The Stupid Crocodile

Folklore from South Sulawesi

IT was very hot day. A crocodile was lying on the ground. He wanted to go to the river and enjoyed the water. However, he was too weak to go there. He was waiting for an animal to help him. His wish came true. A buffalo was passing by. He asked the buffalo to helped him.

"I want to go to the river. But I am too weak. May I jump on your back and take me to the river?" asked the crocodile.

"Certainly, Mr Crocodile. I'm glad to help you," said the Buffalo.

Soon the crocodile was on top of the buffalo's back. And when they arrived at the river side, the buffalo asked the crocodile to get off.

"Not now, there is not much water here. Please go farther," said the crocodile.

The buffalo continued walking. They were almost at the middle of the river. The water was on the neck of the buffalo. The crocodile get off from the buffalo's back. Instead of saying thank you, the crocodile bit the buffalo's leg.

"Hey what are you doing?" asked the buffalo.

"I'm so hungry. You have to be my lunch!" said the crocodile.

"But it is not fair! I already helped you!"

"I don't care!" said the crocodile.

A mouse deer saw their argument. He was standing at the river side. He wanted to know what happened.

"Hey, what are you arguing about?" asked the mouse deer.

"I already helped Mr. Crocodile, but now he wants to eat me."

The mouse deer knew that the crocodile was a mean animal. He wanted to help the buffalo.

"What? I cannot hear you. Both of you are too far from me. Come closer to the ground.

Slowly, the buffalo moved his body. The crocodile was still biting his leg. And when they were on the ground, the mouse deer whispered to the buffalo's ear.

"Kick the crocodile now and run. The crocodile cannot move fast to the ground."

The buffalo immediately kicked the crocodile with his other leg. The crocodile was in pain. He opened his mouth. The buffalo was free. Soon the buffalo and the mouse deer ran fast to save their lives.

"Wait for my revenge mouse deer. I will eat you alive!" the crocodile was angry.

Several days later, the crocodile met the mouse deer.

"Aha! I will eat you now!"

"No, wait! Do you know what I'm doing here?" asked the mouse deer. He continued, "Do you see that big and shining rope over there? Well, it's not a rope. It's a magic belt. The god of the jungle asked me to guard it."

"Really? What kind of magic does this belt have?" asked the crocodile.

"Anyone who wears the belt will have great power," explained the mouse deer.

The crocodile wanted to have great power. However, he did not know that the belt was actually a big snake. And the snake was sleeping.

The crocodile asked the mouse deer to go away. And when the mouse deer left. The crocodile lifted the belt and put it around his body.

The snake was angry! He squeezed the crocodile! The crocodile was in great pain. He asked for help but no one helped him. Slowly, the crocodile died. ***

The Sacred Cave

Folklore from Central Java

ONCE upon a time there was long drought in Rembang, Central Java. Rain had not fallen in the place for a very long time. The air was very hot. All the leaves in the trees dried. The rice fields did not grow any plants. There was no source of water. Their only lake also dried.

The people were very thirsty. Children were dying. They did not get enough food and drink. Most of them were ill. Cattle also suffered from the drought season. One by one the cattle died. The villagers were very sad. For them, cattle were their precious things. They could not do anything when their cattle died.

Every day the villagers prayed to God. They wished to have rain. They really wanted to see rain fall so they and their cattle would have enough water to drink. And they also wanted to water their rice fields.

One day all the villagers had a meeting. They discussed how to stop the long drought.

"Sir, I heard there is someone who can help us. His name is Ki Mojo Agung. He has a great supernatural power. Maybe he can help us," said one of the villagers.

"Good! Do you know where he lives?"asked the head of the village.

"That's the problem, Sir. He lives very far from here."

"OK, then. I need some strong men to go to Ki Mojo Agung's house."

Soon some strong man had their journey to visit Ki Mojo Agung. They spent days and nights and finally they arrived at Ki Mojo Agung's house. They talked to him, and fortunately he agreed to help.

"I will help you. But you have to provide two things, a fish and a turtle. You can catch the fish and the turtle in the river there. Put them in this bucket. Remember, you have to keep the animals alive until we arrive in your the village. No matter how thirsty you are, don't drink the water. If you do, the animal will die."

The young men agreed. While they were trying to catch the fish and the turtle, they drank some water. They were so happy. and after they caught a fish and a turtle, they went back home. Ki Mojo Agung also joined them.

On the way back home, the young men started to be thirsty. One of them tried to drink the water in he bucket. Ki Mojo Agung was angry. He asked the young man not to join them anymore.

Finally they arrived. Ki Mojo Agung went to a cave. He put the fish and the turtle on the ground in front of the cave. People were very confused. They saw the fish and the turtle moving their bodies. They thought the fish and the turtle were ding. Well, they were wrong.

It was true that the fish and the turtle were floundering. But they were not dying. An amazing thing started to happen. On the ground where the fish and the turtle were moving their bodies, water came out. The villagers were happy. They immediately drank the water. They were very thankful

Because the water came out in front of the cave, the people named the cave as the sacred cave or Gua Keramat. ***

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