The Return of the Prodigal Daughter – The Way of the Farmer

September 24, 2012

It didn’t take very long for the news to go around that the only daughter of the oil palm baron Mr Big Bully was smitten by the farmer who lives on the hill. 

So smitten in fact, that she had even intimated to her friends that from hence forth she had decided to give up her wayward life of jet setting with her retinue of hanger on’s – which Mr Big Bully once sardonically described to his wife as, “a life of utter dissipation filled with flies.”

And now that Mr Big Bully’s one and only love and many a times heartbreak had suddenly and unexpectedly returned home to occupy her bedroom – which happened to be in an annex of Mr Big Bully’s private island. The mythical wheel of Mr Big Bully’s life was finally complete. Whole. It had all come full circle. 

Mrs Big Bully was euphoric. She gave thanks to providence. She gave thanks to Kuan Yin. And rumor has it she even donated two oversized cranes to the local temple in the hope that her daughter would be blessed with LOVE….and dare we say marriage… in this apparently cinematic story of how the lost is found. There is always an AND isn’t there? Or shall I say a BUT. And in this case it came in the form of a very skeptical Mr Big Bully who began asking himself. As he watched all this with a mix of disbelief and elation. What could possibly account for the sudden uncharacteristic change of heart of his one and only love?

It started slowly. Gradually. Somewhere between his fifth or sixth glass of brandy. Well that’s at least how I imagined it. He’s all alone in his Kitsch imitation Roman empire with mahogany wood paneled study. He’s putting all the pieces together. Slowly. Painfully. Then the lines that were once invisible began to straighten out like a rope emerging from the sands. Only just the other day when he had gone over to what he considered to be that measly veggie patch plantation to see the farmer on the hill to threaten to force him to join his cartel.

He remembered the conversation in the courtyard. The farmer had told him things about his daughter – things only someone would take an interest in, if they wanted to harm him. At first Mr Big Bully had regarded it as a veiled threat. 

Mr Big Bully had good cause to regard it as such. He had checked up on the farmer’s past. Found out things – things that didn’t fit too well. Such as one incident just after he had arranged for some of the farmers trees to be poisoned. The farmer did not report the matter to the police – this Mr Big Bully considered highly unusual. Those city types who turn to farming always trust the law. That is all they ever do in Singapore. This one didn’t. This one pretended it was another day in paradise. Smiled at him even whenever they paths crossed paths in the Planters club. This one he thought to himself knows how to fight in a back alley with a switch blade.

The answer came unexpectedly when Mr Big Bully’s local two bit gangsters who were responsible for the dastardly act came to him one day and whispered to Mr Big Bully ears – “ye kau yauh mo kom kan tan.” – this man is not so simple it seems.

Now that his one and only love had suddenly returned back from her whirlwind to everywhere and nowhere to roost back home – which was precisely 20 minutes from the farmer’s lands. It all made sense. 

But Big Bully didn’t get where he is in life by just connecting the obvious dots. He knew through the painful school of hard knocks – it always pays to hedge your bets. That night Mr Big Bully made a call to London. He wanted to know what farmer and his daughter were up to six months ago in London. He wanted to know everything. The bills, credit cards, accounts. Calls received. SMS’s. Everything right down to the day, hour, minute and second. 

Above all he wanted to know who he could blame in his one million hectare plantation that had become the name and face of civilization for so many. For now telling him that farmer on the hill may already be humping his one and only love, his one and only joy, his one and only daughter….unmarried daughter.

And if things don’t check out… very dead farmer on the hill it shall be. With those thoughts Mr Big Bully felt he had enough to drink. Tomorrow the truth will be revealed…..

Darkness 2012

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