Pokop Meets Masalai Of Sumbrulendriy
One day Pokop of Pohyomou wanted to have a taste of fish so he decided to establish markets. He went ahead and established one at the mouth of Yukuyiy River, another one at Kakiniy and so on along the south coast past the mouth of the Yowes River right up to the eas t coast. So he had his barter places all along the coast from south to east. But out of all his barter places the one he liked most was the one at the mouth of Yowes River.
Whenever his needs for fish arose, Pokop of Pohyomouwould go and barter there. Every morning on the market day, before he left for the market, his wives roasted his taro, packed them together with his barter goods and away he went. However, the masalai of Sumbrulendriy had already discovered that Pokop went regularly to barter at Yowes and he planned to catch him one day. It was in the morning of this same day that Pokop of Pohyomou arrived at Sumbrulendriy and was surprised but happy to see that a dried log was burning. But in fact it was the anus of the Masalai of Sumbrulendriy that was burning the log. As soon as Pokop saw the fire he said to himself. "Well, since there is a good fire burning here I might as well leave my taro here". So he hid it in a "salih" and continued on his way to the market. Many Mwanus (Titan) came and barter was very good. When his produce has been exchanged for fish he wrapped his fish up, put them in his basket, and left for home.
At Sumbrulendriy he decided to take a little rest and eat his taro before continuing home. So he put his basket down, took out a fish and roasted it on the fire. When the fish was cooked, Pokop tookdown his taro from the salih and ate his meal. After he had eaten to his great satisfaction, he threw the fish bones and taro skins into the fireand left Sumbrulendriy. The next market day he returned and did the samething. He left his roasted taro at Sumbrulendriy on his way to the market and after the market he stopped at the same place, rested, and ate before going home to Pohyomou. Of course he never forgot to throw the remainsof what he ate into the burning fire. Each market day he did the same and the Masalai of Sumbrulendriy was getting sick of what Pokop was doing. The masalai therefore decided to put an end to all this insult by catching Pokop.
As usual Pokop went to the market and left his roasted taro on the salih at Sumbrulendriy. Returning from the market he put his fish down, took out one of his favourite fish and placed it on the fire to roast. While the fish was roasting he sat there chewing his betelnut. As soon as the fish was cooked, Pokop threw away the betelnut waste from his mouth, picked up the fish from the fire, got his taro and began eating. He ate in silence unaware of what was going to happen to him. As he was about to finish his tasty meal there was a sudden explosion from the fire and it burst into flames licking the dried log. At the same time the fire began leaping over Pokop from side to side.
Stunned, but knowing that his life was in danger, he sprang from his sitting position, jumped over the fire, and ran for his life leaving everything behind. He ran as fast as his two legs could carry him expecting to leave the masalai behind. However, the masalai followed right behind Pokop, he was determined to give chase. Down the valleys and up the hills they chased each other. Sometimes at close range the firewould leap over Pokop and land a few metres in front of him in an attempt to stop him from escaping, but Pokop would leap over the fire and speedoff down the track again. They went past the village of Yundret still with the masalai trying to stop Pokop and Pokop just managing to escape and keep in front. The big race continued neck to neck until they reached the creek called Polsoheiak.
Since Pokop was running ahead at this stage, on reaching the creek, he jumped into a big pothole and stayed submerged in there. The masalai reached the creek just a few minutes after, and unaware that Pokop was in the creek, he leapt from one side of the creek to the other thinking that his quarry was still in front. He soon found that Pokop was not there, so he returned to the spot where he had previously jumped from and searched both upstream and downstream but all in vain. He returned to the middle spot and sensed that Pokop had submerged but the fire went out immediately because of the water. The masalai tried again and again but without success. It could not reach Pokop. So the masalai stood on the bank of the creek and said: "E Saleu! "If it weren't for the water I should have caught this man and eaten him. Saleu! What does he think I am? He thinks he can eat fish all the time and give me the bones? If it wer en't for the water I should have seen him properly". As he said that Pokop of Pohyomou replied from the pothole, "You're talking about me? Well, you're masalai, so am I. You think you're masalai and I am not? We are both masalais. We are both males. Now you really see a masalai challenging another masalai. Go ahead and eat your man. But as for me, I will be chewing my betelnut and celebrating at Pohyomou today. You can burn my basket and everything else I left behind but as for me, I will be back in Pohyomou today. You're a masalai, so am I".
So ends this dangerous adventure of the Pokop of Pohyomou.
Stalk of payai, stalk of tiyiy, cut.
Kakah Kais - 1974
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