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Thursday, July 29, 2021

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The Golden-Grain Bearing Rice Plants

Selangor - Malaysia
Rating : Rating 2.7 2.7 (3 vote(s))

Jeram is the name of a kampong in Bandar Kuala Selangor, Selangor State, Malaysia. The kampong is situated 19 miles away from Klang or about 10 miles from the center of Bandar Kuala Selangor. The kampong’s residents add up to about 5.000 in number. They work as farmers, fishermen, teachers, and so on.

People say a long time ago, in the kampong there was a young man named Kasan who made a living by working in the rice field of his parents’ inheritance. One day, he was taken aback as he found his rice plants produced golden grains. What happened to the plants? Read the following story!

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In a kampong in Selangor State, Malaysia, lived a young man called Kasan. He lived alone in a shack on the side of the kampong. Both of his parents had passed away after getting struck by lightning while working in the field. For a living, he cultivated the field that used to be his parents’. During the year’s planting season, Kasan’s plants were yielding good crops. But as they started to ripen, suddenly a flock of sparrows struck the field. So everyday, Kasan had to go checking his field to keep it away from the birds.

In a fine morning, Kasan went to the field. As he got there, he saw a number of sparrows scoffing his rice plants. He drove them out and checked the place where the birds were, but then to his surprise, a big amount of the crops have been eaten up by the birds. This made him very angry that he planned to catch them all. 

“Beware now you sparrows! I will catch you all!” Kasan shouted, dejectedly.

After that, Kasan sat on the dike keeping his eyes on his rice plants. Everytime the flocks coming in, he would burst in the field and shouted, “SShhhhh! Ssshhhh! Shhh!” The sparrows would certainly fly away as they heard Kasan’s shouting.

Right before noon, Kasan, who was already hungry, halted his work to have lunch and a rest for a while at his shack. On his way home, he was unhappily thinking of the way to get rid of the sparrows. But then he saw an old woman staggered along carrying heavy stuff. Kasan drew himself from his thought and approached the woman.

“Excuse me, Ma’am. Could I help you carry this things?” asked Kasan.

“Thank you, young man. You are so kind,” answered the woman gladly. Kasan then took the things from the old woman’s hands.

“So, Ma’am, where are you from and heading to?” asked Kasan politely.

“I’m from a kampong nearby, son. I am going to meet my grandson who lives here in this kampong.”

“And what’s your name, young man?” the woman asked Kasan back now.

“Kasan, Ma’am,” he replied.

“I’m proud of you, son. You are a good man,” praised the woman.

“Don’t mention it, Ma’am. It is our duty to help each other.”

“These days, it is hard to find a kind young man as yourself. Most of them are full of themselves,” the woman kept praising him.

“Thanks, Ma’am,” Kasan replied and smiled.

“Son, I see your face and to me it looks sad. You do seem like an unhappy person. What happened, son?” the woman asked Kasan.

“You are right, Ma’am. I have a serious problem. My rice plants were ripening already but the sparrows ate them up,” Kasan sadly told the woman.

“You are blessed by God, son. Your rice plants were ripening because of your hard work and perseverance. You may be not a jealous and envious person, but you are greedy. You don’t want to share what you have with others,” the woman tried to explain the situation to Kasan.

She added, “The sparrows too are God’s creatures as you are. Let them have a little of your crops. God will be more generous to people who are generous as well.”

Kasan was enlightened and quieted by the woman’s words. “The woman is right,” he thought.

“Thank you, Ma’am! I think I will let them have some of my crops,” Kasan said to the woman.

The woman just smiled.

“You really are a good man, son.”

They finally arrived at the house of the woman’s grandson.

“Thank you once again, son, for helping me carry this stuff,” said the woman to Kasan.

“You are welcome, ma’am,” Kasan answered as he walked away home, to his shack.

In the afternoon, Kasan went back to his field, just to see that there were a flock of sparrows pecking the rice plants. Instead of driving them out, Kasan let them finish their meal. And then, right after the birds flied off, Kasan saw a golden blink of light on the rice plants where the birds perched.

“What are those shimmering things?” he said to himself.

Being curious, Kasan came up to the spot. How surprised he was as he found that his rice plants were bearing golden crops. The gold was everywhere on the plants eaten up by the sparrows.

“Oh my God, this gold is so beautiful!” Kasan was astonished.

“The woman was right. Generous people will get reward from God. From now on, I will always try to keep myself away from greed,” Kasan swore.

Kasan picked the golden grains and took them all home. In the next morning, he went to sell the gold to a rich merchant in the kampong. He used the money to buy a house and fields, and also help the poor in his neighborhood. Ever since then, Kasan was known as a rich and generous man so that he became well-respected in the kampong.

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This is the story of The Golden-Grain Bearing Rice Plants from Negeri Selangor, Malaysia. It is an exemplary story that contains moral values. One of the messages embodied in the story is about the importance of generosity. Kasan wills to share with the sparrows what he has so that God gives him unexpected rewards. Generosity is a noble quality and highly upheld in Malay life. In the Malay wisdom verses (Tunjuk Ajar Melayu), it is mentioned that:

In a proverb:

adat hidup Melayu terbilang,
tangan pemurah menolong orang

(as the Malay wisdom stands,
to help the others is the use of one’s hands)

In a poem:

wahai ananda intan terpilih,
pemurahlah engkau kepada orang
kerugian diri jangan dikenang
kesusahan orang wajib dipandang

(ooo.. child the chosen diamond,
always you be generous to other people,
your loss should you never count,
one must you mind is others’ trouble)

In a pantun:

bila redup si matahari
pergi ke laut menjala ikan
bila hidup bermurah hati,
budi lembut hidup terpandang

(if the sun today is overcasted,
let's go to the sea to catch the fishes
always in this life be you openhanded,
kind person you’ll be and live in honors)

(SM/sas/62/04-08)

Translation by Reza Daffi (trans/10/03-10)

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