Beru Dayang

Folklore from North Sumatra

THERE was a kingdom led by a wise king. The people lived peacefully and happily. Daily, they ate fruits. Why not rice? Well, rice never grew there thus they did not know how rice looked like.

The kingdom suffered a long drought. It was very hot. Rain had not fallen down for a long time. Trees and animals slowly died. People were starving and they were very hungry.

Beru Dayang and his mother were also starving. Beru Dayang was still a kid. Because he had not eaten anything for days, he became very weak. He kept on crying, asking for something to eat.

His mother was hopeless. There was nothing she could do. She could not give any food to her beloved son.

Beru Dayang's condition was getting worse. His crying started to sound so weak. Finally, he could no longer cry. Beru Dayang could not say anything. He slowly took his last breath. Beru Dayang died.

His mother was screaming! She felt very sad to lose her only child. After she buriedher child, she went to the river.

"Dear Gods and Goddesses, I can no longer hold this pain. Losing my child really broke my heart. There is no use for me to live any longer."

She jumped to the river. Amazingly, when her body touched the water, she became a fish! In the meantime, a tree grew on Beru Dayang's tomb. The tree had a big fruit. People did not know what kind of fruit it was. They did not care, they wanted to pick and eat the fruit.

"Hurry.... Let's eat this fruit!" said one man.

"No! We don't know what fruit this is. We should be careful Why don't we tell the King about this fruit?" asked another man.

They immediately went to the palace and brought the fruit to the king.

"Your Majesty, what should we do with this fruit? Can we eat it?" asked one man.

The King replied, "Let me pray first, I want.to ask Gods and Goddesses what to do with this fruit."

The King prayed, he asked Gods and Goddesses' guidance.

Not long after that, the King heard a voice.

It said, "Don't eat the fruit! The fruit is the incarnation of a young boy named Beru Dayang. What you have to do is cut the fruit into pieces and later plant the pieces in the ground. After that you will see some small trees grow. You can get new food from the trees. You also have to help Beru Dayang find his mother!"

The King obeyed and did what the voice said. He cut the fruit into pieces and later planted them.

Slowly people saw new trees. They never saw those trees before. Later the trees had some small "fruits". They were white and very hard. They decided to cook the "fruits". After it was cooked, they tasted it. They liked it! What "fruit" was that? Well, it was rice!

People were extremely happy. They had new food. They immediately ate it. They loved it! The food was so delicious. - The people were very thankful. To show their gratitude to the gods and goddesses, they wanted to reunite Beru Dayang and his mother. How? WelI, they ate'the rice and the fish together. ***

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