Cats, dogs and monkeys
Friends of my parents gave us two little dogs, Molly and Dolly, two lovely little Maltese doggies. They were really very nice and at the same time very naughty. Molly was my little dog and I loved her very much. She was very brave as well, she killed a snake from about a meter long, the monster came too close to Henny and me, so this little doggy killed the snake.
But Henny’s dog was just as sweet but less naughty.
We had quite some cats around the house but my mother received a half Angora cat, and she called her Kitty. Now this Kitty was really spoiled, so the other cats became very jealous! So now and then there were some fights going on, we all had to help poor Kitty of course, She was a sweet little cat and very beautiful.
Another big friend of my mother was the Beo, he could talk and whistle, he was a very clever and gentle bird.
My father had his two dogs, they were his big friends, they went everywhere with my father on the coffee and rubber plantation. At night they slept in a protected kennel because there were quite some wild animals and snakes around our house during the nights.
Also our two mountain horses were protected in their stable.
Most people in the Dutch East Indies had several pets at home and around the house, like cats, dogs, many sorts of birds in cages and sometimes monkeys as well. The Indonesians usually had birds in cages, don’t ask me what those birds were living on, I really can’t remember.
Some of the Indonesians had dogs as well, but they weren’t well looked after, they were always very thin those poor dogs.
I was going to teach Henny to play at hopscotch. I draw the game on the ground near one of the banyan trees. In those trees were quite some black monkeys about the size of a baby. They were always in those trees but they never came too near to the house, they just watched everybody while sitting on their throne in the banyan trees.
But this particular day while I explained Henny how the game worked, the monkeys were making a lot of noise it sounded as if they were yelling at each other. Or maybe they were irritated that we were playing too close to their home, the banyan tree.
I told them several times to keep quiet but then they really started yelling at me. So in the end I took a small stone and threw that at them. To our big surprise several monkeys came down, picked up some stones and when they were back in the tree they threw those stones at us while yelling loudly to show their anger.
We had bad luck because Henny was hit by one of the stones and started crying.
I saw the trouble coming so I left before my mother could reach me.
Luckily it wasn’t so bad after all because it had been a very small stone, but we showed the monkeys more respect since that afternoon. As from then on they were allowed to yell at us if that was necessary in their eyes.
Now and then I went to the kampung ( Indonesian village) in the afternoon and visited Karto, the head foreman, and his wife. It was a nice and very clean little home and it was a very kind family. Their son looked after our mountain horses.
Sometimes some other Indonesians came in and started singing while one of them played the guitar, it all sounded very nice.
I always received something to drink, and I could see that they were all very amused that I liked their music.
I also went to the small house from Rasmina, our cook, she was very proud of her home.
And if I still had some of my pocket-money I went to the Chinese shop on the plantation where I bought some sweets or peanuts.
Although I was very young, I can still remember how happy and how completely at home I felt on this plantation Sumber Sewu.
Molly, Dolly and Kitty