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Cerita rakyat from West Java
Prabu Tapa Agung had led a kingdom in West Java for a long time. He was getting old and therefore wanted to choose a successor. But unfortunately, he had no son. He thought of choosing one of his daughters, Purbararang and Purbasari. But it wasn’t an easy choice. They were both very pretty and smart. The only difference was their temperament. Purbararang was rude and dishonest, while Purbasari was kind and caring. With those considerations, Prabu Tapa Agung finally chose Purbasari to be his successor.
Purbararang didn’t agree with her father’s decision. “It’s supposed to be me, Father. I’m the eldest daughter!” Purbararang said. Prabu Tapa Agung smiled. “Purbararang, to be a queen takes more than age. There are many other qualities that one must possess,” explained Prabu Tapa Agung wisely. “What does Purbasari have that I don’t?” Purbararang pouted. “You’ll find out when Purbasari has replaced me,” Prabu Tapa Agung answered.
After the discussion, Purbararang went back to her room. “Is there something wrong?” asked Indrajaya. Indrajaya is Purbararang’s future husband. “I’m upset! Father chose Purbasari as his successor and not me! I have to do something!” Purbararang said. Driven mad by her anger, she came to a witch and asked her to send rash all over Purbasari’s body. Before going to bed, Purbasari started to feel itch all over her body. She tried applying powder to her body, but it’s no use. Instead, the itching grew even worse. She didn’t want to scratch it, but she just couldn’t help it. In the next morning, there were scratch mark all over Purbasari’s body. “What happened to you?” asked Purbararang, pretending to be concerned. “I don’t know, sis. Last night, my body suddenly felt very itchy. I scratched and scratched, and this is what happened,” Purbasari answered. Purbararang shook her head. “You must have done something really awful. You’ve been punished by the gods!”
That day, the whole kingdom was scandalized. “What have you done, Purbasari?” demanded Prabu Tapa Agung. Purbasari shook her head. “I didn’t do anything that would upset the gods, Father,” she answered. “Then how can you explain what happened to your body?” Prabu Tapa Agung asked again. “If you don’t confess, I’ll banish you to the woods.” Purbasari took a deep breath. “Like I said before, I didn’t do anything wrong. And I’d rather be thrown into the woods than to confess to a deed I didn’t commit.”
After a short discussion with his advisor, Prabu Tapa Agung ordered Purbasari to be moved to the woods. Purbasari was very sad, but she couldn’t do anything to defy her father’s order. She was accompanied to the woods by a messenger. He built a simple hut for Purbasari. After the messenger left, suddenly a black monkey came to Purbasari’s hut. He carried a bunch of bananas. From behind him, some animals looked on. “Are the bananas for me?’ Purbasari asked. The black monkey nodded, as if he understood what Purbasari said. Purbasari took the bananas with pleasure. She also said thanks. The other animals that were looking on also seemed to smile. “Are you willing to be my friend?” Purbasari asked them. All the animals nodded happily. Although she was living by herself in the woods, Purbasari never lacked of supplies. Everyday, there were always animals bringing her fruits and fish to eat.
A long time had passed since Purbasari was banished to the woods, but her body still itched. At some places, her skin was even ulcerating. What am I supposed to do?” Purbasari sighed. The monkey who was sitting next to her stayed still, there were tears in his eyes. He hoped Purbasari would remain patient and strong.
One night, on a full moon, the monkey took Purbasari to a valley. There is a pond with hot spring water. The monkey suddenly spoke, “The water of this pond will heal your skin,” he said. Purbasari was surprised, ”You can talk? Who are you?” she asked. “You’ll find out, in time,” the monkey said. Purbasari didn’t want to force the monkey. She then walked to the pond. She bathed there. After a few hours, Purbasari walked out of the pond. She was shocked to see her face reflected on the clear pond water. Her face was beautiful again, with smooth and clean skin. Purbasari observed her entire body. There were no traces of any skin ailments. “I’m cured! I’m cured!” Purbasari shouted in joy. She quickly offered thanks to the gods and also to the monkey.
The news of Purbasari’s condition quickly spread to the kingdom, irritating Purbararang. She then accompanied by Indrajaya go to the woods to see Purbasari. Purbasari asked if she would be allowed to go home. Purbararang said she would let Purbasari return to the palace if Purbasari’s hair were longer than hers. Purbararang then let her hair down. It was so long, it almost touched the ground. But it turned out that Purbasari’s hair was twice longer than Purbararang’s hair.
“Fine, so your hair is longer than mine.” Purbararang admitted. “But there is one more condition you must fulfill, do you have a future husband who is handsomer than mine?” said Purbararang as she walked toward Indrajaya. Purbasari felt miserable. She didn’t have a future husband yet. So, without much thought, she pulled the black monkey beside her.
Purbararang and Indrajaya burst out, but their laughter didn’t last long. The monkey meditates and suddenly transformed into a very handsome young man, a lot more handsome than Indrajaya. “I’m a prince from a kingdom far away. I was cursed to be a monkey because of a mistake I committed. I could regain my true form only if there’s a girl who would be willing to be my wife,” said the young man.
Finally, Purbararang gave up. She accepted Purbasari as the queen, and also confessed everything she had done. “Please forgive me. Please don’t punish me,” Purbararang said, asking for forgiveness. Instead of being angry, Purbasari smiled. “I forgive you, sis,” she said. Soon after, Purbasari become queen. Beside her was the handsome prince, the former monkey known as Lutung Kasarung.
Mouse Deer and Tiger
Cerita rakyat from Central Java
One upon a time, there was a mouse deer living in a forest. Although he was small, he wasn’t afraid of the other bigger animals who wanted to eat him. He was so smart; he always managed to ditch them. One day, a tiger was wandering around for food. He hadn’t been eating for days. He was really hungry. While he was walking in the forest, he saw Mouse Deer. The tiger wanted to eat him.
Tiger slowly ducked, crawled, approaching Mouse Deer, then…”Gotcha!” said Tiger. He caught Mouse Deer. “Hello, Mouse Deer! I’m really hungry right now. You’ll be my lunch!” said Tiger. Mouse Deer didn’t want to be his lunch. He tried to be calm. He looked around and saw some buffalo’s dung. He had an idea. “I’m sorry, Tiger. I can’t be your lunch now. The King has ordered me to guard his cake,” said Mouse Deer calmly. “His cake?” said Tiger curiously. “Yes, there it is. It’s very delicious. The King doesn’t want anyone else to eat it, so he ordered me to guard it,” Mouse Deer pointed the buffalo’s dung. “Can I taste it?” Tiger asked. “Of course you can’t. The King would be very angry,” said Mouse Deer refused. “Just one little bite, Mouse Deer! The King will never know,” said Tiger. “Well, okay, Tiger. But first let me run far away, so the King won’t blame me,” said Mouse Deer. “All right, Mouse deer. You can go now.” Mouse Deer ran quickly out of sight. Tiger then took a big mouthful of the ‘cake’. “Phoooey!” He spit it out. “Yuck, that’s not cake. That’s buffalo’s dung.”
Tiger ran through the forest. He caught up with Mouse Deer. “Mouse Deer, you tricked me. But now you will be my lunch.” Mouse Deer looked around and saw a wasp nest in a tree. “I’m sorry, Tiger. I can’t be your lunch now. The King has ordered me to guard his drum,” said Mouse Deer calmly. “His drum?” said Tiger curiously. “Yes, there it is. It has the best sound in the world. The King doesn’t want anyone else to hit it,” Mouse Deer pointed the wasp nest. “Can I hit the King’s drum?” Tiger asked. “Of course you can’t. The King would be very angry,” said Mouse Deer refused. “Just one little hit, Mouse Deer! The King will never know,” said Tiger. ”Well, all right, Tiger. But first let me run far away, so the King won’t blame me,” said Mouse Deer. “All right, Mouse Deer. You can go now.” Mouse Deer ran quickly out of sight. Tiger then reached up and hit the wasp nest. Bzzzzzzz…! “Ouch…ouch! That’s not a drum. That a wasp nests!”
Tiger ran away. But the wasps keep following him. He came to the river. He jumped in and stayed underwater as long as he could. At last the wasps went away. Then he jumped out. He ran through the forest till he found Mouse Deer. “Mouse Deer, you tricked me again. But now you will be my lunch.” Mouse Deer looked around and saw a cobra. The snake was coiled asleep on the ground. “I’m sorry, Tiger. I can’t be your lunch now. The King has ordered me to guard his belt,” said Mouse Deer calmly. “His belt?” said Tiger curiously. “Yes. There it is. It’s the best belt in the world. The King doesn’t want anyone else to wear it,” Mouse Deer pointed the cobra. “Can I wear it?” Tiger asked. “Of course you can’t. The King would be very angry,” said Mouse Deer refused. “Just for one moment, Mouse Deer! The King will never know,” said Tiger. ”Well, all right, Tiger. But first let me run far away, so the King won’t blame me,” said Mouse Deer. “All right, Mouse Deer. You can go now.” Mouse Deer ran quickly out of sight. Tiger then took the snake and started to warp it around himself. The cobra woke up. It squeezed Tiger and bit him. SSssssstt! “Oouch! Ow! Ooow! That’s not a belt! That’s a cobra! Help! Mouse Deer! Help!” But Mouse Deer was already far away. He laughed aloud. Mouse Deer was safe from Tiger now.***
Cerita rakyat from West Sumatra
Once upon a time, on the north coast of Sumatra lived a poor woman and his son. The boy was called Malin Kundang. They didn’t earn much as fishing was their only source of income. Malin Kundang grew up as a skillful young boy. He always helps his mother to earn some money. However, as they were only fisherman’s helper, they still lived in poverty. “Mother, what if I sail overseas?” asked Malin Kundang one day to his mother. Her mother didn’t agree but Malin Kundang had made up his mind. “Mother, if I stay here, I’ll always be a poor man. I want to be a successful person,” urged Malin kundang. His mother wiped her tears, “If you really want to go, I can’t stop you. I could only pray to God for you to gain success in life,” said his mother wisely. “But, promise me, you’ll come home.”
In the next morning, Malin Kundang was ready to go. Three days ago, he met one of the successful ship’s crew. Malin was offered to join him. “Take a good care of yourself, son,” said Malin Kundang’s mother as she gave him some food supplies. “Yes, Mother,” Malin Kundang said. “You too have to take a good care of yourself. I’ll keep in touch with you,” he continued before kissing his mother’s hand. Before Malin stepped onto the ship, Malin’s mother hugged him tight as if she didn’t want to let him go.
It had been three months since Malin Kundang left his mother. As his mother had predicted before, he hadn’t contacted her yet. Every morning, she stood on the pier. She wished to see the ship that brought Malin kundang home. Every day and night, she prayed to the God for her son’s safety. There was so much prayer that had been said due to her deep love for Malin Kundang. Even though it’s been a year she had not heard any news from Malin Kundang, she kept waiting and praying for him.
After several years waiting without any news, Malin Kundang’s mother was suddenly surprised by the arrival of a big ship in the pier where she usually stood to wait for her son. When the ship finally pulled over, Malin Kundang’s mother saw a man who looked wealthy stepping down a ladder along with a beautiful woman. She could not be wrong. Her blurry eyes still easily recognized him. The man was Malin Kundang, her son.
Malin Kundang’s mother quickly went to see her beloved son. “Malin, you’re back, son!” said Malin Kundang’s mother and without hesitation, she came running to hug Malin Kundang, “I miss you so much.” But, Malin Kundang didn’t show any respond. He was ashamed to admit his own mother in front of his beautiful wife. “You’re not my Mother. I don’t know you. My mother would never wear such ragged and ugly clothes,” said Malin Kundang as he release his mother embrace.
Malin Kundang’s mother take a step back, “Malin…You don’t recognize me? I’m your mother!” she said sadly. Malin Kundang’s face was as cold as ice. “Guard, take this old women out of here,” Malin Kundang ordered his bodyguard. “Give her some money so she won’t disturb me again!” Malin Kundang’s mother cried as she was dragged by the bodyguard, ”Malin… my son. Why do you treat your own mother like this?”
Malin Kundang ignored his mother and ordered the ship crews to set sail. Malin Kundang’s mother sat alone in the pier. Her heart was so hurt, she cried and cried. “Dear God, if he isn’t my son, please let him have a save journey. But if he is, I cursed him to become a stone,” she prayed to the God.
In the quiet sea, suddenly the wind blew so hard and a thunderstorm came. Malin Kundang’s huge ship was wrecked. He was thrown by the wave out of his ship, and fell on a small island. Suddenly, his whole body turned into stone. He was punished for not admitting his own mother.***
Long time ago in West Java, lived a beautiful girl named Dayang Sumbi. She was also smart and clever. Her beauty and intelligence made a prince from the heavenly kingdom of Kahyangan desire her as his wife. The prince asked permission from his father to marry Dayang Sumbi. People from Kahyangan could never live side by side with humans, but his father approved on one condition, when they had a child, the prince would transform into a dog. The prince accepted the condition.
They get married and lived happily in the woods until Dayang Sumbi gave birth to a baby boy. The prince then changed into a dog named Tumang. Their son is named Sangkuriang. He was very smart and handsome like his father. Everyday, he hunted animals and looked for fruits to eat. One day, when he was hunting, Sangkuriang accidentally killed Tumang. His arrow missed the deer he was targeting and hit Tumang instead. He went home and tells her mother about the dog. “What?” Dayang Sumbi was appalled. Driven by sadness and anger, she grabbed a weaving tool and hit Sangkuriang’s head with it. Dayang Sumbi was so sad; she didn’t pay any attention to Sangkuriang and started to cry.
Sangkuriang feel sad and also confused. How can his mother love a dog more than him? Sangkuriang then decided to go away from their home and went on a journey. In the morning, Dayang Sumbi finally stopped crying. She started to feel better, so she went to find Sangkuriang. But her son was no where to be found. She looked everywhere but still couldn’t find him. Finally, she went home with nothing. She was exhausted. She fell asleep, and in her dream, she meets her husband. “Dayang Sumbi, don’t be sad. Go look for my body in the woods and get the heart. Soak it with water, and use the water to bathe, and you will look young forever,” said the prince in her dream. After bathing with the water used to soak the dog’s heart, Dayang Sumbi looked more beautiful and even younger.
And time passed by. Sangkuriang on his journey stopped at a village and met and fell in love with a beautiful girl.He didn’t realize that the village was his homeland and the beautiful girl was his own mother, Dayang Sumbi. Their love grew naturally and he asked the girl to marry him. One day, Sangkuriang was going on a hunt. He asked Dayang Sumbi to fix the turban on his head. Dayang Sumbi was startled when she saw a scar on his head at the same place where she, years ago, hit Sangkuriang on the head.
After the young man left, Dayang Sumbi prayed for guidance. After praying, she became convinced that the young man was indeed her missing son. She realized that she had to do something to prevent Sangkuriang from marrying her. But she did not wish to disappoint him by cancelling the wedding. So, although she agreed to marry Sangkuriang, she would do so only on the condition that he provides her with a lake and built a beautiful boat, all in one night.
Sangkuriang accepted this condition without a doubt. He had spent his youth studying magical arts. After the sun went down, Sangkuriang went to the hill. Then he called a group of genie to build a dam around Citarum River. Then, he commands the genies to cut down trees and build a boat. A few moments before dawn, Sangkuriang and his genie servants almost finished the boat.
Dayang Sumbi, who had been spying on him, realised that Sangkuriang would fulfill the condition she had set. Dayang Sumbi immediately woke all the women in the village and asked them to wave a long red scarf. All the women in the village were waving red scarf, making it look as if dawn was breaking. Deceived by false dawn, the cock crowed and farmers rose for the new day.
Sangkuriang’s genie servants immediately dropped their work and ran for cover from the sun, which they feared. Sangkuriang grew furious. With all his anger, he kicked the unfinished boat. The boat flew and landed on a valley. The boat then became a mountain, called Mount Tangkuban Perahu (Tangkuban means upturned or upside down, and Perahu means boat). With his power, he destroyed the dam. The water drained from the lake becoming a wide plain and nowadays became a city called Bandung (from the word Bendung, which means Dam).***
Cerita rakyat from East Java
Raden Putra was the king of Jenggala kingdom. He had a beautiful queen and concubine. Unlike the queen, the concubine had bad personalities. She was envious and jealous with the queen, so she planned to make the queen leave the palace. The concubine then asked the royal healer to help her in her plan. One day, the concubine pretended to be ill. Raden Putra called the royal healer to give the concubine treatments. “What is her disease?” Raden Putra asked the royal healer. “I’m very sorry, My Majesty. She is sick because the queen put poison in her meal,” the royal healer lied.
Raden Putra was shock and angry to hear the explanation. He called the queen and asked her if the story was true. Of course the queen denied, but Raden Putra won’t listen. “Please Your Majesty, have mercy. I really didn’t do anything,” cried the queen in her tears. Raden Putra’s anger ended in a decision. The queen should be banished to the woods and terminated. He did not know that the queen was already pregnant. Raden Putra commanded one of his general to do the punishment. The queen was banished to the woods, but the wise general didn’t have the heart to kill her. He built a simple house in the woods for her. On his way back to the palace, he smeared his sword with rabbit blood, so Raden Putra would believe that he had killed the queen.
After the general left, the queen lived by herself in the woods. Several months later, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The baby was named Cindelaras. He grew up as a nice, healthy, and handsome boy. One day, while Cindelaras helped her mother to collect some fire woods, an eagle dropped an egg. Cindelaras brought the egg to be brooded by a chicken behind their house. The egg hatched into a chick and then it slowly became a strong rooster. The rooster is no ordinary rooster. The rooster could sing. Every morning, the rooster woke Cindelaras up with its beautiful song, “My master is Cindelaras. His house is in the woods. He’s the son of Raden Putra.” The rooster often sang that song.
Cindelaras always woke up early in the morning and listen happily to his rooster’s song. He didn’t realize the meaning of the song until one day, he started to think. “Who is Raden Putra?” he asked his mother. The queen then told him the whole story. She also told him why they were banned from the kingdom and lived in the woods. Cindelaras was very surprised. He decided to go to the palace to meet the king, his father. Cindelaras asked her mother’s permission to go to the kingdom and to tell the king what really happened. He also brought his rooster that grew bigger and stronger each day.
On his way, Cindelaras stopped at a village. There, he met some people who were involved in cockfighting. They challenge him to see how strong his rooster was. “If your rooster wins, you’ll get a reward,” said the man who challenged him. Cindelaras accepted the challenge. In a few minutes, his rooster defeated the opponent’s rooster. He was challenged again by other man, and one more time, his rooster won. He won again and again.
The news about Cindelaras’ rooster quickly spread to the whole Jenggala kingdom and made Raden Putra curious. So, he invited Cindelaras to the palace. “What is your name, boy?” Raden Putra asked as Cindelaras arrived in the palace. “My name is Cindelaras, Your Majesty,” Cindelaras answered. He felt both thrilled and happy to see Raden Putra.
Raden Putra challenged Cindelaras with one condition. If Raden Putra’s rooster won, Cindelaras’ head would be cut off. But if Cindelaras’ rooster won, Raden Putra would share half of his wealth. Cindelaras accepted the condition. The competition was held in the front yard of the palace. The two roosters fought bravely. But in just a few minutes, Cindelaras’ rooster won the fight! Raden Putra shook his head and stared at Cindelaras from his seat, “That rooster is no ordinary rooster, and the boy is not an ordinaty boy either. Who is he exactly?” he thought. Raden Putra was about to asked when suddenly Cindelaras’ rooster sang the song, “My master is Cindelaras. His house is in the woods. He’s the son of Raden Putra.”
Raden Putra was surprised. “Is it true?” he asked. “Yes, My Majesty. My name is Cindelaras and my mother was the queen,” said Cindelaras. Raden putra called the general who had banished the queen. The general then confessed that he never killed the queen. Later, the royal healer also admitted his mistake. Raden Putra was so shocked. He immediately went to the woods to pick up the queen. Ever since, Cindelaras and his parents lived happily together. As for the concubine, she was sent to the jail as punishment.***
Long time ago in the island of Java, Indonesia, lived a couple of farmer. They had married for some years but they had no children. So they prayed to a monster called Buta Ijo to give them children. Buta Ijo was a ferocious and powerful monster. He granted their wish on one condition. When their children had grown up, they had to sacrifice them to Buta Ijo. He liked eating fresh meat of human being. The farmers agreed to his condition. Several months later the wife was pregnant.
She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. They named her Timun Emas. The farmers were happy. Timun Emas was very healthy and a very smart girl. She was also very diligent. When she was a teenager Buta Ijo came to their house. Timun Emas was frightened so she ran away to hide. The farmers then told Buta Ijo that Timun Emas was still a child. They asked him to postpone. Buta Ijo agreed. He promised to come again. The following year Buta Ijo came again. But again and again their parents said that Timun Emas was still a child.
When the third time Buta Ijo came their parents had prepared something for him. They gave Timun Emas several bamboo needles, seeds of cucumber, dressing and salt.
‘Timun, take these things’
‘What are these things?’
‘These are your weapons. Buta Ijo will chase you. He will eat you alive. So run as fast as you can. And if he will catch you spread this to the ground. Now go!’
Timun Emas was scared so she ran as quickly as she could. When Buta Ijo arrived she was far from home. He was very angry when he realized that his prey had left. So he ran to chase her. He had a sharp nose so he knew what direction his prey ran.
Timun Emas was just a girl while Buta Ijo was a monster so he could easily catch her up. When he was just several steps behind Timun Emas quickly spread the seeds of cucumber. In seconds they turned into many vines of cucumber. The exhausted Buta Ijo was very thirsty so he grabbed and ate them. When Buta Ijo was busy eating cucumber Timun Emas could run away.
But soon Buta Ijo realized and started running again. When he was just several steps behind Timun Emas threw her bamboo needles. Soon they turned into dense bamboo trees. Buta Ijo found it hard to pass. It took him some time to break the dense bamboo forest. Meanwhile Timun Emas could run farther.
Buta Ijo chased her again. When he almost catch her again and again Timun Emas threw her dressing. This time it turned into a lake. Buta Ijo was busy to save himself so Timun Emas ran way. But Buta Ijo could overcome it and continued chasing her.
Finally when Timun Emas was almost caught she threw her salt. Soon the land where Buta Ijo stood turned into ocean. Buta Ijo was drowned and died instantly.
Timun Emas was thankful to god and came back to her home.
Long time ago, there was a kingdom named Prambanan. All the people of Prambanan lived peacefully. But then, Prambanan kingdom was attacked and occupied by the Pengging kingdom. Prambanan then was ruled by Bandung Bondowoso of Pengging kingdom. He was a mean king. He also had great supernatural power. His soldiers were not only humans, but also genies.
The king of Prambanan had a beautiful daughter named Loro Jonggrang. Bandung Bondowoso fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. “You’re very beautiful. Would you be my queen?” asked Bandung Bondowoso. Loro Jonggrang was shocked. She didn’t like Bandung Bondowoso because he was a mean person. She wanted to refuse, but she afraid that Bandung Bondowoso would be angry and endangered the people of Prambanan. Then, she came up with a plan. “If you want to marry me, you have to build a thousand temples for me in just one night,” said Loro Jonggrang. “What? That’s impossible!” said Bandung Bondowoso. But he did not give up. He consulted with his advisor. “Your Majesty can asked the genies to help built the temples,” said the advisor.
So, Bandung Bondowoso summoned his entire genies soldier and commanded them to help him built a thousand temples. The genies worked in unbelievable speed. Meanwhile, Loro Jonggrang heard from her servant that the building of a thousand temples was almost finished. She was so worried. But again, she came up with a great idea. She asked all of her servants to help her. “Please prepare a lot of straw and mortar. Please hurry up!” said Loro Jonggrang. “Burn the straw and make some noise pounding the mortar, quickly.” All those servants did what Loro Jonggrang ordered them; burning straw and pounding the mortar, making the genies think that the sun is going to rise.
“It’s already dawn. We have to go,” said the leader of the genies to Bandung Bondowoso. All the genies immediately stopped their work and ran for cover from the sun, which they afraid of. They didn’t know that the light was from the fire that burning the straw, not from the sun.
Bandung Bondowoso can’t stop the genies from leaving. He was angry. He knew Loro Jonggrang had just tricked him. “You cannot fool me, Loro Jonggrang. I already have 999 temples. I just need one more temple. Now, I will make you the one-thousandth temple.” He pointed his finger to Loro Jonggrang and said some mantras. Magically, Loro Jonggrang’s body turned into stone. Until now, the temple is still standing in Prambanan area, Central Java. And the temple is called Loro Jonggrang temple.
Jaka Tarub was a handsome and diligent young man. He lived in a village near a lake. One day, when Jaka Tarub passed the lake, he heard some giggles and laughs of some girls who were bathing in the lake. He was curious, so he peeped through the bushes. There were seven beautiful girls in the lake. They’re fairies from the heavenly kingdom of kahyangan. Jaka Tarub saw a scarf near the bushes. It belonged to one of the fairies. Jaka Tarub then took it and hid it.
Crack!!! Accidentally, Jaka Tarub stepped on a twig. “There’s someone!” said one of the fairies. “Let’s get back. Hurry!” she said. They pulled over and wear their scarf. “Where is my scarf?” one of the fairies couldn’t find her scarf. She was the youngest fairy called Nawang Wulan. They tried to search for it, but it was no where to be found. “We’re sorry, Wulan. We have to go back to kahyangan,” said the eldest fairy. “You’ll have to find it by yourself. We’ll wait for you in kahyangan,” she said in empathy. The other fairies then flew to the sky leaving Nawang Wulan behind. Nawang Wulan saw them leaving in tears. She was so sad.
“Excuse me …,” said Jaka Tarub, startling Nawang Wulan. “Are you okay?” he asked. Nawang Wulan moved backward, “Who are you?” she asked. “My name is Jaka Tarub. I was passing by and I heard you crying, so I came to see what happen,” Jaka Tarub lied. Nawang Wulan then told him about her problem. “I can’t fly without my scarf,” she said. Jaka Tarub then asked Nawang Wulan to come home with him. At first, Nawang Wulan refused the offer. But since she didn’t have anywhere else to go, Nawang Wulan then decided to follow Jaka Tarub.
Nawang Wulan stayed with Jaka Tarub in the village. A month passed, and they decided to get married. Nawang Wulan was willing to marry a human because she fell in love with Jaka Tarub. After a year, they had a beautiful daughter. They named her Kumalasari. They lived happily.
Jaka Tarub was also happy to live with Nawang Wulan and Kumalasari. Especially because he always got a lot of harvest since he married Nawang Wulan. He couldn’t even keep all of his harvest in the barn because it was always full. “It’s so weird. Nawang Wulan cooked everyday, but why is my barn always full,” Jaka Tarub mumbled to himself. He was so curious. One day, Jaka Tarub stayed at home. “I want to stay home today. I’d like to play with Kumalasari,” he said to his wife. “Well, I’ll go to the river to wash the clothes. Please keep an eye on Kumalasari,” asked Nawang Wulan. “I’m cooking rice now. Please do not open the pan cover before it’s done,” she said just before she left. “Could this be the secret?” Jaka Tarub thought. After Nawang Wulan left, he curiously opened the pan cover. He found only one single paddy. “How come?” he wondered.
Before lunch, Nawang Wulan came home. She headed to the kitchen to see the rice she had cooked. She found that the rice turned into only a few grains. “Did you open the pan cover?” she asked her husband. “I… I’m sorry. I was curious,” Jaka Tarub said as he realized his fault.
Ever since, Nawang Wulan had lost her power. She couldn’t cook rice with only a single paddy. Their paddy supply was slowly lessened. Their barn was almost empty. One day, Nawang Wulan went to the barn to get some paddy. When she took one of them, she found a scarf. “What’s this? This is my scarf,” said Nawang Wulan startled.
That night, Nawang Wulan asked her husband about the scarf. Jaka Tarub’s eyes widened, “You found it?” he asked. Jaka Tarub looked down and asked for her forgiveness. “Because I’ve found my scarf, it’s time for me to go back to where I belong,” Nawang Wulan said. Jaka Tarub tried to stop her, but Nawang Wulan had made up her mind. “Please take good care of Kumalasari,” she said. “If she wanted to see me, take seven grains of candlenut and put it into a basket. Shake it as you play the bamboo flute. I’ll come to see her,” she explained.
Jaka Tarub promised to take good care of their daughter. He once again asked for forgiveness for all of his mistakes. “I’ve forgiven you, so you don’t have to feel guilty. I must go now. Take care,” said Nawang Wulan as she flew to the bright full moon.***
Damar Wulan was born in the village of Paluh Amba, not far from the capital city of Majapahit. He was the son of Udara, the former prime minister of Majapahit. Since his father had retired his family live in a quiet and prosperous village outside the capital. Damar was a smart boy so he could easily learned the lessons his father taught him. He learned martial art, religion, politics, and literature. He was very good at all those subjects. When his father thought that he is mature enough, he asked Damar to find job in Majapahit. He told Damar to apply for a job at the Prime Minister’s office. He hoped that his close relation with the new prime minister would help him get the prime minister’s attention. Furthermore Damar was a smart boy so his father was sure Damar was capable to do any job.
Damar was very confident he would get a good position at the prime minister’s office. Early morning he left his village. At midday he got to Majapahit and he directly went to the prime minister’s house. Prime Minister Logender was his name. The guards sarcastically questioned him when he told them he would see the prime minister.
‘Who do you think you are?’
‘I am Damar Wulan. I am the son of the former prime minister Udara. My father told me to see the prime minister here’
‘If you think you can impress us by telling us about your father, you are completely wrong poor boy. The son of a prime minister would never go anywhere on foot’
‘But, that’s true. My father told me to find job here’
‘Listen poor boy, the prime minister is a very busy person. He does not have time for job seeker like you. But if you need a job, there is a vacant position here. Let me report my chief’
Then the soldier reported to his superior. After that someone called Damar to get into the commander’s chamber. He told Damar that the prime minister’s office needed several boys to take care of the horses. Damar was surprised because he expected clerical job but then he accepted the offer. Since that day he lived in a simple hut behind the prime minister’s house.
Damar did a good job so his superior was satisfied with him. He was also very sociable. Soon he had a good relationship with the prime minister and his family. The prime minister had two sons – Layang Seto and Layang Kumitir and a daughter – Anjasmoro. His sons were very arrogant and lazy. They treated Damar cruelly. They wanted Damar to do whatever they want. Every body hated them but nobody dare to express their feeling. Anjasmoro, on the other hand, liked Damar very much. Gradually she fell in love to Damar. So did Damar. They had a secret love. When Layang Seto and Layang Kumitir knew what happened to Damar and Anjasmoro, they were very angry. They treated Damar more and more cruelly.
At the time the kingdom of Majapahit faced a very serious problem because of the rebellion of Menak Jinggo. He was a half brother of the Queen Kecono Wungu. He was a prince of Majapahit and a highly respected general of the Majapahit army. For his great achievement for his country his father appointed him as the ruler for the kingdom of Blambangan, a vassal state under Majapahit. When his father passed away he was sure that he would become the successor. But he was very disappointed when his father appointed his sister instead. He thought that he was more capable than Kencono Wungu so he rebelled.
Menak Jinggo proved to be a good general. Under his leadership the Blambangan army could win several battles with Majapahit army. The territory of Majapahit one by one fell to Blambangan. At the time the morale of the Majapahit army was already down. They were not sure that they could win the war. So the queen and the prime minister met everyday to discuss the worsening situation. Some weeks went by but still they did not have any ideas to solve the problem. Every report they received about the war was only about the defeat of the Majapahit army.
Prime Minister Logender was shocked when his wife reported to him about the affair of Anjasmoro and Damar Wulan. For a highly respected person like him, it was a very serious blow to his ego. He was a very respectable person while his daughter dated with a poor boy. It was a serious humiliation. He could not accept it. This fact made him very angry. He thought very hard to find a solution. Suddenly an idea struck his sharp mind when he was meditating at midnight.
Early in the morning he went to the palace and asked the queen for an audience. Then he explained his plan.
‘Your Majesty, last night I had an idea’
‘Tell me about it’
‘Our army could not win because we apply a wrong strategy. The Blambangan army is very good at a frontal open warfare like that. Furthermore our army’s morale is now down. So we have to avoid open warfare. Since now on we have to launch a new tactics of secret operation. We must send a small army unit to kill Menak Jinggo secretly’
‘Who will do that?’
‘I have a body guard. His skill in martial art is excellent. He is very capable at individual fight. So he is ready for this duty. I am sure he is the right person’
‘OK, I think you are right. Send him as soon as possible to Blambangan. If he can do his job well I will give him great reward’
When Logender got home he called Damar Wulan immediately. He asked him about his martial art skill. Damar said he had mastered some fighting skill. His father had trained him Pencak Silat, the Indonesian martial art. As a result, he was very skillful at using sword, lance, as well as empty hand fighting technique. Then Logender asked him to fight both Layang Seto and Layang Kumitir. Both of them fought emotionally since they hated Damar very much. But Damar was smart, skillful, strong and tough. In just several minutes he could beat both of them without difficulty. Logender was angry but also satisfied since he found a way to get rid of both problems – his home and his country.
‘Damar, you are a great fighter. I am very proud of you. And that’s why you will receive a great honor to fight for your country. Now there is a rebellion in Majapahit. The king of Blambangan has done a crime. His name is Menak Jinggo. Find him in his palace and Blambangan and kill him. Are you ready?’
‘I am ready any time Sir’
‘Good. Today you have to prepare everything and tomorrow you must leave for Blambangan secretly. Do not tell any one about this duty. Not even Anjasmoro. Don’t be afraid because the Majapahit army will fully support you. They will back you and provide all your needs. When you can kill Menak Jinggo behead him and bring his head here. If you can do this job well you will be promoted to a high position as the commander of Majapahit army’
‘Yes, Sir. I am very glad to receive this order. I will do my best’
The next day, very early in the morning Damar Wulan left Majapahit alone. Meanwhile Prime Minister Logender had implemented his own plan. He prepared a small army unit under the leadership of his two sons. They went behind Damar in a distant so that Damar did not notice them. They went secretly so no one knew it. Their task was not to protect Damar but to kill him and seize the head of Menak Jinggo if he could kill Menak Jinggo. But if Damar was killed then they had nothing to do.
Several days later Damar Wulan arrived in Blambangan. The Majapahit army kept on spying on him. They were surprised to see Damar did not directly attack the palace. He applied for a job instead. Once again he was accepted to work in the palace to take care of the horses. Everybody including the king Menak Jinggo liked him because he was very polite and he did his job well. He was also very handsome that two of the king’s wife fell in love with him. Waito and Puyengan were the wives of King Menak Jinggo.
As everybody trusted him, it was easy for Damar to search the palace. He knew where Menak Jinggo lived. One night he secretly jumped the palace wall to kill the king. Finally he was inside the king’s bedroom. But unfortunately the king was ready to welcome him. A small army unit was there to arrest him. He was no match for Menak Jinggo. But Menak Jinggo was a smart person. He did not kill Damar instantly. He wanted to gather information from him. So he ordered his guards.
‘Don’t kill him. Let him alive, treat him well. I will question him tomorrow’.
‘Yes, Your Majesty’
He ordered his men to treat him well. He even let Waito and Puyengan to see Damar. By doing so he hoped that Damar would give him valuable information. But Damar was also a smart person. He dated Waito and Puyengan and he asked them the way to kill Menak Jinggo. Since the two women loved Damar they revealed a secret.
‘Nobody can hurt him. He is a tough guy and he is protected by god. God gave him a secret weapon called Wesi Kuning’
‘What is that?’
‘That’s a golden amulet. It is just a small amulet, as small as a thumb but it is very powerful. Its shape is like a stick. It is stored in his bedroom’
‘He is a dangerous man. We have to stop him. Could you help me find his amulet?
‘I will help you if you marry me’
‘Sure I will marry both of you as soon as I can arrest him’
When their turn to amuse the king arrived Waito and Puyengan could get into the kings chamber. They used that opportunity to steal the amulet. Then they gave it to Damar Wulan. Menak Jinggo did not realize their conspiracy. When the night was very quiet they opened the door for Damar Wulan. There was a fight but it was too late for Menak Jinggo. The sudden attack did not give him much chance to survive. Consequently Damar could beat his enemy and Menak Jinggo was beheaded.
Damar Wulan immediately left Blambangan palace that night while promising Waito and Puyengan to be back after he received the rewa.
Once upon a time there was a prosperous village in a far away island called Sumatra. In northern part of the island, lived a farmer whose name was Toba. He lived alone in a hut by a small forest. He worked on his farmland to grow rice and vegetables that he sells to local market. Once day he wanted to catch some fish so he went to a river and fished there. He was very surprised when he got a big fish. The fish was as big as human being. Soon he went home and put the fish in his kitchen. He planned to cook the fish for his dinner that night. When he got to his house that afternoon he took a bath. Then as he walked into his bedroom after taking a bath Toba was very shocked. Do you want to know what happened? There stood in his living room a very beautiful girl. The girl greeted him nicely. For a moment Toba was speechless. When he could control his emotion he asked her.
‘Who are you? What’s your nae? Why suddenly you are here in my house?’ ‘Pardon me if I surprised you Mr. Toba, but you took me here. I was the fish that you caught in the river. Now that I become a human being again, I would like to thank you and I will be your servant to express my thankfulness’
‘Were you the fish?’
‘Yes, I was the fish. Look at your kitchen’.
Toba immediately rushed to his kitchen and the fish was nowhere to be seen. He saw some gold coins instead. ‘Whose coins are these? Why there are some coins here?’
‘Those coins are mine. As I changed into human being my scales changed into gold coins’
‘Ok you can live here and work for me. Your room is over there’
‘Thank you very much Mr. Toba’
Since that day the beautiful girl lived in Toba’s house. Since she was very beautiful Toba fell in love with her and not long after that they got married. The girl married to Toba on one condition that he would never tell anybody about her past. Toba agreed to the condition. Several months later Toba’s wife delivered to a baby boy. Their son was healthy. Soon he grew up into a handsome boy. Toba named him Samosir. Unfortunately Samosir was a lazy boy. He did not want to work at all. When his father worked hard in his rice field and farm, Samosir just slept. When he was awake he talked a lot and he ate a lot. Toba was very disappointed with his son’s nature. He hoped that one day Samosir would change into a diligent boy. Day in and day out but Samosir never changed. Toba used to go to his farm and rice field early in the morning. Then at midday his wife would bring him food. They used to eat lunch at their farm. As he was a teenager Toba and his wife tried to change his behavior. They ordered Samosir to bring food for his father for lunch while her mother stayed at home to do household chores. But Samosir never did his duty well. He always woke up very late. He woke up after midday. Then one day his mother forced him to bring the food.
‘Sam, wake up. Go to the farm and bring the food for your father. He must be very tired and hungry now’.
But Mom, I am tired and hungry too’
‘What makes you tired? You just wake up. Go now. You father needs the food’
Toba reluctantly went to the farm. But he did not go to the farm immediately. He stopped somewhere in the street and ate the food. It was already late afternoon when he got to the farm. His father was disappointed. Then he was angry as he realized that his son had eaten his food. He said sarcastically.
‘O, you are stupid lazy boy. You are son of a fish!’
Samosir was hurt. He went home right away and as he got home he told his mother about his father’s words. Samosir’s mother was shocked. She was also deeply hurt. ‘O Toba. You break your promise so I cannot live with you here anymore. Now you have to accept to consequence of what you did. Samosir, now go to the hill, find the tallest tree and climb it’
‘Why mom? What will happen?’
‘Just do it, never ask any question. Good bye’
As soon as she finished saying that suddenly the weather changed. Sunny day suddenly turned into cloudy day. Not long after that the rain poured heavily. The rain last for several days. Consequently the area was flooded. The whole area became a big lake. Then it was called Lake Toba and in the middle of the lake there is an island called Samosir Island. Meanwhile Toba’s wife disappeared. Lake Toba is located in the province of North Sumatra, Indonesia. Today it becomes a tourist destination.