Not too long ago, my cousins and friends got together to talk about our village life in the Rajang Valley and the stories really made us feel that we had really great childhood.
And from a friend, who was able to tell another story of her childhood which was filled with innocence, adventure and joy.
She and her brothers went to school early in the morning and saw on anteater climbing up to a hollow of a tree. The siblings then were all below the age of 10.
|Photo from my former student Patrick. Ulu Baram.|
Once they got home, the brother got hold of a sarong and some wood. He had decided to smoke the anteater out of the tree hollow. And indeed all the siblings helped each other build the fire and made the smoke go upwards.
And soon enough the anteater dropped from the tree, The boys wrapped up the anteater with the sarong and off they went home.
That evening neighbours came to help slaughter the anteater, some got the scales for medicinal purposes , one particular family asked for its blood. Before nightfall, a big fire was made and a huge pot was on it. The family and neighbours had a good meal.
My friend until today still could not understand how her young brother knew how to get the anteater off the tree and how he thought of using a sarong to bring home the animal.
Such was the life of village children. So innocent, so carefree, and so full of good memories.