The Legend of Pulau Kapal

Folklore from Bangka Belitung

Once upon a time, there was a very poor family in Belitung. The parents had a son. He was diligent and obedient to his parents. The father did not have his own field. He worked for his neighbor's field.

One day, the father went to the jungle. He wanted to collect some fire woods. He had been looking for some fire woods since morning and it was almost evening the father had not found woods yet. He was helpless. He wanted to go home and went back to the jungle tomorrow morning.

On the way home, suddenly he saw a very beautiful stick. It was shining brightly. The father took the stick carefully. He was very curious why the stick was shining brightly. He cleaned the stick with his shirt. And he was surprised! There were some diamonds stuck on the stick.

The father immediately brought the stick home. He showed the stick to his wife and his son. They were happy.

"Let's sell the stick, Father. We can use the money to buy a piece of land. We can have our own field," said the son.

"I agree. But where can we sell this stick?" asked the father.

"Don't worry, Father. I will sail the sea and go to the big city. I will sell the stick with a very big price," said the son.

The mother prepared some food for the son. She told him to be careful. The son promised he would go home with a lot of money.

The son joined a big ship. He did not have enough money so he worked on the ship. The cruise lasted for months. And finally the ship harbored in a big city. The son continued his trip to sell the stick.

He offered the stick to many people. However, they did not give him a high price. The son really wanted to sell the stick with very high price.

A rich merchant heard about the beautiful stick. He met the son and saw the stick. The merchant liked the stick very much and he really wanted to own it. He knew the son wanted to sell expensively. Therefore, he offered the son something the he could not refuse. The merchant offered him a lot of money and a big ship!

The son was extremely happy. He became a rich man. He decided to stay in the big city for a while. Later he met a girl and he, fell in love with her. They finally got married.

The son and his wife were sailing. He wanted to go home. The parents heard that their only son was coming home. They were waiting impatiently.

And when the ship harbored, they called out their son. The son's wife was curious, "Who are they? Why are they calling out your name?"

The son felt so ashamed with his parents. They were old and their clothes were shabby.

"I don't know who they are. Guards! Ask them to go away and leave my ship!" ordered the son.

The parents could not believe what they just heard. They were sad. They were crying. The mother then prayed to God.

"Dear God, is he really my son? If he is my son, please punish him. He broke his promise to us and he doesn't treat us well. He doesn't admit us as his parents," prayed the mother.

God heard the prayer. Suddenly, there was a heavy storm. The rain fell down heavily. The ship lost its balance. And finally it turned upside down.

The storm stopped and the sky was clear. The ship was still in its position. Slowly the ship changed into an island. People then named the island as Pulau Kapal or the Ship Island. ***


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