Fatimah’s kampung was the last kampung the city consumed. It was a small kampung, which Fatimah’s moyang had begun when he built a house from the forest. Nearby was the keramat, with its doves and its sacred tree. And on the hill was the last patch of the forest, where great rattans grew and tigers hid.
For generations, the keramat had kept the kampung and its forest safe from Development. Everywhere else, villages have been flattened, precious landmarks destroyed. But Fatimah had been blessed: she still lived in the house her moyang had built, and she could still hear the banana leaves clatter in the rain outside her window. She could explore the keramat, talk to the doves… and still walk in the shade of ancient trees.
Then Development came. The forest was cut down, the kampung demolished, and a great factory went up. But it was not the end of the house that Fatimah’s moyang had built. And it was not the end for the doves in the keramat, when their home too was finally flattened… or for the tiger that had haunted Fatimah’s thoughts for so long.
Fatimah’s story is a parable, for children and adults, about a fast-changing world. It is a reminder of how wonderful the world can be, and a warning of how barren we can let it become.