The Greedy Poor Man

Pria Miskin yang Tamak >> Edisi Bahasa Indonesia

Folklore from Riau

Once upon a time in Negeri Rantau Baru, Pelalawan, Riau, lived a husband and wife. They were very poor. Their clothes were the ones they wore everyday. They were not able to eat every day. One day they ate, on the following day they did not eat.

The wife always asked the husband to work hard. But he was lazy. He just slept and slept everyday. He did not want to help his wife to earn a living. The wife was helpless, she often prayed to God to help her husband.

One night the husband had a dream. In his dream, an old man came to him. He told the husband to take his sampan and went to Sepunjung River.

"Just go to the middle of the river and wait until a rope appears from the river. Take the rope slowly then you will find a golden chain. Cut the golden chain, but don't take the chain too long," said the old man.

The poor husband then woke up from his dream. He thought about his dream and wanted to do the old man's advice. So he took his sampan and went to Sepunjung River.

"Where are you going?" asked the wife.

She was so surprised to see her husband was busy preparing the sampan.

"I want to go fishing. See you later!" the husband did not want to tell about his dream.

He knew his wife would think he was crazy by following up a dream.

After arriving at the river, slowly he rowed his sampan. He wanted to make sure he would be right in the middle of the river. Then he waited and waited. Suddenly a rope appeared from the river.

"The old man is right!" said the husband.

He then pulled out the rope. Slowly he pulled out and later at the end of the rope he saw a golden chain! The chain was sparkling and glowing. It was made of real gold.

"Yippee!" said the husband.

He pulled the chain again and again. He forgot the old man's advice to take the only short chain because it was enough for him. The poor man became a greedy man. He wanted to take the golden chain as long as possible. He wanted to sell the golden chain and had a lot of money.

While he was busy pulling out the golden chain, a bird came to him.

He talked, "Hey poor man, remember the old man's advice. Take only a short golden chain."

But the poor man ignored the bird and kept on pulling out the chain. Slow but sure, his sampan was full of the golden chain. It was so full that finally the sampan could not hold the weights any more.

The sampan was drowned. The golden chain was sinking and went to the bottom of the river. It created big waves and the waves almost swallowed the poor man. He was so panicked and swam fast to the river side.

When he arrived on the river side, he felt sorry for himself. He blamed himself for being a greedy man. But it was too late and it was useless for feeling sorry. But then he realized that it was a lesson for him to work hard if he wanted to have a lot of money. ***

Festival Pacu Jalur tradisional, Kuantan Singingi, Riau


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