Saturday, April 21, 2018

Honey Of Tualang Tree (II)

I met Pak Wan in the coffee stall again. He was busy selling some newly collected wild honey. Pak Wan's honey was in high demand although the price of one bottle of wild tualang tree honey could fetch up to more than MYR120 per bottle.

I was not in a hurry as my trip was meant for visiting an orchid collector, Pak Mat and I was a little early for my appointment.

Pak Wan's wild honey sold like hot cakes and in a jiffy all of his stock was gone. At this point, he saw me sitting in a corner. Without opening my mouth, Pak Wan came to me and sat on a stool opposite to me. I knowingly ordered a cup of hot black coffee before Pak Wan start telling his story...

After taking a sip of coffee and cleared his throat, Pak Wan start talking...

"You know, youngsters nowadays don't know the etiquette of wild honey collection. They just barged into wild jungle and treat it as their house. No wonder so many mishaps happened to them.

One of my sons, Jeff didn't believe in supernatural stuffs even after his old man repeatedly advised him until one night.

It was a wet night after a heavy downpour. Jeff and Ali, a veteran honey collector again entered into a jungle to seek for beehive laden tualang tree.

After walking for an hour or so traversing wet tropical jungle, they came to a tall tualang tree and Jeff who is younger supposed to climb up the tree to collect honey while Ali observed from below.

Somehow the young man was a little lazy and felt drowsy. So, Ali suggested that Jeff waited on the ground to fetch the honey he passed down from the tualang tree branches. After an agreement has made, Ali started to climb up the tree while Jeff waited below.

Not long after Ali was up, Jeff dozed off and he had a strange dream where he was chased by a fire ball. He suddenly awoke by Ali's shout because Ali wanted Jeff to fetch the bucket of honey he has lowered.

After a few buckets full of wild honey were collected, Ali decided to come down to take a rest. Before Ali and Jeff rested, they covered up their precious wild honey stock to prevent them being eaten by sunbear or being stolen by other honey collectors.

Again, Ali asked Jeff to take the first night watch as he was awfully tired and in need for a quick nap. There was no reason for Jeff to argue as he was free all the while.

As the snoozing noise of Ali came from the tent, Jeff squatted by the buckets and at times, he too took some shut eyes. What could have gone wrong Jeff thought? 

Just as before Jeff's mind could wander off, he heard as if grunting sound of people drinking water came from the honey buckets. Instinctively, Jeff thought it was some animal stealing their honey. So he stood up and approached the honey buckets with a torchlight.

To his horror, in one of the almost emptied bucket, Jeff saw a glowing head sucking honey with a slimy long tongue. The originally face downed head suddenly took an about turn to face Jeff.

In extreme fear, Jeff yelled out from the bottom of his lungs and fainted. Ali heard Jeff's agonizing yell for life and he rushed out to investigate. There Ali saw Jeff lying unconscious with almost all of the honey gone. 

After reviving Jeff, Jeff told Ali that it was the working of a mysterious 'flying head' but until today, Ali still thought it was the working of some animals...

Later, Jeff recalled that the 'flying head' looked somehow similar to the orb he saw in his dreams.

Well, Liew, do you believe in the story?"

"Anything is possible, Pak Wan." I nodded and pre-ordered one bottle of wild honey.

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