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Confessed by Geraldine Laetitia
The following encounter happened in the old Kampung along Lim Chu Kang Road. It is better known today for the abandon HDB Neo Tiew Estates. I used to go into the villages there when I was young as my mother's hometown is the Nan Hoe Village. This village will include where Neo Tiew stands today.
I used to go there till my secondary school days and stay overnight there on the odd occasions like Chinese New Year and Family weddings where I was part of the wedding entourage. The roads in the village are all lined with tall grass, trees, banana trees, vegetation, and fish farms. As we all know, houses in the kampung are all situation far from each other, typically with farmlands, banana trees or simply forest in between them. My grandmother, my first uncle and 2nd uncle and a few older cousins all have houses in the village. Evening time as the sun set to the horizon is normally the most beautiful time. The last ray of sun turns the land into a hue of orange glow, with birds chirping away and the night crickets comes out to play. Hence it is no surprise that my cousin and I love to play outside the house as the sun set behind us.
One evening, as usual that is what we did. Suddenly, my cousin saw the daughter of one of the neighbour standing far away among the field. Since she hardly see her neighbours, she was extremely elated to see her friend. So she ran towards the girl while shouting her name!.... Just as she was reaching the girl, she suddenly stop. In front of her are just rows of banana trees... Where was the neighbour she saw? She was stunned and immediately turn around and ran back towards the house.
Since then, she will never dare step out of the house the moment the sun begins to set. When I visit the village, I will usually stay at my 2nd uncle's house. The road from my 2nd uncle house to my 1st uncle house will take you pass the spot where my cousin had saw her neighbour. One evening, my eldest cousin (1st uncle's daughter) was holding her little brother and walking back towards her house, returning home at the end of the day. Not long after she set off, as she look towards the direction of her house, she saw a lady standing not far away. She thought it was her mother. She dragged her younger brother and ran very fast towards the lady, shouting "Mummy! Mummy!" When she reached the lady, she dived and buried herself into the lady's chest...... and she immediately let out a very loud shriek the moment she dived towards the lady.
At the very moment, then she realize there is no mummy. Right in front of her is just a banana tree that she is hugging. She was so shocked and terrific, she burst into tears immediately. Her younger brother was just as terrific. Both of them end up in tears and ran. They cried as they ran as fast as possible back to their house and the other side of the field. Accordingly to the old folks, banana trees usually turn into the impression of a person at dusk, just right before the sun set fully. Not sure if it is really true, but what happened in the kampung will always stay in our memories.
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