Pak Garam (Mr Salt) and His Advice

Pak Garam dan Nasihatnya | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Riau

THERE was a wise man. His name was Pak Garam. Actually that was not his real name. He sold garam which means 'salt' to make a living. Because of that, people called him Pak Garam.

Pak Garam lived with his wife. They lived happily. Although they were not rich, they never complained.

People respected Pak Garam. Whenever they had a problem, they always came to him and asked him for a solution.

One day, someone came to Pak Garam's house. His family member passed away and he asked Pak Garam to help him bath and bury the deceased.

Pak Garam was confused. He never bathed and buried a dead body before. However the man kept on asking Pak Garam to help him. And finally Pak Garam gave up. He agreed to help.

When he arrived, Pak Garam immediately washed and bathed the deceased. And he found something in the deceased's arm pit. He found a stone! Pak Garam was surprised. He did not know why there was a stone in the arm pit.

He did not tell anybody about the stone. He secretly kept the stone and put it in his pocket. And after the dead body was buried, Pak Garam went home.

On the way home, Pak Garam kept on thinking about the stone. He was really curious and he really wanted to know about the benefits of the stone. He was sure the stone was very beneficial to him. At home, his wife asked him about the burial.

"How's the burial, Pak?"

"It was fine," he said shortly.

"What's the matter? You look confused," asked his wife.

Pak Garam hesitated. And after a while he told his wife about the stone.

"I found a stone in the deceased's arm pit. I think the stone is not an ordinary stone. It has something valuable, I just don't know how to use it."

"Well, just keep the stone carefully. Sooner or later we will know the benefits," said his wife.

Unfortunately, they did not know that someone over heard their conversation. He was a soldier and he was hunting when he heard their conversation.

The soldier immediately went to the palace and told the king about the stone. The king knew that to keep  the stone was very valuable. He wanted the stone. He then ordered the soldier to go to Pak Garam's house.

"Tell him, I want to have the stone. I will give him a lot of money and jewelries. But if he refuses it, I will send him to jail!" said the king.

The soldier rushed to Pak Garam's house. He told the king's message. Pak Garam was in great dilemma. He wanted to keep the stone. But he knew the king would not give him a chance to keep the stone.

"Tell the King I will go to the palace tomorrow morning and give the stone to him."

Pak Garam arrived at the palace. The king asked him to show the stone. He looked very happy when he saw the stone. Then he asked Pak Garam to give him the stone. Pak Garam had no any other option. He gave the stone to the king. As promised, the king gave him a lot of money and jewelries.

On the way home, Pak Garam was still thinking about the stone. Suddenly he knew the benefits of the stone. The stone gave him great lessons. And he made advice based on the lessons which the people of Sakai later said as Pak Garam's advice.

There were three kinds of advice, they were: keep the secret carefully and don't open the secret until you die. The second is don't break people's hope. When someone asks for your help, do it. The third advice is don't lie or fight the ruler. Because the ruler can do anything he likes, including punishing people. ***


Salt Maker

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