OMG! Time flies when you are about to make the most out of it. I promised a story and I’m giving you a story. I was inspired to write this story (not told or chronicled anywhere and the author prefers that this is not repeated in writing without her prior consent, and the author is me! :-D) after getting several bombardments and inquisitive FAQs from the work front. Okay. Enough is enough. Curiosity killed the cat, but did it? You be the judge….
Once upon a time somewhere on the island of Borneo, lived a man named Tuk’ng. He was no ordinary man. He was a penghulu (village chief) and notable to many for his intellectual prowess and acclaimed for his enormous endowment of observation. He was highly revered by the village folks because of his rational and unbiased reasoning in solving the local disputes. He was, I would say, a cross between Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. The village people always felt safe with his presence. There was peace and order until one fine day turned into a procession of frenzy and uproar. Farmer Regieng marched into the office of Chief Tuk’ng and explained his anger. He was a victim of a series of thefts during the past weeks. He needed the esteemed advice of Chief Tuk’ng to solve the case once and for all. He told the Chief that he had been robbed of his golden harvest of the thorny fruits for the umpteenth time. He wanted the thief to be brought to justice. But whodunit? And what were those thorny fruits? Chief Tuk’ng put on his thinking terendak (conical shaped hat worn by the locals of that area) while chewing the sireh (Betel leaf) and crunching a handful of sago pellets like you would, nuts. Hmmmm…… the thorny fruits. What were they? The only definition that Chief Tuk’ng could think of was the “king of fruits”. You know, the thorns? Well, well, well, I think our friend, Farmer Regieng was talking about the most aromatic fruit of the jungle. But wait! Smell is relative. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Chief Tuk’ng had heard from reliable sources that some people from some continents miles and miles away were disputing about the smell of these thorny fruits, which were none other than, yes!!!! DURIANS (duri means thorn, hence durian means thorny). OK, we now know what the thorny fruit was but WHODUNIT?! Back in the village, 4 people were arrested as they were thought to fit the description of the so-called thief. These 4 suspects were the most well known night-shift critters in the village, whose ‘jobs’ incidentally, fit the modus operandi of the durian thief. For some unknown reason, durians only fall off the trees at night, never during daylight. Legend has it that a durian has eyes and could see where it is falling and in that manner, people may not be hurt. See, a durian is not only aromatic, but an intelligent fruit as well. If only fruits have brains. LOL ! That’s why it is called the “king of fruits”, well known across the globe, yet untouched or unreached by so many and conquered only by the brave and adventurous souls 😀
The 4 suspects were brought to the chief’s office for an identity parade. They were Kenulat, Manek, Putak, and Temih. After a moment of silence, Chief Tuk’ng finally concluded that he would put the 4 suspects to a one-off test. He instructed Farmer Regieng to place the 4 suspects in solitary confinement for 8 hours without human contact. No food. Only 5 litres of sodium bicarb water ( soda water). Solitary confinement? Hmmm, that meant 4 separate cells measuring 2m x 2m each. No frills attached. Was that all? No interrogation at all? And the soda water? It sounded all too bizarre but what the heck, that sort of stunt befitted the eccentric behaviour of the chief anyway, thought Farmer Regieng. That wasn’t the end. Chief Tuk’ng wanted 4 diplomats representing at least 4 continents to be included in the test. The solitary cabins were only to be identified with numbers: 1, 2, 3 and 4. No names mentioned and in no particular order. The plot thickened. Everyone was curious with the chief’s conviction and at the same time, itching profusely for a verdict.
At the stroke of the 8th hour, Chief Tuk’ng beckoned the 4 diplomats one by one to his office. Each diplomat had to enter the 4 cabins separately, after which, he or she had to annotate his or her experience or finding to Chief Tuk’ng. The Chief held a stopwatch on his right palm and clocked each entry with precision. Ready, set, go! One by one each diplomat entered the cell in no particular sequence : 1-3-4-2, 2-1-3-4, 4-1-2-3, 3-4-1-2. And the most peculiar thing happened. Each diplomat stayed exactly 4 seconds in each of the 4 cells, rushed out and gasping for breath! Cough! Cough! Very interesting indeed, thought Chief Tuk’ng. He had never seen anything like that before. Then he asked the 4 diplomats this vital question: Should you be given another chance to enter any one of the 4 cells, which one would it be? All four answered in unison to one particular cell. Chief Tuk’ng became curious and reconstructed the trail of the test. He had seen enough. He summoned the 4 suspects out of their cells.
Chief Tuk’ng went through the scribbled notes of the 4 diplomats in a flash.
Stench of decayed carcasses, rotten eggs, damp socks, stale vomit, vanilla essence, nutty, human faeces, dog shit, pig sty, onion, a bucketful of broiled kidneys, skunk secretion.
The Chief smiled and walked towards the 4 suspects. He knew who the thief was.
Suspect No 1 worked as a scavenger
Suspect No 2 was a wild honey collector
Suspect No 3 worked as a grave digger
Suspect No 4 was a sewage worker
By the way, do you?
Hint: Death upon arrival.
Let’s have some fun and let me know who you think was the durian thief and why.
Have a bloodhound weekend 😉