A Troublesome Gravestone


Photo Copyright. Phylor

Bukit Wang in the district of Perlis is a place well known to Aryan and his daughter Puteri. They had travelled there to escape a troublesome Komodo Dragon, who had threatened to find and eat Puteri. Today Puteri and her father had been taken to visit a relative of the family. Once there Aryan went off to work in the paddy fields with the family, leaving Puteri to entertain herself at the family homestead. Puteri soon became bored and decided to explore, she wandered from house to house, but it seemed that everyone had gone to help bring in the harvest.

Then she found the small plain grave stone, with its simple inscription, once you were lost- now rest in peace- puteri. She almost fell over in fright, what did it mean, she hurried back to the families homestead where she spent the rest of the day watching and listening to a bulbul, with its distinctive call,  kink-a-joo – kink-a-joo that is until she fell asleep.

“Father there’s a strange grave stone at one of the farm houses and it says once you were lost- now rest in peace- puteri” Aryan smiled as he told Puteri that water buffalo’s did not read human writing, but dream we do.


I first wrote about Puteri in a story called ‘The Young Water Buffalo’  2014.

From my story for children

A bulbul

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Iain Kelly

    Nice sweet tale.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Iain, I have yet to do justice to Puteri, two years ago writing about her and attempting to draw her, helped me get though a bout of illness

  2. Priceless Joy

    A lovely story Michael! I was surprised at the ending to find out that Puteri is a water buffalo. I really enjoyed reading this.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Two years ago writing about and attempting to draw Puteri helped me though a bout of illness. So I am pleased you liked the story, although as yet I don’t think I have done Puteri justice. Mike

      1. Priceless Joy

        That’s great that it helped you through a bout of illness!

  3. jademwong

    Wonderful story and well written 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, two years ago I was in hospital for a month, one of the nurses told me about riding water buffalo as a child, and so Puteri arrived.

      1. jademwong

        Aww, that’s a beautiful memory I think. Bittersweet, but beautiful 🙂

  4. Ellespeth

    So creative. A true tale.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Ellespeth, yes there is reality in this tale. Mike

  5. Singledust

    i was pleasantly surprised to read the words so familiar ti me….have you visited Perlis? And naming the water buffalo Puteri, thats so so sweet! such a magical tale and familiar at the same time as i grew up with such tales. i really loved this story! where can i read more about Puteri?

    1. Michael Humphris

      I am so pleased that you liked the story, I am going to try and post some of Puteri’s story’s. Sadly having been unwell, I have not managed to visit Perlis,

      1. Singledust

        so sorry to hear you have been unwell, hope you feel better soon. I was married with my eldest child when we lived in Langkawi and Kuala Perlis was the ferry stop from the mainland. i have fond memories of Perlis and when I read your story I was transported back to those magical days. I will wait for more of your stories. If ever you happen to plan a trip to Perlis I hope you get to see all that you have described so beautifully.

        1. Michael Humphris

          I love magical memories, I would loved to have visited Perlis

  6. Michael

    Delightful Michael….well done..

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Michael,

  7. milliethom

    A lovely and intriguing story, Michael. It’s interesting to read in the comments about how you first came to write about Puteri. It surprised me to discover at the end that she’s a water buffalo, too. I like the way you let us know that in the scene of her finding/reading the tombstone and her father explaining it was in a dream.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Writing this story, was valuable for me, it reminded me of a difficult time and the people who helped me through it.

      1. milliethom

        Yes, I noticed that in your comments, Michael. It’s good to know that writing this post brought thoughts about the kind people who helped you at a time of need.

  8. Dahlia

    This is a lovely tale Michael. I dont think there are any stories of water buffaloes even in India where we have lots of them. I would love to read more about Puteri 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Dahlia, I have three more stories about Puteri waiting to be posted.

      1. Dahlia

        Look forward to reading 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: