In Kampung Sri Aman, everybody was given a block of wood on the day they were born. It was to be with them forever. Nobody knows the reason but the custom has been practised for many years.
Lokman Longman was like any other eight-year-old active child in Kampung Sri Aman, but he hated his sister, Normi whom he considered a nuisance. Lokman channelled his anger towards his sister by bullying little children. Each time he teased little children, his piece of wood would grow heavier. His wood now weighed the same as a Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.
With its weight, Lokman felt like throwing away his piece of wood (which he nicknamed Jahat). He told his mother about his thoughts but his mother objected by saying “No! It’s essential ………a MUST for you to carry this piece of wood wherever you go. Not contemporary Lokman, but forever, or else bad things will happen. Do you get the picture, dear?
With his mother’s advice lingering in mind, that night, Lokman dreamt he was in a dark room with a wise-looking old man. ”Do you see there,” pointed the old man to a room, filled with wood, “those are all mine! Do you want to trade Jahat with one of mine?”
Excitedly, Lokman dashed into the dull dark room, leaving Jahat behind. He studied the wood meticulously and picked the smallest and went out . Eyeing back suspiciously at Jahat. Lokman compared the weights of the two woods. Jahat was slightly lighter !
“On second thoughts, I think I prefer my Jahat,” mumbled Lokman. “Let this be a lesson,” said the wise old man. ”Every time you do something bad, your wood will become heavier. Every time you do good thing, it will become lighter.”
Lokman woke up with a new feeling of respect for Jahat and now regarded Jahat more as a companion rather than a burden. Remembering the old man’s words, Lokman stopped bullying other children.
Wan Nur Afifah