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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Once upon a time in Salor

I learned about the recent dog attack incident via Abe Dib's blog. Poor boy, with 180 stitches, he must be scared for life. Thank God that so far, I've not encounter any physically challenging dog, only playful ones most of the time; came running with stick in their mouth asking you to play, kind of thing. On the other hand, it reminds me of stories told by village folks of my great grandfather.

Tok Sohok Gajoh (Ishak The Elephant), as he was known due to his towering figure and enormous strength, the son-in-law of Mat Ali Tok Pendekar (Mat Ali The Warrior), brought many jaw-dropping tales. They told me how he could simply carry a big tree trunk by himself; his main job was jungle clearing for plantation or new settlements. He travelled to places like Perak, Penang, Trengganu via the thick tropical jungle for his work and had wives in those places (our extended family).

One day, a man came running to him asking for help. The buffalo destined to be the main dish for a village bekwoh (big work, kenduri) was rampaging across the field and no man could even went near the hissing and charging beast. I guest the animal knew his fate from the shiny golok spotted from one man's hand. Anyway, when Tok Sohok arrived... he instead went charging towards the amoking buffalo.

Closing at arms length, he gave his famous slap to the buffalo’s bottom, and booommm... the beast went down to the ground and trembled. The watching village men came running and slaughter the animal before it had his last gasp of air, coz a dead buffalo (instead of a slaughtered one) is not to be consumed by Muslims.

A village lady among the story tellers then added, when they cleaned and chopped the meat, they had to discard the section where Tok Sahak strike, as it was all black and blue, and hard (daging mati). They said, Tok Sohok was also able to produce fire or sparks by rubbing his two palms together, an ilmu (mystical knowledge) called 'Tampar Lanun' (pirate's slap). I guess this ilmu sits in the same league as 'Kipas Senandung Dalam Senandung'... a blow that was taled struck Bruce Lee at Hong Kong Airport in 1973. I heard, whoever received it had 44 days to ask for forgiveness from the person who unleashed the jurus, otherwise.....

Another man continued with another tale.
One day, a shepherd came panting to Tok Sohok. Out of the blue, a tiger came from the jungle nearby and attacked his flock of cows. One was unfortunate and went down between the tiger's jaw. As the king of the jungle was dragging the dying cow back into his kingdom, Tok Sohok stopped him. Watching from afar, the shepherd saw the tiger left the cow and went behind the nearby bushes at the edge of the jungle whilst Tok Sohok quickly slaughtered its prey. Then he proceeded by cutting the meat and took half of it away. The beast then, re-emerged and quickly grabbed the other half and disappeared.

Apparently, the storyteller said, Tok Sohok gave the tiger an ultimatum. Took the whole lot, and I'll hunt you down... or let me slaughter this cow and you'll have half of it. Not wanting to put his life at stake, the king took the later option. It was a win-win situation indeed.

How I wish ....

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