He smiled and she continued. "The palace garden is looking a little wild and overgrown since the old Master Gardener returned to the heavenly gardens. Why just the other day one of our sisters tripped on a vine covering the path and tore her kebaya. Perhaps it is time another Master Gardener took over its management?"
Spiralling Seeds - SG40
And so she did and fully expected the problem to be dealt with and solved within the week. But a moon passed and still there was no new Master Gardener and the garden grew wilder and wilder.
So she went to her Sultan again. "Husband, my love, my tiger, my Majesty, may your loyal wife request an update on the progress of her small favour?"
Veil of Vines - SG32
The Sultana looked at him in amazement. "Is my tiger unwell? Shall I send for the physician? How will this happen in time? I see no Master Gardener leading the restoration."
The Sultan smiled and took her hand tenderly. "Do you not?"
The Sultana stared at him, greatly concerned. "No, there is no one."
Gilded Gliders - SG35
They passed a coastal fishing village. Children waved to them and dove into the water from their houses on stilts, bringing them pearl and coral necklaces for them to wear and sweet urchins to eat.
Clockwise from top left: Estuary Seed Pods -SG02, Silted Stilt Roots - SG07, Diving for Pearls - SG10, Sea Turtles - SG06
"How truly bountiful is the sea," murmured the Sultan. "How untamed and glorious."
The trees flanking them grew wilder and reached over their heads to touch their neighbour's branches.
The boat turned into a smaller river and this time they were going slowly downstream.
As the canopy grew into a thick shade, the attendees behind the royal couple relaxed and were soon dozing peacefully. The boatswain too started snoring softly. The boat drifted slowly with the current.
Photos credit: Unsplash