“What is that place?” asked the young girl who was sat nestled in the curve of the crescent moon.
“That’s a place for used parents,” Moon replied.
“Used parents”? Because the young girl didn’t understand, the Moon lowered her to the place about which she had inquired. There the young girl was astounded to see on a weather beaten signpost on which faded letters spelled out “Dwelling Place for Used Parents.”
The young girl felt a sudden pang of sadness. “What does that mean?” she asked the Moon.
“It means that there’s no use for them anymore,” the Moon said to the young girl. “It means they no longer have a daughter like you, a child who can pray for their well being when they go bed. Their children no longer have any use for them and have discarded them in the same way they would discard a toy they were tired of playing with.”
Because of the story her mother had told her made Putri wanted to say a prayer for her parents every night before she went to bed. Six other stories in The Moon’s Caretaker (Gadis Kecil Penjaga Bintang) convey a similar message—the hope that children learn to pray and be pleased when doing so; that prayer reveals concern, the desire to realize ones hopes, and the will to do good things in life. All are lovely messages to be conveyed to God.
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Wikan Satriati is a graduate of the Faculty of Letters of Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The Star’s Caretaker (Gadis Kecil Penjaga Bintang), published by KataKita in 2008, is her second book, following the publication of Walking with the Name of God (Melangkah dengan Bismillah), which was released by the same publisher in 2006. Other publications include a translation into Indonesian of the novel Hotel Miramar by Naguib Mahfouz and the essay “Secrets Needs Words” by Harry Aveling which was included in an anthology of poetry under the title Rahasia Membutuhkan Kata (IndonesiaTera, 2004). Currently she works as a publications assistant at the Lontar Foundation, a not for profit institution whose primarily goal is the introduction of Indonesian literature Indonesia to a world audience through translations of Indonesian literary works into English.