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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Toy Guns

     In the good old days, kampung children of my age did not have many toys which they bought at the shop.  All they had were tops, rubber bands and kites; those were what I could remember.  Yet a lot of them made their own kites using old newspaper 'Utusan Melayu'.  Apart from kites, most of the children made their own toys.  One of them was toy pistols (toy guns) which they created using used planks.

     Making a toy pistol was not so difficult.  We only needed to draw the shape of the pistol that we wanted on a piece of used plank that we salvaged from the dump.  Next, we cut the plank using a parang (a big knife).  Some boys would carve James Bond 007 pistol, others revolvers and so on.  For those whose fathers had saws, they were fortunate enough to make use of the tool in helping them create better made toy guns which they would then proudly place on their waists.  For those creative ones, they would put in an extra effort to make a holster from used exercise book covers like the ones shown on "The Big Valley", "Rin Tin Tin", "Bat Masterson" on TV.

     When everyone of us had already had a gun, we would gather to play 'soldiers'.  We would form two groups, A and B.  Then we would get ready for the 'war' at out own bases.  When the 'war' started, we would trace our enemies and defeat them by shouting their names followed by the word 'die'.  The person whose name was mentioned would 'die'; that is he had to come out of his hiding place into the open and wait for that round to finish.

     Romli, a soldier from 'A' Company, hid amongst a bush of sugar cane plants near Embah Esah's house.  Like other soldiers, his mission was to kill as many enemies as possible.  Romli moved slowly in between the plants on his stomach towards a small shed fifty meters in front, where he had spotted an enemy from 'B' Company.  He wanted badly to 'kill' his enemy from that distance but could not; since he was unable to identify him. If he shouted the wrong name, which would mean he had missed his shot, he would be sitting ducks.  Therefore, he had to make sure who his enemy was, to kill him.  Or her?

    Determined to accomplish his mission, Romli moved forward slowly, the sound of the sugar cane leaves rustling in the winds helped camouflage his movement.  When the winds died down, he had to freeze so that his enemy who had his back on him did not hear of his approach.  He moved again, now he was about twenty-five meters from the shed.  He could see the figure of his enemy inside the hut, silhouetted against the bright sunlight outside.  Was it Rosli?  Or Sodin?  Steady, steady, a few more yards.  You'll know your fate.  Nearer a little bit.  Ah, may be Rosli.  Sure, Rosli.  Suddenly...

    "Dam! Romly die!"  somebody shouted at him.  He was shocked and angry.  How could you...  He turned to look at the source of the sound.  There he was, Sodin lying on his stomachs a few feet from him, his gun pointing at him, a smile of triumph on his face.


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