The King and the Ghost (The Story of Hantu Pirau)

Raja dan Hantu | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Jambi

ONCE upon a time, there was a kingdom in Jambi. The king was so powerful. He always protected his people. He mastered martial arts and supernatural power. The kingdom was so peaceful. Other kingdoms never had any plan to attack. There were no criminals. The king would punish anyone who did against the law.

Sadly, their peaceful life then was disturbed. It was not by other kingdom attacking Jambi. or the criminals. Instead it was by a ghost! A ghost came and disturbed the people's life! People said the ghost as Hantu Pirau.

The ghost also came in the dusk, when the sunset and it was almost dark. The ghost only scared children who were still playing outside their homes. The ghost never scared the adults. When the children saw the ghost, they always screamed. They were very frightened!

The adults were so angry with the ghost. They have tried many ways to catch the ghost but they never succeeded.

One of them had an idea. "Why don't we tell this problem to our king? He's so powerful, right? Let's ask for his help."

"l agree. I think this problem can be solved only by the king. Let's go to the palace," said another person.

And most of the parents came to the palace. They were so upset with this ghost. The ghost had made their children unable to sleep and that made many of the children sick. The parents really wanted to catch the ghost and get rid of it from their place.

"Your Majesty, we have a big problem. We need your help."

"What can I do for you?" asked the king wisely.

"A ghost often disturbs our children. It comes in the dusk and scares our children. We don't know what to do, Your Majesty."

"Don't worry. I know how to catch the ghost. Now, I want you to prepare fishing net. Put it in front of your house," said the king

The parents did not understand why they had to set the fishing net in front of their houses, however they still did it anyway.

Later all the fishing nets were all set in front of the houses. In the first night, nothing happened. Thev were still waiting. In ' the second night, nothing happened either. And finally in the third night, in one of the fishing nets something was caught.

The creature looked like a human however it was so small and looked so scary. The creature was also able to talk with humans.

"Hey release me now!" said the creature.

"I know the voice," said one man.

"I think we just caught Hantu Pirau. Let's report this to the king!"

Later the king arrived. He brought a sword.

"Hmm... so this is the ghost that often scared the children" said the king.

He continued, "I will kill the ghost with my sword now!"

Suddenly, the ghost was screaming.

"No!!! Please don't kill me. I will do anything as long as you don't kill me," said the ghost.

 "Do you promise?" asked the king.

"I promise, Your Majesty," said the ghost.

"Alright, I want you to leave our kingdom now and never come back. And if I hear you are here again, I will kill you!" said the king.

"I promise, I will leave the kingdom now," said the ghost.

And the ghost really left the kingdom. He kept his promise not to return to the kingdom anymore. Since then people lived happily. However the parents still forbid their children to play outside when it was dark. They asked their children to stay at home. ***

Night Time

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