Mah Bongsu and a Snake

Mah Bongsu dan Ular >> Edisi Bahasa Indonesia

Folklore from Batam

ONCE upon a time in Batam, lived an orphan named Mah Bongsu. She was a nice girl. Mah Bongsu was poor. To earn a living, she worked as a maid at a rich woman’s house, her name was Mak Piah. She had a daughter named Mayang. Mah Bongsu and Mayang were at the same age.

Mak Piah was a mean lady. She always asked Mah Bongsu to work hard, she often hit Mah Bongsu and sometimes she did not gave enough food to Mah Bongsu. Mah Bongsu was helpless. She could not do anything.

She was alone in this world and she did not have any other place to stay. Everyday she prayed to God. She wanted to have a better life. Mah Bongsu was washing the clothes in the river. Suddenly she saw a big snake swimming towards her. Mah Bongsu was scared. She wanted to run away. However, she saw the snake was wounded. It was bleeding. Mah Bongsu felt sorry to the snake. Carefully, she brought the snake home. She put the snake in her room and healed the wound.

When Mah Bongsu was healing the wound, a piece of the snake’s skin was removed. Mah Bongsu took it. Amazingly the skin turned into gold. Mah Bongsu was happy. Everyday the snake removed its skin and the skin always turned into gold. Mah Bongsu collected all the gold and save it. She wanted to sell it later. Mah Bongsu sold all the gold and she became a rich girl. She did not work for Mak Piah anymore. She was richer than Mak Piah. Mah Bongsu also helped all the poor people. She bought a big house and she brought the snake with her.

Mak Piah was very jealous. She was so curious. She wanted to know how Mah Bongsu got the wealth. Secretly, she went to Mah Bongsu’s house. She saw Mah Bongsu was healing a snake.

Later, Mak Piah asked her daughter, Mayang, to go to the river. She asked Mayang to find a wounded snake.

And when Mayang finally found a wounded snake, she brought it home. Sadly, the snake bit her and poisoned her. Mayang instantly died. Mak Piah was scared, she tried to run away. Just right before she left the house, the snake was able to bite her. And she also died then.

Meanwhile, the wounded snake at Mah Bongsu’s house was finally healed. Amazingly, the snake turned into a handsome man.

“ Thank you, Mah Bongsu.

Actually, I’m a prince. A witch cursed me into a snake . And thanks to you I changed into a man now. Because you already helped me, I want to propose you to be my wife. Will you marry me?” asked the prince.

Mah Bongsu was so happy. She accepted the proposal and lived with the prince. Since then people named the river where Mah Bongsu found her husband as Sungai Jodoh. It means the river of soul mate. ***

Barelang Bridge, Batam Icon

Batam, the largest city in the Riau Islands Province of Indonesia

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