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Parkit, the King of Parakeet

Aceh - Indonesia
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Nanggro Aceh Darussalam is the prosperous, fertile and rich region in Indonesia. Aceh‘s green forest spreads at every direction, just becomes like a beautiful rug. Various kinds of animal from mammals and reptiles to thousand types of bird, including parakeets, live within. From this forest, a story emerges among the Aceh society that tells about the king of parakeets, namely Parkit whose ingenuity saved him from a hunter who intended to kill him.

Once upon a time, a group of parakeets lived peacefully and prosperously in the forest. Every morning they cheerfully sung beautiful songs, and helped each other in finding foods. The group was headed by a king, namely Parkit. One day, their happiness was threatened by the coming of hunter who wanted to catch and sell all of them in a market. The hunter stepped closer and closer to their nests, and soon put some glues around the nests to trap the birds. “Hmm…I should be a rich man after selling them all,” the hunter said to himself. Imagining huge amount of money, the hunter smiled during his way to home.   

All parakeets scared after hearing the hunter‘s mumbling. They chirped in panics to give a warning to other about the danger. “Please be careful, the hunter has placed some glues around our nests. Do not be negligent. It is good not to fly everywhere,” said one of them. “Yes, he is right. We must not fly today,” said another. But their hunger could not be avoided, and pushed them to fly looking for some foods. There was no choice only flying and leaving the nests. Instantly, they were trapped on the glues that they were afraid of before. They had attempted strongly to release themselves from the trap, but their efforts resulted nothing. All of them cried for help, except Parkit, the king of parakeets.

Looking at his companions were in a big trouble, Parkit said calmly, “please quite my friends! This glue is put by the hunter. He wants to catch us alive. If we die, he will not bring us with him. It is better to pretend to be dying when he come to take us tomorrow”. After having heard their king‘s idea, the parakeets kept quite. One of them then asked, “We are planning on pretending to die, for what?” The other parakeets looked at him. With a smile on his face, Parkit replied, “tomorrow, when the hunter releases us from this trap, he will checks all of us whether we still alive or not. If we die, he will leave us here. Please wait for my counting to one hundred, then we will fly together.” All parakeets agreed with the idea and said, “Very good idea. Tomorrow we pretend to die to free ourselves from the hunter.”

The parakeets understood the Parkit‘s plan, and promised to obey the king‘s order. The hunter came in the next morning, and released those parakeets one by one from the trap. Finding all of them had not breathed, the hunter was very dispirited. The parakeets were left needless, and he walked fretfully. After awhile, of a sudden, the hunter slipped and felt down on the earth. Surprised by the accident, the pretending parakeets flied and scattered to all directions without waiting for the king‘s counting. The hunter realized that they had deceived him. But afterward he smiled after seeing one bird still trapped. He was Parkit who was still pretending to be dying. “I must kill you,” said the hunter angrily that made Parkit too scared.

Parkit did not stop thinking to release himself from the hunter‘s threat. He cried for help, “Forgive me, sir! Please do not kill me! Please release me.” But the hunter replied angrily, “I will not release you. Your friends and you have deceived me to lose my chance in getting a lot of money.” “But it is not my guilty. Please forgive me. I promise to entertain you everyday,” Parkit implored. “Entertain me?” the hunter asked. “Yes sir. I will chirp for you everyday,” said Parkit. “Is your voice beautiful?” asked the hunter once again. Parkit began to chirp to show his wonderful voice that successfully reduced the hunter‘s fury to not kill him. “Well, I will not hurt you, but you must twitter for me everyday,” the hunter said. Parkit pleasurably agreed the treaty.

The hunter therefore brought Parkit to his home. His foot was tied with a rope high on a pillar. Parkit chirped melodiously everyday to please the hunter. “Wonderful voice, fortunately I did not kill him,” mumbled the hunter. Whoever heard the Parkit‘s chirp should come to see him and congratulated the hunter for owning the great parakeet. One day, the king of Aceh heard the news about the Parkit‘s beautiful voice. The king decided to invite the hunter to come to his palace. The king intended to buy the parakeet, but the hunter felt too hard to part from his beloved bird.

Kneeing in front of the king, the hunter said, “Oh my Majesty, I do not intend to oppose your wish to have this bird, but it is hard for me to hand over him to you.” “Why?” asked the king. “I have been with him for a long time. Please let me take care of him, for he has become like a friend in my affections”. Hearing the hunter‘s request, the king said, “I would like to buy him with expensive price”. After thought the supply price for awhile, the hunter then said, “Oh my Majesty, if you really intend to raise the bird, please send the kingdom guards to take him to your palace”. The king was in pleasure hearing the hunter‘s answer, and paid him the amount of the promised money.

Arriving at the palace, Parkit was penned in a golden cage. He had so many delicious foods, but they could not pleasant him because he felt to be prisoned. He wish could back home in the forest and could fly high freely with his companions. His sorrow triggered him sickly. He stopped singing at all. The king thought of him for being silent bird and therefore called one of the guards asking for his condition. “Why does my beloved bird stop chirping? Is he sick?” the king asked the guard. “My Majesty, I do not know exactly the causes. I have provided him many delicious foods and taken care of him carefully, but he still keeps silent,” replied the guard. The king looked so sad hearing the guard‘s explanation.

Over following days, Parkit did not want to eat everything provided in his golden cage. He just thought about the forest and companions. He then began to think a way to go out from the golden cage. “Aah I have an idea” Parkit said to himself. “I will pretend to be dying as I had ever done before,” he continued. In the next morning he began to do his plan and imagined could fly freely. A guard of palace who knew the last condition of the parakeet came to the king for conveying the bad news. Kneeing in front of the king, he said, “My Majesty, I have taken care of the sick parakeet but his soul can not be saved. He is probably too old to live”. The king was therefore very sad hearing the recent news, because the parakeet‘s beautiful twitter was no longer be heard. Although the king had other parakeets, their chirps were not as beautiful as the dead parakeet. To express his deep love toward the parakeet, the king had his guards dug a cemetery for burying him.

The burial ceremony would be held with the kingdom tradition in the next morning. The parakeet was then taken out from the golden cage. Everybody thought that he had been dying. Seeing all people in busy, Parkit flied fast and high on the sky and yelled hysterically, “I am free now, yes I am free”. All surrounding people were greatly amazed seeing him, because they supposed that he had died. The king of parakeets got his freedom again, flied directing to the forest, his home of origin.

The king of parakeets eventually backed home and lived happy among his companions. (RI/ter/6/7-07)

Source :

Ari Wulandari. Pakit Raja Parakeet. Yogyakarta: Balai Kajian dan Pengembangan Budaya Melayu bekerjasama dengan Adicita Karya Nusa, 2003.
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