Kabelah >> Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Lampung

LONG time ago. there lived a husband and a wife. They were old. They did not have any children yet. Everyday they prayed to God to give them a child. Well, the husband almost gave up praying to God. He said, "Dear God, we are old and we really want to have a child. Please give us a child although his body is only a half."

Amazingly not long after the husband finished praying, the wife was pregnant. Later they had a baby boy. However they were shocked when they saw their baby boy only had a half body. He only had one eye, one ear, one arm and one foot. Yes, his body was only a half!

"What do you want to name him?" asked the wife.

"Kabelah," replied the husband. Kabelah is from the word sebelah which means one half.

They took care of Kabelah with great love. Although their son looked very much different from any other kids, they did not spoil him. Instead, they taught him how to be independent. Kabelah became smart, helpful, and obedient to his parents.

Kabelah was not happy with his life. His friends always made fun of him. They always said that Kabelah was a strange creature. He often cried at nights. He always prayed and asked God to give him a normal body.

One day Kabelah decided to look for God.

"I want to meet God, Mother... I want to ask God to give me a normal body."

The parents could not stop him. They just wished that their son would be safe in his journey to meet God. Later Kabelah left the house happily. He was sure that he could meet God.

Kabelah arrived in a jungle. He saw an old man was sitting quietly under a big tree. He greeted the old man politely. However, the old man was angry!

"Why are you disturbing me! Leave me alone!!!"

"I'm so sorry I just want to ask you where I can meet God," replied Kabelah politely.

"Ha ha ha! I have been sitting here for a long time and praying to God. But God never comes to me. Now go away and stop disturbing me!" yelled the old man angrily.

Kabelah left the old man sadly. He did not give up. He continued his journey to find God.

Later he met a group of beggars! They tried to rob him! But when they saw his body, they felt sorry for him and they were touched when they heard that Kabelah was trying to meet God. They finally let him go.

It was almost dark and Kabelah arrived in a cave. He was so tired and wanted to rest inside the cave. After he was sure that the cave was safe, he slept.

A loud voice woke him up! "What are you doing here?"

"I want to meet God. I want to ask God to give me a complete body."

"Your wish is granted. You can have a complete body but you have to be grateful with your life. Also you have to do good things to people. You can start with the old man in the jungle and the beggars you met. Tell them that God is every where watching us. Tell them to change their bad behaviors!"

A miracle happened! Kabelah's body slowly became normal. He had two eyes, two ears, two arms, and two feet. He was so happy.

Kabelah left the cave. Before he went home,t he looked for the old man and the beggars. the old man was surprised to see how Kabelah's body had changed. He accepted Kabelah's advice to behave well. The beggars were also surprised to see Kabelah. They also accepted his advice to stop their bad behavior. They no longer became beggars and started doing honest jobs.

When Kabelah arrived home, his parents were extremely happy. They thanked God very much. Since then Kabelah was always grateful with his life and his name was also changed into Syukur which means grateful. ***

Gamolan Pekhing,
Lampung musical instrument

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