Story from My Mother IIX: Harimau
Last night I went to Sg Haji Dorani with Tahiron. He was picking up his Kancil car, being repainted at body workshop over there. In the car, I suggested to Tahiron, “Why don’t we tell scary stories, to scare the kids eh?”
I started by telling the story that Husin told my mother he saw a tiger at the entrance of my parent’ house and at the front porch.
“Kau tahu tak si Husin tu sebenarnya penakut tau, laki bini.” He said.
“Satu masa tu, ada burung jampuk ber bunyi kat belakang rumah, dia kata hantu pocong” he continued. He said that night he was at Dewan Orangramai, involved in a some party work. He got a call from Husin, saying there was a strange sound at the back of Tahiron’s house. Tahiron came back home, and when the bird made another sound Husin rang Tahiron. (They live a stone throw away from each other)
“Oh itu bunyi yang kau takutkan, itu bunyi burung jampuk lah” Tahiron said.
“Aku boleh keluar halau burung tu” so he went out and shooed the bird away.
Then he told me another story, happened circa 1970. He was still young boy back then, learning to read Quran, mengaji, at Pak Kiyai Abdul Gafur’s surau. He didn’t have torchlight back then, using andang instead, made of dried coconut leaves tied together, so that it would burn slowly, and would light up the way home.
On the way home, at the bend, where the kekabu tree and rubber tree was, Tahiron saw a cattle, red in colour. So when he got back home, he told his brother, Mat Isa. Then Mat Isa called my father, and they equipped themselves with parang (machete) and a length of rope to catch the cattle. My father went first, with his rope and parang, the ideas was probably to catch the cattle and put the rope on the cattle’s neck, and then call on the others to help pull the cattle.
But instead my father ran back very fast, and short of breath, without his parang or rope.
“Apahal, pakcik?” asked Tahiron.
“Harimau!” said my father.
The next morning they checked the site, the footprint and some tiger fur was still there.
Then he told me another story about an old woman in the village, who was related to him by marriage, Mbah Tri. Mbah Tri had a difficult death, it took weeks, most of the time there was croaking sound coming out from her throat. As if the Malaikat Maut trying to pull her life from her throat, but something holding back. Kiyai Haji Abdul Gafur taught Tahiron that if someone practised an ilmu salah, like keeping saka or djinn, he/she would have difficult death, and if you hold on his/her toe with your hand, he/she would stare at you. Tahiron did that, and sure enough Mbah Tri stared at him. So Tahiron went to see Kiyai Marwan (now arwah) in Sabak Bernam asking for help. He was given a bottle of water by Kiyai Marwan (for the dying woman to drink) and told to open one of the zinc roof sections above the dying woman so that it’s open to the sky above. Sure enough the next night (or was it day?) Mbah Tri died.
That night when Tahiron came home, he heard tigers mengaum all night around his house.
My mother confirmed the story; she also added that when Mbah Tri was dying, her daughters took turn to take care of her. Mbok Patonah (now arwah), one of her daughters related to my mother that every night there were always big snakes coming in to the house. Mbok Patonah was afraid to sleep on the floor, she slept on the bed. She wasn’t sure if that was real snake or whatever. When she asked Mbah Tri, she dismissed it lightly, “Biarlah ular to saja nak merayau”
What Mbah Tri had was a stone the size of teacup, wrapped in cotton cloth, the type that people used for kain kafan. What is in the stone, nobody knows. After Mbah Tri died, the stone was taken by one of her daughters, Mbok Minah, who got sick and also died. In fact, three of Mbah Tri’s children died not long after her, Pak Mat Dhoho, Mbok Minah and Mbok Sikat. Mbok Sikat had sickness after sickness and at some stage she would just stare at the sky for ages. In the end, one of Mbah Tri’s children, Pak Sidek, took the stone and threw it away to the sea.
Then my mother said that there is a possibility that the stone was taken from Mecca, Tanah Haram. She told me that in Mecca, there is a stone pillar called Tiang Ungu. If you wrap your hand around it while facing away from Mecca and snuggle on it, you will get rich when you get back to your homeland, because you would bring back Toyol.
My mother told me that it’s forbidden to bring anything back from Mecca, small stones, mugs and plates that’s being used to serve the hajjis there, or even rubbish. All those small stones and sands that is stuck to your shoes has to be picked off and/or washed away, or simply leave your shoes behind.
But if you buy things there and bring it home, that’s okay.