut aku copaskan:

    The stem used by the farmer is known as wood snake. Today, several sandro (medicine man) in Sumbawa still believe that snake wood potion is potent for healing broken bones.

    :) itu saja

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