Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Malaysian Fairy Tale (2) - Rumpelstiltskin

From Wikipedia, we learn that Rumpelstiltskin is a fairy tale of German origin, where the central personality is a dwarf of the same name, who possessed magic powers.

In Germany, Shorty is known as Rumpelstilzchen. The tale was collected by the Grimm Brothers who first published it in the 1812 edition of Children's and Household Tales. It was then revised a number of times in later editions until the final version was published in 1857.

Rumpelstiltskin is also known by a variety of names in a number of other languages, for example: Repelsteeltje in Dutch, Grigrigredinmenufretin in French, Praseidimio in Italian, Bulleribasius in Swedish, etc

The following is the Malaysian version:

It was said that the handsome son of a nation’s official claimed to the king that he could spin rice straw into gold. The king ordered the man into the 4th floor room of a towering tower [yeah, very 'towering'], where there were rice straw and a spinning wheel, and demanded that he spin the straw into gold for three nights, to be presented to his elegant majesty on each following morning, or gulp be executed.

The bloke realised his big mouth had cornered him own self once again, and had given up all hope, when a dwarf appeared in the room and told him a secret. “Look Hang Putih, spinning rice straw into gold is nothing, chickenfeed stuff, so easily doable, but spinning bullsh*t, hey man, now that’s a high value skill. And that’s what you really need in your world.”

So the dwarf taught the man the art of scatological spinning of the bovine variety, but he didn’t teach him everything straightaway, thus the bloke, big mouth as he was, initially couldn’t spin well enough to bull his way cleanly through. Mind you, what little he knew was enough to impress the king, who was more entranced by Big Mouth’s product of high-value bovine poo than honest-to-goodness bloody ordinary gold.

He exclaimed excitedly: “It’s more than a mere ‘pot of rice’; why, it’s a ‘pot of lies’!”

Look, nothing has ever been free in the real world, so for the first lesson, the young man paid the dwarf with his Stefano Ricci tie [just a mere US$1,500], and on the following night for his second lesson, his Zenith - Grande Chronomaster XXT wristwatch [US$80,000].

However, on the third night, when the strange creature taught him the final lesson, that of spinning the best golden bullsh*t that could ever be spun or bullsh*tted, Hang Putih had nothing with which to reward the gnome. So the nasty creature made him promised that he (Hang Putih) would surrender his first-born child to him (the dwarf).

Anyway, the king was so impressed with the handsome bloke for the 3 nights of scatalogical spinning that he married him to his only daughter. ‘Twas all bliss and rapture, but the day soon arrived when the couple had their first child, whom the proud father named Cemerlang.

Before one could say ‘pot of lies' [or was it ‘pot of rice’?], the dwarf turned up on his unregistered and illegally modified motorbike to claim his payment: "Now give me Cemerlang as you promised".

Hang Putih, who was of course by now a prince consort, was frightened and offered the gnome all his accumulated wealth (rumoured to be over 9 million) if he could keep the child. The dwarf refused but finally agreed to give up his claim to the child if the prince could guess his name in three days. The dwarf was confident his secret moniker would remain just that, a secret. He rather enjoyed toying around with Prince Putih.

The first two days, Putih failed miserably, guessing silly hopeless stuff like ‘bangsa’, ‘agama’ and even ‘no apology’. But on the eve of the third day, Datuk Sri Aampoo Putera Aam Bong Bong, one of his courtiers, accidentally chanced upon and overheard the dwarf hopping around his souped-up bike in a decrepit garage and singing:

Today I rev up, vroom, tomorrow I sing,
for he must to me baby Cemerlang bring;
For little dreams the pahlawan bangsa,
that Mat Rempitstealthing is my nama!

When the dwarf came to the prince on the third day, the prince was jubilant because Datuk Sri Aampoo Putera Aam Bong Bong revealed to him the creature’s name, but in his excitement, instead of saying ‘Rempitstealthing’ he shouted ‘bangsa’.

Thus unlike the European versions, the dwarf Rempitstealthing won his bargain because of Prince Putih’s hasty revving of his big mouth before engaging his brains.

However, the dwarf, casting his toyol-like eyes into the future [thinking “Hope that prince won’t spot my eyes and think it’s the Return of the Red-Eyed Toyol], decided not to crush the young newly crowned prince consort by taking away his child.

Yes, Rempitstealthing has some further use for that young bloke.

So he told Hang Putih, “Look, a deal. Nope, I’m not interested in any money, least of all your 9 over million – that sort of money falls down from heaven easily. But I settle for a noble title. I want you to get the king to officially promote my name from Rempitstealthing to Cemerlanggoosai.”

“Deal!” shouted the prince consort in relief, and quick as a flash, Datuk Sri Aampoo Putera Aam Bong Bong, who was hanging around like a sycophantic leech that he was, took out his deck of cards, which earned him a handsome and dashing frown, but nonetheless a frown from the debonair prince, who said: “Idiot, put those 53 cards away, and ring up ayah, and inform him I have arranged a royal ceremony of great importance for him.”

Sorry I have to end here abruptly as the rest of the book has been confiscated by the authority for its immoral and decadent western culture. But I've since heard from German academicians specialising in folklore that that in the original Rumpelstilzchen the royal ceremony was held in the wintry month of January.

The KTemoc Carl Grimm* Children's and Household Tales:
(1) A Malaysian Fairy Tale - Princess & The Frog

* with apologies to the late Jacob Ludwig Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm and their estates


  1. LOL! Great story. Looking to publish a sequel to The Chronicles of KJ, eh?

  2. Hang Putih should more aptly be called Hang Bangla and his next 2 offspring be named "Gemilang" and "Terbilang". Morever, he need not spin gold for a living-- he merely has to hike the tolls on the highways.

  3. ke ke ke..spin spin ke ke...
    our cabinet is indeed...the 'fairy tale' cabinet la...