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Archive for May 26th, 2012

One day, Pak Pandir’s wife, Mak Andih, sent him to town to buy some salt for her. Off he went to town, bought a big bag of salt and then carried it home on his head. Along the way, he became tired and decided to have a short nap under a coconut tree.

Soon he found a coconut tree, sat down under it and put his bag of salt beside him. Suddenly it occurred to him that somebody might steal his bag of salt if he was to doze off. An idea came to his head.

He got up, put the bag of salt over his shoulder and walked to the river bank which was not far from the coconut tree. Without further ado, he threw the bag of salt into the river and soon, the heavy bag sank to the bottom of the river. “Ah, that’s better. Nobody could steal my salt while I sleep!” he laughed to himself.

Pak Pandir went to sleep under the cool shade of the coconut tree. Hours later, he got up and stretched his limbs lazily. Then he remembered his bag of salt at the bottom of the river. It was evening. Thinking it was time to go home, Pak Pandir went back to the river to retrieve his bag of salt.

But alas, what he saw was not the bulky bag of salt but an empty one instead. All the salt had melted into the water. When he got home and told Mak Andih about this, he got a beating from his wife.

Do you still remember this story or ever heard of a village bumpkin called Pak Pandir? Many of us grew up reading stories of Pak Pandir during our primary school days. These stories were written by two white men.

Sir R.O. Winstedt (1878-1966) was an English Orientalist and colonial administrator in British Malaya. In 1908, together with A.J. Sturrock, he compiled a book called “Cerita Jenaka Pak Kadok, Pak Pandir, Pak Belalang, Lebai Malang dan Si Luncai.” Translated into English, it means “The Jocular Tales of Pak Kadok, Pak Pandir, Pak Belalang, Lebai Malang and Si Luncai.” This book chronicled some silly pranks of five village idiots. Each story carries a moral and they made excellent reading materials for young children.

Here is another one of Pak Pandir’s silliness.

One day, Pak Pandir was walking along a small lane on the way home after running an errand for his wife. He came across a piece of feces which was still fresh and warm. Curious of what it was, he decided to scoop it up and have a closer look.

“Hmm, the shape is like feces!” he exclaimed, nodding his head.

“Soft like feces!” he uttered excitedly after fingering it.

“Smell like feces!” he said after putting it near his nose.

Then Pak Pandir put the thing onto his tongue and licked it.

“Definitely it is feces, luckily I didn’t step onto it, thank God!” he laughed happily before going home to his wife.

But Pak Pandir’s foolishness soon turned tragic.

One day, Mak Andih was invited to attend a wedding feast of her relative. She got dressed and before leaving the house, she told her husband to stay home as their infant son was still sleeping soundly in the sarung.

“I have boiled a pot of water on the stove,” she told him. “When the baby wakes up, give him a bath using the water I have just boiled,” she instructed him and left.

Soon the baby woke up. Pak Pandir quickly poured the hot water into a tub and put the baby inside. The water was still very hot and as a result, the baby kicked furiously and screamed loudly. Thinking his son loved the water so much and was squeaking from delights, Pak Pandir kept him inside the hot water even longer. Alas, the poor baby eventually died from scalding.

When Mak Andih came back from the feast, she asked her husband about their infant son.

“He enjoyed the bath very much and now he went to sleep again,” he told her. When she went to the sarung and tried to wake him up for feeding, she found that he was motionless. In a fury, Mak Andih chased her husband around the house and beat him for his stupidity.

Mak Andih was very sad to lose her baby. After evening prayers, both husband and wife wrapped the body with “mengkuang” leaves (a kind of screw pine used for mat-making) and Pak Pandir took the body to bury in the village cemetery. He put it over his shoulder but on the way, the body slipped out and fell onto the ground. Pak Pandir was not aware and walked on without looking back.

When he reached the burial ground, he took out a hoe, dug a hole and buried the empty case. Then he walked back home. On the way back, he saw a body on the ground. Thinking it was the dead child of another family because all babies looked the same to him, he ran happily home to tell his wife what he saw.

“Mak Andih, Mak Andih, we are not the only one to lose a baby! Another family also lost theirs! So, it was not something to be sad about!” he tried to comfort his wife.

Malaysia is a land of jokers. We saw a lot of them the past month in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, since the Bersih 3.0 rally. They ranged from petty traders to fat aunties to wild schoolboys, all paid to make us laugh.

I am in a laughing mode. Have a good laugh reading this. It is my weekend treat to you all!

Note : Feces (human waste or ‘shit’ ) also called Poop, Dookie, Poo Poo or Brownies.

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