Long ago in a village in West Sumatra there lived a man named Pak Lebai. One day he received an invitation to a party from two rich people which was held on the same day and time. Pak Lebai is confused about which invitation to go to, because both invitations have their respective advantages and disadvantages. He thought, if he went to a party upstream, the host would reward him with two buffalo heads. However, he was not very familiar with the host and the food of the people upstream was not as good as those downstream. However, if he went to a party downstream of the river, he would be rewarded with a deliciously cooked buffalo head. He also knew the host very well. The difference is, the host upstream will provide his guests with additional delicious cakes. Finally, he started rowing his boat, although he couldn’t decide which party to choose.

He pedaled the canoe to the headwaters. Just arriving on the way, he changed his mind. He turned to row the boat downstream. As soon as he reached the lower reaches of the river, he saw several guests heading upstream. The guest said that the buffalo that was slaughtered there was very thin. He also changed his boat to the headwaters. Arriving at the edge of the village upstream, the guests were already leaving. The party over there is over. Then, he quickly paddled his boat towards the village downstream. Unfortunately, even there the party was over.

Both parties had ended, Pak Lebai only had to regret why he didn’t attend one of them, so the buffalo he wanted just disappeared. Even though at that time he was very hungry. Then he decided to fish and hunt. Then he brought a lunch of rice and did not forget to bring his beloved dog. Arriving at the river, he prepared equipment for fishing. After finding a comfortable place to fish, Pak Lebai threw his hook into the middle of the river. Patiently, he waited for his hook to be eaten by fish. After fishing for a while, finally the hook was eaten by fish. However, the hook was stuck at the bottom of the river. Pak Lebai also jumped in to take the fish.

But unfortunately, the fish can escape. While he was jumping, the dog ate the rice he was carrying. Finally, he bit his finger and there was nothing else to eat to fill his growing stomach. Misfortune has befallen him until it is known by many people. Since then, Pak Lebai has received the nickname from the villagers as Pak Lebai Malang Perahu.

The lesson from West Sumatra Folklore: Pak Lebai Malang is that you should decide everything not on the basis of profit and loss, but with sincerity and determination, so that you avoid unfortunate fate.


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