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The Money Story

He bowed and said in Malay, “Greetings brave warriors. Forgive me for
intruding upon your land without permission, but the storm had pushed my
ship too close to shore and now it is stranded in the sand. I hope you will
allow us to stay until we can repair our vessel and let the high tide take us
back to sea again.”
The oldest Iban warrior, Tuai Ladong, replied in the same language. “You
and your men may stay, as long as you promise not to harm or steal from
my people.”
As he spoke, a cloud of swiflets flew overhead like a spiraling whirlwind.
Captain Hong, true to his merchant pedigree, said, “No, I do not wish to do
any mischief in your land. But I would like to trade.”
“Trade, what is that?”
“It is the act of exchanging something that is yours for something that is
mine.”
“Yes, I know what you mean. We sometimes exchange rice for iron. Do
you want rice?”
“Oh no,” Captain Hong said. “We have enough rice to take us to our
destination. We have some cloth in the ship that we can trade for the nest
of those birds flying above our heads.”
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