The Ship of Rock

There is a large rock at the mouth of the Batang Arau River in west Sumatra. Do you know how it got there ? A long time ago, there was a fisherman living at Batan Arau. He had several children but only one son. He gave his son the best possible education. He wanted him to do well and became famous. When the boy had finised school, his father found a job for him on a large ship sailing to foreign countries. He relaized that the would not see him again for many years. But he knew that his son was clever and hard-working and he hoped that his son might have the chance to become a ship’s officer.

The years passed. The fisherman’s daughters married and left home. The fisherman became old and died. His widow lived by herself.

One day, the villagers came running to the old woman to tell her that her son had returned. “I don’t believe you.” She said.
“yes, “they said, “he’s the captain of a ship which has just sailed into the harbour from Singapore. Come and see for yourself.”

The old woman put on her best clothes. She cooked some food to give to her son. She remembered the food he liked best when he was a small boy.

She hired a rowing boat to take her out to the ship which was anchored in the harbour. She was a tall handsome man standing on the deck of the ship. It was her son! Even after all these years, there was no doubt about it.
“Son.” She called out, “don’t you recognize me ? I’m your mother.”tears came to her eyes.
“Who are you ? he replied. I don’t know you. Don’t let her came aboard,” he instructed his sailors. Next day, the old woman came again but her son refused to see her. On the third day, he told his sailors to drive her away .
“Whay does this old woman come to my ship? “he asked. “I don’t mind giving her a few cents but I don’t like her saying that she’s my mother.”
“Very well, my son. The old woman said. “God will surely punish you for being so wicked. How can you refuse to recognize your own mother? She gazed at him for a long time but he said nothing.

Suddenly, a huge black cloud covered the sun. It became as dark as night. The wind roared with a terrible noise. The sea became very rough and the waves beat against the side of the ship. The ship rocked to and fro. The mast came tumbling down with a great “Cra-aash”. The ship was driven like a coconut shell across the harbour. Before anyone could do anything about it, it turned over a sank. Then it rained so heavily that it was impossible to see more than a few yards. When the storm stopped, the old woman looked for the ship again, but there was nothing except a large rock sticking out through the water. Her son and his ship were never seen again.

Oleh. Leon Comber.
Rewrite. Apero Fublic
Editor. Selita. S.Pd
Leon Comber. Favorite Stories From Malaysia. Remaja Rosdakarya. Bandung, 2000.

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