Saturday, April 21, 2018

Honey Of Tualang Tree (1)

A tall tualang tree with bee hives.

Tualang tree is believed to be haunted and this tall tree somehow attracts bees to make hives. Since the value of natural honey is much prized compared to logs, tualang trees are normally spared from being chopped down for timbers.

It is not easy to become tualang tree honey collectors as the inspired persons not only need to be able to climb tall tualang trees but also to venture into jungles at night because the best time to collect honey is definitely after dark for safety reasons. However, one can avoid being stung by angry bees during the day; he has to face disturbances from the spiritual realm at night on the other hand.

I know Pak Wan who used to collect tualang honey when he was young. When I meet him in local coffee shops, I like to ask him to jog his mind about his weird encounter with the supernatural world in the jungle at night while collecting honey.

Pak Wan has a few stories, here is the first...

One night, Pak Wan had collected a few buckets of tualang honey with his friends and just as they were on their way out of the jungle; Pak Wan suddenly remembered that he has left a bucket of honey behind the tualang tree. So, he told his friend to wait for him while he hurried back to the tree to fetch the bucket.

Trusting his friend, Pak Wan went back to the tree and by the time he got his bucket full of honey; Pak Wan failed to find his friend, Ali when he returned to the place where he left his companion.

Since it was dark and Pak Wan's torchlight went out of power, he has no way but to spend a night in the jungle and to struggle his way back home in the morning.

Feeling somehow betrayed by Ali, Pak Wan planned to reason with Ali once he returned home...

To his surprised, as soon as Pak Wan stepped into the house, his wife yelled at Pak Wan asking where did he go after going out early in the morning for prayer in the mosque. 

The nagging of Pak Wan's wife, Minah has got on to Pak Wan's nerve. So he answered indignantly: "What did you mean? I just returned from the jungle at this instant!?"

Minah again rose her voice: "Don't give excuses! Last night you returned with Ali after collecting tualang honey... I asked you to take a bath before sleeping but you just kept silent. And this morning you went out early without cleaning yourself..."

Pak Wan felt baffled and speechless. So he gave Minah a perfunctory smile and went into the house as he didn't want to start an argument without knowing the facts. He decided to seek Ali out to listen to what Ali has to say.

Later in the day, Pak Wan met Ali in the usual coffee stall by the road junction outside of the village. 

Before Pak Wan could open his mouth, Ali yelled at him: "Hey, Pak Wan! Are you feeling alright? You were very quiet after fetching your returned from fetching your bucket... I tried to speak to you but you kept silent. And I didn't see you in the mosque this morning... So, how are you now?"

Now, Pak Wan is confused. Since his wife and his friend sworn to have seen him returned to his house... The question remains: who is the person who returned from the jungle that night while Pak Wan was trapped in the jungle?

I have no answers, so I just took a sip of coffee and waited for Pak Wan to figure out the logic...

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