I like to introduce to you a famous Malay fable which is called "Batu Belah Batu Bertangkup'. It can't be literary translated into English, but I would called it as "The Magic Cave".
Once upon a time, in a country far far away, there was a magic cave next to the forest. Even though it's a magical cave, the people was afraid of it. This was because the cave will open up when ever anyone whisper to it. However, if anyone entered the cave, that person will never be seen again.
According to the fable, in the village next to the forest, lived a widow named Mak Tanjong with her two small children, a girl named Melor and a boy named Pekan. Since the death of her husband, Mak Tanjong was always sad, and in deep mourning. Her hard life made it harder for her to balance her taking care of the children and trying to be the breadwinner of the family.
Due to her depression and poor life, sometimes Mak Tanjong didn't realise the two best things that she still had, that were her children. Sometimes Melor and Pekan would be neglected for days. When that happened, Melor will try her best to take care of her little brother even though in actual fact she was just a young girl too.
One day, Mak Tanjong felt the need to eat the fish egg of mud skipper, so off she went to the river at the end of village. After some time, finally Mak Tanjong managed to catch one big mud skipper. With a happy feelings, she brought back the fish to her house.
"Wow! What a big fish you have there, Mom" said Pekan excitedly. He was clapping and jumping with joy.
For once, Mak Tanjong looked at Pekan fondly. "Yes, son. This is a mud skipper fish. I think it carries eggs. It's been a while since I tasted its eggs" replied Mak Tanjong. Without much time, Mak Tanjong gutted and cleaned the fish, and sure enough, there were eggs inside the fish.
"Melor, please cook curry for this fish, and deep fry the fish eggs. I need to go next the forest to find some woods. If I am late, you and your brother can eat first. However, make sure that you leave some those fish eggs for me"
Melor did as her Mom asked and cooked the fish and eggs. After a long time and when her Mom was yet to be back, Pekan started to throw tantrum. He wanted to eat and pestering Melor to eat. At the end, Melor gave in and both of them ate without their Mom.
"These fish eggs are the best, Kak Melor" said Pekan while eating. Melor just smiled at her brother. He looked happy. "Please chew your food, Pekan. You're not suppose to swallow your food without chewing" Melor laughed watching Pekan's antic.
"Kak Melor, can I have some more fish eggs?" asked Pekan. Melor stopped in the midst of chewing her rice. "Kak, I want some more fish eggs!" pouted Pekan. Melor decided to give Pekan her share of the fish eggs, even though she barely tasted the fish eggs herself.
Barely a few minutes passed that suddenly Pekan said "I want some more fish eggs". "Oh Pekan. I don't have any more fish eggs for you. You have eaten all the fish eggs even my share."
"I want more! I want more!" Pekan started to cry. Melor felt helpless. She didn't know what to do. She tried to pacify Pekan, but he won't listen and demanded to have more fish eggs. Nothing seemed to be working.
Suddenly, as fast as a cat, Pekan grabbed the remaining fish eggs that Melor put aside for their mother. Immediately he put the eggs into his mouth and swallowed them. Melor was left speechless. She didn't know what to tell her Mom.
When Mak Tanjong came back from the forest, Melor served her Mom with rice and the fish curry. "Where's the fish egg, Melor" asked Mak Tanjong sharply. Melor didn't say anything. She just looked at the food and remained silent. "Did you eat all? Didn't I say to leave some for me?" Mak Tanjong raised her voice at Melor.
With silent tears running down her cheeks, Melor said "I am sorry Mom. Pekan had eaten all the fish eggs. I did set aside some of the fish eggs for you as you had asked. But Pekan was hungry and he wanted the fish eggs". Melor's tears were streaming down her cheeks while saying this.
"How ungrateful children, both of you. I didn't ask much from either of you. But this is what you have give me back. It's better if I am no longer in this world". Mak Tanjong voice was hard. Without another words, she walked out from her house.
"Mom! Mom! Where are you going?" asked Melor when watching her Mom walked away. By this time, Pekan was also crying. He knew that his Mom was angry, but he didn't comprehend fully. Mak Tanjon seemed to be in her own world. She seemed to be deaf and mute to the cries of her children. She kept on walking while her children was running after her.
"Mom! Please. I am sorry. Pekan is sorry. Please don't leave us alone" pleaded Melor. Suddenly Mak Tanjong stopped in her track. "O, mighty cave! I have no one in this world. My husband had left me. My children did not love me. It's better if I leave this world than being unloved and alone" Mak Tanjong said with a sad voice. She was no longer can see the reason to live.
"O, mighty cave! I come here to you. Please open your door, and swallow me. I have nothing, anymore". Pleaded Mak Tanjong. She seemed unable to hear the cries and pleads from Melor and Pekan. With a mighty roar, the cave opened its door. Without much ado nor looking back at her children, Mak Tanjong walked straight into the cave. Within a few seconds, the door of the cave closed and Mak Tanjong was gone.
Melor and Pekan were left crying at the entrance of the cave and pleaded for their Mom to come back. Both siblings were left exhausted after their cries, but stayed at the entrance of the cave for the whole night until the next morning when a hunter from the village found them sleeping. Melor and Pekan had became orphans.
In Malay, "Kak" is the shorten term for "Kakak" which meant "Sister". So "Kak" is "Sis" and "Kakak" is "Sister".