A long time ago on a small beach in Indonesia, lived a woman and her son, who was called Malin Kundang. They did not have very much money, but Malin Kundang was a healthy strong boy who was a good boatsman and swimmer. He went to the sea to catch fish, which he and his mother ate or sold in the town.
One day, Malin Kundang saw a trader’s ship in trouble. It was being raided by a small band of pirates. Malin Kundang went to help the ship and fought off the pirates. The trader was very grateful to Malin Kundang, and very impressed by his strength and bravery. He asked Malin Kundang to work with him and Malin Kundang agreed.
Malin Kundang made lots of money. He bought a huge ship of his own and married a beautiful wife.
Many years later, Malin Kundang’s ship landed on the small beach where he grew up. People on the beach recognised him, and the news travelled around the village. His mother, who had been sad and lonely without him, heard the news and ran to the beach to meet her beloved son.
Malin Kundung, wearing his expensive clothes and standing with his beautiful wife, didn’t recognise his mother and refused to greet the poor old woman. His mother begged him to see her three times, but he declined. At last Malin Kundung shouted “Enough, old woman! I have never had a dirty and ugly peasant woman like you as a mother!” and he ordered his crews to set sail.
His mother was angry. She shouted that she would turn him into stone unless he apologised. Malin Kundung laughed and started to sail away into the calm sea.
Suddenly a thunderstorm descended. Malin Kundang’s ship was tossed to and fro on the huge waves, and sank. Malin Kundang was thrown from the ship onto a small island and turned into stone.