Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Boy and the Tree of Knowledge

Cover made by: me

Story by: Putri Aisyah

Original Indonesian version is available here.
Translated by me.

Once upon a time, there lived a very diligent boy named Mogu. Mogu was seven years old. His daily activities were farming and collecting firewoods from the forest. He lived all alone. In order to cure his sense of loneliness, he read books. Many books. There were no days without reading books for him. He longed so much for knowledge.

One day he was lost in the forest. It was already dark. Mogu finally decided to spend the night in the forest. He leaned against a tree and fell asleep. In his sleep, Mogu vaguely heard a voice calling him. The early he thought it was only a dream. However, when he woke up, the voice was still calling him.

"Young man, wake up!"

"Who are you? Why are you here?" Mogu was still confused where the voice came from. He tried to look around.

"I'm here. I'm the tree that you lean against!" the voice said again.

Momentarily Mogu turned his head around and was surprised! The tree appeared to have a face.

"Do not be afraid! I'm not a bad creature. I am Tule, the tree of knowledge. Now, introduce yourself, young man." said the tree gently.

"My name is Mogu. I am here to collect firewoods. But I was lost, so I had to spend the night here," replied Mogu timidly.

"Son, tell me if you are interested in science and knowledge? What would you say about the use of science and knowledge?" asked the tree.

"Oh, yes, yes, I'm really interested in science and knowledge. With them, I found out many things. I'm not easily be fooled and knowledge will be very useful for anyone. Sadly, the source of knowledge in my village is so inadequate. But if you have to go to town, it will cost a lot of money. I'd love to learn science and knowledge, but do not know how." Mogu replied jadedly.

"Listen son, I am the the tree of knowledge. A lot of people are searching for me, but no luck. Only those who have clean soul and sincere heart of seeking for knowledge can find me. You have passed the requirements, young man. I will teach you various knowledge. Would you accept it or not?" asked the the tree again. Hearing this good news, Mogu was very happy.

Since then, Mogu learned knowledge from the tree. Days passed quickly. Mogu had grown into a handsome young man. He possessed an extensive knowledge of science. One day the tree said, "Mogu, it is now time for you to go wandering. Find experiences as many as you can. Use the knowledge you possess to help you. If you meet any trouble, you can come to me."

Mogu then wandered to many villages. He made use of his knowledge to help other people such as improving irrigations, teaching children to read and write, etc. Mogu finally arrived at the capital city. There he followed a state examination. Amazingly, Mogu managed to graduate with the best rank through the ages. The king was so impressed with his intelligence.

However, there was an old officer who envy him. Officer Monda was not happy when Mogu received more attention from the king. So he searched for strategies to make Mogu looked foolish in front of the king. "Sir Mogu. Today I want to ask you a question. But you should be able to answer it right away in front of Your Majesty," Officer Monda said.

"Please, Officer Monda. I am listening," replied Mogu.

"What is the size of my body height?" he asked.

"If I am not mistaken, your height is equal to the length of the tip of your left finger to the tip of your right finger when outstretched," replied Mogu with smile. Officer Monda and the king did not believe. They sent someone to measure it. Apparently Mogu's answer was right. The king was amazed.

Officer Monda was very upset, but he had not given up. "sir Mogu. Can you make a fire without using a lighter?"

Mogu calmly pulled out a convex mirror, then collected a pile of dry leaves. He made a fire, using the convex mirror to shine a concentrated beam of sunlight onto the dry leaves. Soon the leaves rose up in flames. The king was getting even more amazed. While Officer Monda was increasingly annoyed.

The curious King then put forward a question to Mogu, "Amazing, Mogu! All right! I have one question for you. I've heard about the tree of knowledge. If you really have an extensive knowledge of science, you must know where the location of the tree. Take me there!"

Mogu doubted. After thinking for a moment, he then replied the King's question, "Yes, I know, Your Majesty. But only certain people can see the tree. truthfully, the tree is my own teacher. So, I am willing to take you there. But we have to go there by wearing an everyday outfit. And after the meeting, Your Majesty must promise not to tell anyone," asked Mogu seriously.

The king agreed. After a long journey, they arrived at the destination.

"Greetings, Your Majesty. Are there any particular issues that have made you came all the way to see me?" said the tree calmly.

"I want to be your apprentice, like Mogu. I want to be the wisest king," requested the king to the tree.

"You are already wise enough, Your Majesty. Listen to the conscience of your people. Understand their feelings. Do your best for your people. Do not be easily prejudiced. And let my apprentice does the rest for you. My time is almost over. This is too bad our meeting is so brief," said the tree of knowledge as if he knew his end was imminent.

Suddenly Officer Monda burst with a number of armies. "You must teach me!" he shouted at the tree of knowledge.

"No, you can not. You do not have a pure heart." Answer the tree, that made Officer Monda furious.

He ordered his troops to burn the tree of knowledge. The king and Mogu was trying hard to block but they were overwhelmed.

Even though they managed to destroy the tree of knowledge, Monda and his followers did not escape from the punishment. They suddenly died struck by lightning.

Before he died, the tree of knowledge gave Mogu a book, and with the book Mogu became way much wiser. Years later, the King bequeathed his throne to Mogu and Mogu became the wisest and the kindest King ever exist.


P.S.: This is a special post, for today is her birthday... :)

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