Seminarian’s Jackfruit

St. Yohanes Berkhmans Todabelu Mataloko
Just a little story when I was in Seminary

One of the struggles that seminarians experience is this, food. Our food is bad, and on account of it, most of us tend to look for other food to consume just after we have finished our meal. And I’m not the exception.

One day after lunch, I didn’t know why I was so hungry even though I’d just finished my lunch. I spontaneously thought about how to put my hunger away, but I had no idea. Suddenly, I saw my classmate, Maw Watu, go to the jungle located in the eastern part of our dormitory, and he passed the fence. I was surprised. But after that, I just followed him coming into the jungle. It wasn’t difficult to get him, he didn’t walk too fast. And when I was right behind him, I slapped his shoulder.

“Whuaaa!! What the hell you are…errr Pandu?! What are you doing here? Ohh…don’t say you just followed me just now. I don’t think I like to be followed, do you get it?” Max said quite nervously.

“Um, unfortunately, I did follow you, but by the way, what are you doing here? Don’t you know that you are passing the fence and that means you go AWOL?”

“What? Just me? And how about you? Just one correction for your sentence, we are going AWOL, not only me, get it?” He looked quite angry.

“Err…okay you’re right, we do go AWOL, but now what will we do here in the jungle?” I asked. “Shhh…do you hear that?” Max whispered.

“What?!” I was a little nervous with his whisper. “Err…nothing” Max answered and it relieved me. “Now, just because you’re here already, so I’d like to tell you what are we going to do!” Max started to explain.

“Do you know, now we’re going to seek the fruits – “Are we going to sell it?” I interrupted. “Bruhhh! Oh yeah if you want. Let me ask you, have you been full with your lunch just now huh? I don’t think so guy, because all the seminarians complain the same and I think you’re not the exception, aren’t you? So that’s the reason why you and I are here now, just to make our stomach full of food!”

“So what fruit will we seek?” I asked.

“Oh my God, you’re in the jungle and then you ask such question, are you insane? Of course, there are a lot of kinds of fruits here”

“Huh, I think you’re smarter than this, that’s why I asked just now, genius!”

“Arrghh…never mind, now let us start to find it”

“Hey guy, isn’t it stealing?!”

“Oh shit, you’re one of the holy people, you steal to live and survive, that’s it! No more questions, just move now!” Max answered.

We started to walk around the jungle and then stopped near the jackfruit tree. Max aimed his head to the top of the tree and there were three jackfruits that I thought had been ripe enough. “Wow Pandu, praise to God, we’re lucky, look over there, the jackfruits are at our disposal, we will not miss it”

“But, it belongs to Mr. Karno” I complain.

“Arrgghh! Shut up you’re stupid! All of your words aren’t helping at all, I’ll take it and you keep it”

I didn’t feel like to go with Max. this guy was insane sometimes, and now he was. But I couldn’t refuse it, I just followed what he was saying before. When I was still thinking about following Max’ commands or didn’t, something fell right in front of me. It was a jackfruit. Fortunately, the fruit didn’t hit me.

“Hey! Do you want to kill me?!” I screamed.

“Don’t speak very loud, don’t you know where we are now?” Max responded.

“Yeah, I know, in the jungle and picking Mr. Karno’s jackfruits without permission”

“Keep the jackfruits Pandu or you will not get apart” Max commanded.

Oh… I’m better not to get apart than commit sin, stealing. I thought in my head. But I couldn’t work my thinking out because I was also very hungry and then I helped Max to keep the jackfruits. I kept the jackfruits in the bush and then waited for Max to go down from the tree. Looking at him on the tree was just like seeing an ape with clothes, he was similar to it, Oh sorry Max, I don’t mean it but that’s true, hihihihi – just kidding.

He went down very quickly, and the way he got down the earth described how hungry he was at that time. “Where are the jackfruits?” He asked.

“I have no idea where those are?” I answered, trying to be seen really smooth.

“I appreciate your humor taste, but for this time maybe you’ll get some punches on your face on account of it, where are those?” he demanded with a scary face.

“Hehehe… just kidding bro! our jackfruits are safe in the bush” I scratched my unitchy-head. Then, I took him to the place where I put those. There were three of those. Max licked his lip when he saw them, I was also doing the same.

“err… Max, how do we peel it?” I asked.

“Use your teeth you’re lazy!”

I didn’t know whether he was serious with his words or not, but I clearly thought that he could be the one who really do such thing he has said before.

“Are you kidding me?”

“Ohh, yes, of course, I’m kidding! How can you get to be this stupid Pandu, you’re hilly-billy.”

I know you are a genius Max, like Albert Einstein. I thought in my mind.

“So what tool will we use?”

“Calm down Pandu, let us go to my secret place”

“What?! Secret place?! Do my ears work well?!”

“Yeah, it is not very far from here so don’t worry”

We took the jackfruits and went to Max’ secret place. Max trod in front of me while bringing one jackfruit. Meanwhile, I was right behind him with two jackfruits in each of my hands. We were moving quickly enough when suddenly Max stopped his step.

“What’s the matter?” I was a little surprised when Max stopped.

“Do you hear that? There were some people who talking and laughing”

“Maybe you’ve trouble with your ears because I don’t hear that” I tried to assure him that there were not any people in the jungle without us.

“No dude, there should be any people here” Max persisted.

“Let us check it on then” I suggested.

“Yeah, let’s go” Max agreed.

We moved in a crouching position to Max secret place, we had been so close to the place since Max halted very suddenly. And that’s true! There were some teenagers there.

“Hey, psst! Hold on! Stay in your place! Who are they?” Max asked me. We were beyond the dense bush. I observed them for a moment and then I realized that they were also seminarians. They were Mite, Yafur, and Donsi.

“Wow Max, do you know who they are?” Max also spied actually.

“Yeah, I know, this explains why my knife is sometimes in Donsi’s drawer, now we will catch them by surprise”

Just right after the words went out his mouth, Max moved forward very quickly and then there was heard a loud noise…

“WOOOEEEEE…!!!” Max shouted.

“Whuaaaa…!!!” They were very startled by Max’ noise.

“What the hell Max, you have to kill us,” Yafur said after taking a deep breath on account of Max’ shock.

“What are you doing here, Max?” Donsi asked.

“What? Me? I’m the one who should ask the question” Max replied.

“Didn’t you see just now, we were waiting for you to come Max, you’re just like Gabriel the angel for us since you bring with you good news and a good delivery” Mite said while pointing his eyes to the jackfruits Max and I held in each of our hands.

“What do you mean by saying your stupid words, don’t you realize that I noticed where your gaze went?” Max raised one of his eyebrows.

“Ohh good Maxie-Mannie, don’t pretend as if you don’t get my point, listen, here in seminary, all of us are brothers, so we should share what we have with the others” Mite tried so hard to flatter Max, but Max wasn’t affected I guessed.

“Hemm, Pandu, and other friends maybe my brother, but you all are no longer my brother, you are my enemy”

“Calm down Max, how can you get this arrogant? We come with peace and for peace” Yafur said diplomatically.

“Aarrghh, I don’t care about you, now I think I should take some rest and enjoy my jackfruit together with Pandu. Can you just leave dear guys?”

“Yeah Max, but don’t think you can peel your jackfruits without this one” Mite took out a long knife from the bush. Max was surprised.

“How can you get it?!”

“What? This? We were just using it before you came. I got it near here and I just think that this belongs to me right now.” Mite said while spinning the knife.

“But it belongs to me, you are a thief!” Max shouted angrily.

“Absolutely no, it’s no longer yours since I held it in my hand. Do you want to get it back Maxie Mennie?”

“Hey stupid, that is mine, how dare you are, give it back to me” Max commanded.

“The knife is back to be yours right after we enjoy your jackfruits, deal?!” Mite told relaxedly.

“I won’t make any deal, give it back now” Max tried to get his knife back.

I didn’t join this conversation, but I’d enjoyed all of the final decisions, although I didn’t know how it probably works out. The debate went on for quite a long time until finally Max surrendered.

“Arrgghh, you all are really annoying!” Max muttered.

“That’s the way we are” Mite answered firmly.

“Okay, for this time, only for this single chance I forgive you…let us eat the jackfruit together, but first, give the knife back to me”

“How could we peel those without any knife Max? Or do you think you can do it by your teeth, huh? I don’t think so” Mite refused to give it early. He knew that it should be Max’s plan to take it early so Max could escape with the knife.

“Arrggh, okay, it is up to you man”

Then, we ate the jackfruits together. Mite got the task of peeling all the jackfruits. We were crazy about enjoying the jackfruits when suddenly there were steps sounded.

“Upss, did you hear that guy? Who is that?” I asked curiously.

“Don’t matter it, that’s maybe only one or some seminarians passing by” Yafur said, trying to make the situation easy.

“Are you sure, I just think that’s maybe the owner of this jungle, Mr. Karno” I suspected, starting to approximate what would happen later.  The sound wasn’t ending, it’s even getting closer. I was nervous the more. Who was probably the person that approached?

“Ohhh…do you know guys, it’s kinda jackfruits that I think I never tested before. It’s the best jackfruit ever…we are lucky to consume it” Mite commented.

“Just eat bro…don’t talk too much, it’s five minutes now for the bell of waking up to ring, be quick” Donsi warned.

“It’s okay bro, chill out, we are safe here,” Yafur said.

“What’s wrong with you Pandu, your face is very strange?!” Max asked.

“I don’t know but I get a bad feeling”

“Don’t feel anything, just enjoy this moment” Mite calmed me down, but I couldn’t feel better. “Yeah Pandu, you look very ugly if you’re nervous, like the way you are right now, look at me, take it easy” Donsi added.

“Sshhh…did you hear that?!” Max surprised us.

“What happened?!” Yafur asked.

Before we could answer the question, someone appeared from the bush, and guess who he was. He is Mr. Karno. We got quiet right away and didn’t move as a doornail. Mite was crazy about eating jackfruits when it happened, and now his mouth remained open since he wanted to put a piece of jackfruit in it. Mr. Karno looked at us surprisedly.

“What are you doing here boys?”

“Ohh shit, what should we do?” Donsi whispered to – I didn’t know for whom, maybe for all of us or maybe for himself.

“Err…we…umm…” Max tried to answer but it was very hard for him to take his words out of his mouth. He was also shaking so badly with nervousness that he dropped several pieces of jackfruit from his hand. Silence ensued for a while, a long while. Then, Mite broke the silence.

“Umm…this Mr. Karno, just now we saw some boys steal your jackfruits. We tried to catch them but they ran away too fast and they left the jackfruits here. Of course it is impossible to put those back on the branches, so we just ate it that we were very hungry though, we are very sorry if you mind us eating those”

Mite, the one very clever, and so sly also, explained relaxedly. I even wasn’t really sure believed my ears when I was hearing it.

“What?! There was somebody wanna steal my jackfruits?! Ohh damn! But thank God you got them away…well it’s better if my jackfruits were eaten by the seminarians than the other boys, so it’s okay if you eat those,

I just wanna have a check on my garden, luckily I find the seminarians here. You all are really good…but remember you are here illegally, so be quick. I still keep moving, goodbye and thank you for getting the thieves away” Mr. Karno kept his step forward just after he finished his words. So, we were safe, Hurray!!!

We were very relieved after that moment. Finally, we finished our eating activity as soon as possible and then went back to the dormitory.

That’s a piece of story I experienced when I was a high school kid in the Seminary. The story has a lot of spices and not everything actually happened, but the most important thing is that may you enjoy it. Thank you.


Written by: Yano Pandu, OFM when he was undergoing his postulant year at Yogyakarta in 2018