The Prefects Camp

I am from Miri, Sarawak. And for our Prefects’ Camp, our teachers had arranged the camp to be located in the Taman Negara Lambir ( a forest reserve which they named it Lambir ). So as part of our training,we were supposed to trek the jungle (there were around 42 of us,not including 8 teachers). The teachers planned the time to trek the jungle was from 1 o’clock until 4 o’clock in the afternoon on that very same day.

On that afternoon, everyone was quite enthusiastic about the trekking, even though it was part of the training. Our aim, according to the teachers, was to find the ‘Pantu Waterfall’. We started off quite merrily, but as we move deeper and deeper into the jungle, the teachers started to give solemn orders such as,”Don’t sit on any tree trunks”, “Don’t yell for no reason”, “Don’t talk nonsense” and all those stuff. Some of us heed to the advice, because deep within us we knew the Jungle has its ‘mysteries’.

Anyway,for three hours we tried to find the Pantu Waterfall,but to no avail.Trekking the jungle was no easy feat.The slopes were steep,dangerous,and you always have to find roots of strong trees to grasp on to. The teachers guided the troop,and we followed signs to the waterfall.Once we had walked a long way and suddenly the path became narrower and narrower and we became suspicious.Then the teacher told us to turn back as we’re on the wrong track. We were puzzled, and even tempted to think the teachers were actually fooling us and tried to make us turn around as part of the ‘On Probation’ programme to test if we’re made out of ‘tough material’.Something like that.

We did find the waterfall. And at that time it was around six something. ( We had gone past our schedule ) When we found it, everybody forgot about the teachers’ warnings and screamed at the top of their voices in happiness and splashed and swam around the waterfall. We had a great time for half and hour or so, before suddenly it became dark. The teachers told us to get out of the waterfall quickly to head for the chalets. So we hurriedly got out, some still screaming away and eventually got scolded.

The journey back was really unpleasant. We had ran out of water after finding the waterfall, and the journey back was difficult and exhausting. We made it back to our chalet at 9:30 at night, and each group had a story to tell.

First, halfway climbing down the slope, a girl broke down and complained she had a cramp. The boys stopped to help her, but she was still screaming away. We couldn’t even get her to keep quiet. At first, the girls tried to support her, but couldn’t as the other girls were very weary and tired.So the boys offered to help. As she sat on the slope, a boy tried to help her to get up, but she was complaining she couldn’t get up.And the boy told the teacher she was too heavy for him to support. So four boys supported her all the way back. The girl claimed that when she was sitting on the slope, she saw a ‘green thing’ sitting next to her as well.But as it was dark, she couldn’t exactly tell and besides, her cramp was killing her. The four boys joked that maybe it was the teacher, since one of the teachers was wearing a green shirt. But that teacher was guarding the BACK of the line, and the girl was in somewhere in the BEGINNING of the line of the procession on the way back.

Second group. They reached a junction and couldn’t decide which path to take. They couldn’t remember left or right, and the torchlight they were carrying reflected something which looked like a tiger sitting on the root of an old tree on the right path. However, something told them that it was the right path that would lead them back. They were hesitant, but they told each other they will face the ‘thing’ or whatever it was together. So they walked towards the path. Strange as it may seem, but as they walked past the tree, what looked like a tiger minutes ago was just a big round and fallen tree trunk.They were of course puzzled, for now its shape did not look like what it looked like a moment ago.But they were wise and kept quiet till the journey home.

Third group. Four of them were walking quickly,and one of them had accidentally injured her shoulder when she was trying to climb down a steep slope,but she slipped and rolled all the way down. While they were walking, they could feel the rhythmic motion of four persons walking. But suddenly, a boy felt as if another ‘friend’ had walked beside the empty space next to him.Now he felt the rhythmic motion of ‘five’ persons walking abreast. He shrugged the feeling off as it was dark and he was tired. But on reaching the bridge which leads to the chalet, the ‘fifth person’s walking motion’ vanished and he related his experience to his mates later. The other three confessed they felt it too, but had the mind to just KEEP QUIET.

This boy prefect was at the back of the line of his group, walking back to the chalet when he thought he saw something black and large flying from one tree to another. He stopped in his tracks,and looked up above him. He was carrying his torchlight, but he didn’t dare to lift it up towards the branches of the tree where the ‘thing’ landed. He only stared at the shape, looming and threateningly large for a flying squirrel. He was rooted to the spot.By now his friends who were in front of him was out of sight. At the sound of the ‘thing’ laughing, suddenly, he took to his heels speeding off and not looking back. As he was running, he didn’t feel the ‘thing’ chasing him, but he ran all the way anyway.

The final one was similar to the above, only that it was sort of a shadow shifting quickly from tree to tree in a flash. It was moving rapidly and one of the boys claimed he could see two white dots leaming at the centre of the shadow,but he couldn’t be sure what the ‘white dots’ are.

So these are the five stories I’ve heard, there are some from the teachers, but they wouldn’t tell us no matter how much we begged them. But we were thankful we came out of the jungle before midnight.

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