(Bersambung dari Rags to Riches 2)
The project (secret tunnel) has been instructed to be closed by our parents. Fuad and I were still adamant to get the toys at the night market. As I love to do saving for whatever money i got, I knew the value of money earlier than Fuad. In fact, just about the same time with my eldest (2 years older).
Our hardworks for 2 weeks will be gone. Fuad started to blame me for my stupid idea. Well, only now I know it was stupid. When we were small, we always be very positive in whatever we do. Call a Prime minister to officiate our project seem to be so practical those days. As a kid, we never know about “giving up”.
Due to the closure of the project, I felt guilty with Fuad. Then I started to modify the plan. Some beautifying works has been done to the tunnel on my own. Then, the tunnel had a small staircase made by woods with some decoration made from the bushes.
Then I called Fuad. He was surprised with the changes. The new version of that tunnel looked more commercialize. No changes on the structure. In order to make it more salable to the public, I have to put another attraction into it. Then I decided to have a MINI-ZOO. There were a few species of animals I successfully gathered for that project.
- Tilapia fish
- Big lizard (biawak)
- And more…
All these species has been collected by Fuad and I in few days time. At the same time, I had a cute squirrel. This cute little squirrel was my pet since she was 2 days old. Eventually, that squirrel (named Awang) was a big attraction when I brought her to my school in my pocket. After all the species has been gathered, we put it in some nice containers so people can come and see and feed it. The main attraction was Awang. Awang was so cute and she just learn how to play with a small ball.
I had a special plan for Awang. A day before the opening, we went to school as usual. This time, Fuad and I started our marketing. We did invite our classmates to come and see our mini zoo at only RM0.20 per visit. FYI, I never been in any zoo before that day. The only idea I had about a zoo was in my pictorial dictionary.
During the opening day, approximately 10 people attended. A line-up of animals has been arranged nicely on the ground. But…Awang has been placed in another place. A special place. At 3 meters deep plus another 3 meters long. We created special cache made from a tupperware and we put a (small lamp) pelita ayam to light it up.
The entrance fees to the zoo is RM0.20 but to see and play with Awang for 5 minutes is another RM0.10 cents. If they just want to see and play with Awang they have to pay RM0.20 cents. I was the ticket collector. The zoo opened after we home from afternoon religious class. As people don’t know Fuad was my partner, I asked Fuad to go down to the shaft and act like it was really impressive experience playing with a little squirrel 3 meters down the ground. Fuad went out and acted…“Wowwww…best nyaaa kat dalam ada lampu ayam dan ada tupai comel pandai main bola” (Well, we didn’t cheat anyone…Awang really know how to play with a small ball). Just on Fuad expression…I told Fuad to exaggerate it so more people will be tempted to go in. With Fuad exaggerated excitement, most of them wanted to go in. Only a few told me that they don’t have anymore money but they will surely come back in the next day for the tunnel.
Finally, we managed to collect RM3-5 (approx) for the opening day. Half more to go for our dream toys. Surprisingly, the 2nd day, through WORDS OF MOUTH, we received guests from different blocks. We were very busy in the 2nd day. We had almost 30 people queuing for their turn to go to the secret tunnel. Eventually, the ticket for the tunnel sold-out. 5 minutes each, we hardly entertained all.
We managed to collect RM5-10 for the second day. Now we have done cumulatively about RM10-15. Yehaaa…we had enough money to buy our dream toys. My principle is simple, if we can make RM20 why make RM5. So the project continue to open for another day. Learn from the heavy traffic at the mini-zoo, then we started to practice booking concept. Especially for the tunnel entrance.
3rd day was merrier than any other days before. That time, I can’t hide to the people anymore. My mom knew it and I have to make it clear to my mom. I showed her the money i earned and told her my intention to buy a “truck” (inspired by BJ series). This time, my mom supported me, but she said…today is your last day as the tunnel is too dangerous to play with.
Even better, the opening for the 3rd day is more merrier especially when my mom helped me to open a counter to sell water. We made aproximately RM15 in the 3rd day. Now, we had approximately RM30 in hand. To keep my promise to my mom, then I announced that the tunnel will be closed forever beginning the next day.
Everyone was unhappy….especially me and Fuad.
But I told Fuad, we have more than enough money to buy any toys at night market. I told Fuad, about the division of money. He was so happy. By 7pm, it was getting dark and we closed our operation and go home. I asked Fuad to come and count the money we earned in those 3 days. Fuad was so happy, he did sign language showing my head and “good sign” (verbally…Your brain is really superb!). We can’t wait for tomorrow, we wanted to get our dream in that very night.
By 8pm, My dad was about to ignite the motorbike to send me and Fuad to the night market (2km from our house). From far I saw a motorbike approaching our house. As it getting nearer, then I know he was one of the neighbours. Then another 1 bike and another one and another 1…
Just to make it short…
They are “my zoo visitors’ parents”. The parents made a complaint that I have done something to steal their kids’ money. The kids rather not to eat in school just to spare their money to pay the entrance fee for my zoo. My dad argued that I didn’t steal or cheat other kids’ money, instead he mentioned about my mini-zoo project. Not to prolong the argument, all of them asked the money to be returned to their kids.
Until now, I feel so bad with that. Their kids had fun, their kids had drinks and their kids pay us almost RM30 collectively, but we lost all the money we earn in that very night to those claims…
It was so cruel…I didn’t cheat them…and still they said I cheated.
We were really frustrated…
In the next day…we constructed our own truck.
This time, assisted by my dad.