Friday, February 24, 2012

How the dayak learned to plant rice (2)

How the dayak learned to plant rice (2) story
Next year, Bunsu Burong had a son. His parents decided to call him Seragunting. He grew up into a fine, strong, young man.
One day, a man caught some birds in a trap. He showed them to Siu. “What beautiful birds!” exclaimed Siu. He held one of the birds in his hand and stroked it. He forgot the promise which he had given to his wife. When Bunsu Burong saw what he did, she left the longhouse.
“Where are you going?” her husband asked.
“You’ve broken your promise,” she said. “I cannot stay with you any longer. I’m going back to my father.”
After walking for three days, they reached the edge of a wide and deep river. It was impossible for them to cross. Suddenly, Siu heard the sound of boat approaching.
“Can you please help us cross the river?” he called out to the boatmen.
The boat came towards the shore. But one of the boatmen recognized Siu and his son. “It’s Siu and his son!” he cried. “Turn back! We don’t want anything to do with them.” The boat returned the way it had come.
Actually the men in the boat were Bunsu Burong’s relatives. They were not very pleased that she had married an ordinary man like Siu so they did not want to help Siu and his son.
The next morning, Siu and his son noticed a huge black cloud drifting towards them in the sky. As it came nearer, they saw
there was a huge spider sitting on top of it.
“Don’t be afraid,” the spider shouted. “I have come to help you. I have brought you some food and clothing. I can carry you over to the other side of the river.”
After they had eaten the food and changed their clothes, the spider told them to sit on his back. “Don’t look down,” he said, “otherwise you will feel giddy. They flew up into the sky. Soon they landed on the other side of the river. They could see a mountain in front of them with a splendid house on the top. It looked so magnificent that they thought it must be a palace.
“Bunsu Burong lives there.” The spider told them. “But you look very tired. You’d better rest here tonight and climb the mountain tomorrow.”
When Siu and Seragunting woke up the next morning, they were surprised to see some men planting sharpened bamboos, with the pointed ends sticking up, along the only path which led up the mountain.
“What shall we do?” Siu asked. Before Seragunting could answer, they saw a large bird hovering overhead.
“Can you heard me?” it called out.
“Yes,” they shouted.
“Listen to me. I can guide you up the path. Be careful where you tread and you will then be all right.”
So with the friendly bird guide them, Siu and his son climbed up the path. It took the, a long time to reach the top. There were some steps leading up into the palace.
They entered the front of the palace. There was a man sitting inside. They asked him which was Bunsu Burong’s room. He pointed it out to them. When they went in. they saw Bunsu Burong sleeping on a mat. She woke up and welcomed them with a smile.
“I sent the spider and bird to help you.” She said. “otherwise, you would never have been able to come here.”
Later, she took them to meet her relatives. “I’m afraid they may not be very pleased to see you. They never wanted me to marry an ordinary man.”
What Bungdsu Burong said was right. Her relatives did not say a word to either Siu or Seragunting.
However, they agreed to accept them if Seragunting could pass some tests to prove his bravery and skill.
“Here’s one,” his mother said . she took a chicken’s egg and waved a charm over it. It immediately changed into a top. All the men and boys in the palace were spinning their tops. However, whenever Seragunting aimed his top at one of theirs, his top smashed theirs into small pieces. They did not know what to do.
“Let us have a wrestling match,” said one of the men. Seragunting had never seen before such  a huge, fat man. However, he sized him in his arms and quickly threw him over his head. He fell to the ground with heavy thumps.
“All right,” Bunsu Burong’s relatives said. “Let’s go hunting”
“I don’t have a hunting dog.” Said Seragunting.”
“You can take with you any dog you like.”
Bunsu Burong selected for her son an old dog which looked very weak. She stroked its head. It immediately started to bark and change into a young dog. Seragunting took it with him to go out hunting.
All the other men returned in the afternoon. They had caught anything. When Seragunting came back a little later, his dog was chasing a wild pig.
“I’ve brought it back for you to kill,” he told the men.
One of them stepped forward, sword in hand. But he wild pig looked so fierce that he threw away his sword and ran back into the palace. No one else wanted to try and kill the pig.
Seragunting threw his spear at it. It hit pig between the eyes, and the pig fell to the ground dead.
After that, all of Bunsu Burong’s relatives agreed to recognize Siu and Seragunting. They were then taken to meet Bunsu Burong’s father. Singalang Burong, the Dayak God of war.
Singalang Burong welcomed them. He promised to teach them everything he knew before they returned home.
They were shown the best way to catch deer and other wild animal. They were taught to make the various kinds of fish-traps used by Dayaks. They learned how to plant rice.
At the end of the year, Bunsu Burong took her husband and son to see her father again. He was sitting on a magnificent throne. He asked them to sit beside him.
“I am the king of the Dayaks.” He said. “I know how to make men successful in anything they do. If you want help at any time, please remember that you only have to call out my name three times, and I shall come. The most important thing you have learned here is how to plant rice. Rice is a much better food that yams and potatoes. Go back and teach your people how to plant rice. I shall give you some rice seeds to take with you.”
So Siu and his son said good-bye to the King. Siu wanted his wife to return with him but she said she had to remain with her father. Siu and Seragunting were very sad to leave. But Siu promised to find a way to see his wife again before long.
When they reached home, a great feast was held to welcome them back. Siu’s mother was so happy that she cried! Siu and Seragunting told all their neighbor and friends what they had seen and learned. They taught everyone hoe to plant rice.

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