The Broken-hearted Peacock

Folklore From West Nusa Tenggara

A long time ago, all animals lived peacefully. They were friends one to another. The birds lived happily. They all liked to help each other.

The most beautiful bird was the peahen. She lived in Java Island. All birds were amazed by her beauty.

The peahen did not have a mate yet. She was waiting for a handsome bird to marry her. And one day, an eagle came to her.

The eagle told her about a handsome bird living in Sumbawa Island. His name was Santoana. The eagle said that Santoana was perfect to be her husband. The peahen ignored the news. She thought Sumbawa was very far from Java. And it was very difficult for her to meet Santoana.

However, later she had the same news from the pigeon. She told peahen about Santoana who was very handsome. The pigeon also said that Santoana was the perfect husband for the peahen.

Again, the peahen ignored the news. She was still thinking about the distance she had to fly if she wanted to meet Santoana.

But she then changed her mind when she heard the parrot told her the same news. All of her friends told her about this handsome bird. And finally the peahen decided to fly to Sumbawa to meet Santoana.

The peahen flew happily. When she was tired, she stopped flying. She asked other birds where Sumbawa Island was.

"Mr Cockatoo, where is Sumbawa Island?"

"You just go straight ahead. You can find Sumbawa Island," said the cockatoo.

The peahen was happy. She continued to fly. And when she was not sure with the direction, she always asked other birds.

The answer was always the same. She just had to fly straight ahead. And finally she arrived at Sumbawa Island. Her heart beat so fast.

She landed on a beach. There was a bird there. The peahen approached the bird. The people of Sumbawa called the bird as Bongarasang.

"Excuse me, Sir. Do you know where I can meet Santoana?" asked the peahen.

Bongarasang was amazed by her beauty. He instantly fell in love with her. He had a bad plan.

"Well, I am Santoana. Why are you looking for me?" asked Bongarasang.

The peahen was so disappointed. Santoana was not as handsome as she imagined. But because she already made up her mind to marry Santoana, she decided to stay in Sumbawa Island.

Later, the peahen and Bongarasang got married. The peahen did not know that Bongarasang lied to her. Later the couple had a peachick. They were very happy. They held a party and invited all the birds
in the island. The party was almost started.

Suddenly the owl said, "Don't start the party now Santoana is not here yet. He will be here soon."
Later Santoana came to the party. He was very handsome. The feather was very beautiful. And he also had great voice.

The peahen was very sulprised! She asked Bongarasang and he finally told the truth. The peahen was very sad. She decided to go back to Java. His peachick was very ashamed. He was always hiding and avoiding other birds. The people of Sumbawa then named the peahen’s chick as Bertong.

Meanwhile, Santoana really regretted that he did not have a chance to meet the peahen earlier. He was very sad and he never flew again. Since then, he had become a wild chicken or a jungle chicken.

He was a chicken who had beautiful feather and a great voice. The peahen never came back to Sumbawa, that's why people said that until now we cannot see peafowls live in Sumbawa Island.***

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Did you Know?
source: latoro.com

Peafowl are two Asiatic and one African species of flying bird in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae, best known for the male's extravagant eye-spotted tail covert feathers, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks.

The adult female peafowl is grey and/or brown. Peachicks can be between yellow and a tawny colour with darker brown patches or light tan and ivory, also referred to as "dirty white"

The Green Peafowl, Pavo muticus (from Latin Pavo, peafowl; muticus, Mute, docked or curtailed) is a large galliform bird that is found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. It is also known as the Java Peafowl, but this term is properly used to describe the nominate subspecies endemic to the island of Java. It is the closest relative of the Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), which is mostly found on the Indian subcontinent. (wikipedia.org)

Kebo Iwa

Folklore from Bali

ONCE upon a time in Bali, a man and his wife were praying. They have been married for a long time but did not have any children. They asked God to give them a child. They prayed and prayed.

God finally answered their prayers. The wife, then, got pregnant and they had a baby boy. They were very happy.

The baby was extraordinary. He was very much different from other babies. He ate and drank a lot. Day after day he ate more and more. His body was getting bigger and bigger. And by the time he was a teenager, his body was as big as a buffalo. People then started to call him Kebo Iwa.

Because of his eating habit, Kebo Iwa’s parents spent a lot of money to buy his food in large amount. They finally went bankrupt. They gave up and asked the villagers to help them provide the food.

The villagers then worked together to cook and build a big house for Kebo Iwa. He was like a giant. He could not stay in his parents’ house anymore because of his big body. Sadly, after a few months, the villagers also could not afford to cook him the food. They then asked Kebo Iwa to cook his own food. The villagers just prepared the raw materials.

Kebo Iwa agreed and as an expression of his gratitude to the villagers, he built a dam, dug wells, and he also protected the villagers from animals and people who wanted to attack their village. He did those things by himself.

Meanwhile, the troops of Majapahit were planning to attack Bali. They knew about Kebo Iwa. And they also knew that they could not conquer Bali with Kebo Iwa there. Kebo Iwa was more powerful than they were.

Gajah Mada, the Maha Patih (Chief Minister) of Majapahit then planned something. They were pretending to invite Kebo Iwa to Majapahit to help them dig some wells. They said that Majapahit was suffering from a long dry season and needed much water. Kebo Iwa did not know the plan, so he went to Majapahit.

When Kebo Iwa was busy digging a very big well, the troops covered the well. Kebo Iwa had difficulty in breathing and buried alive. He died in the well.

After the death of Kebo Iwa, Bali was conquered by Majapahit. Until now, people still remember Kebo Iwa because he had done a lot for Majapahit and Bali. The stone head of legendary Kebo Iwa can be found in Pura Gaduh temple in Blahbatuh. ***

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