The Dandaung Snake

Ular Dandaung >> Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from South Kalimantan

A long time ago, there was a big kingdom in South Kalimantan. The people lived happily and peacefully. There were no poor people. The land was fertile and they always had great harvest. The kingdom was also peaceful. The king was wise and always protected his people. The king had seven daughters. Those seven princesses were very beautiful. The king and the queen really loved them. Their daughters were all still single.

It was a beautiful afternoon. The king and his family spent their time in the garden. Suddenly the chief soldier came. He told the king a very bad news.

“Your majesty! A giant bird attacked our kingdom. The bird is destroying the rice fields. It is also attacking the people. Many people are wounded,” said the soldier.

“We have to do something. Prepare the soldiers. I’ll command the attack,” said the king bravely. He then took his weapon and led the soldiers.

When the king and the soldiers arrived, they were very shocked. The bird was very big. It was very powerful and mean. The king did not want to wait any longer.

The king and the soldiers fought bravely. At first, they could not match the fight. However they all were very brave. Slowly the giant bird gave up. It was very tired and stopped its attack. The people were happy. For a moment they were safe from the bird.

A week later, the kingdom was restless again. This time a giant snake came to the palace. Amazingly the snake could talk like humans. The snake wanted to meet the king and his family.

“Your Majesty, my name is Dandaung Snake. I’m here to marry one of your seven daughters,” said the snake.

All the daughters were screaming. They all were afraid. However the king was silent and calmed. He knew he had to be very careful. He tried to find a solution.

“I cannot decide right now. We need to discuss. Come back tomorrow,” said the king.

He planned to prolong the time. Meanwhile he also had to ask his daughters. One by one the king asked them, but they all refused to marry the snake.

The king was hopeless. He was afraid the snake would attack his kingdom, he still had problems with the giant bird. It was because the bird was still alive and it could return and attack the kingdom and his people at any time.

Suddenly his youngest daughter came to him.

She said, “Father, I’m willing to marry the snake. I’m afraid the snake will be angry and attack our kingdom if nobody wants to marry him.”

The king was speechless. He was very touched with her youngest daughter’s sacrifice. Then he ordered his people to hold a great wedding ceremony for her youngest daughter and Dandaung

The party was great. All the guests were proud with the youngest princess. When everybody was having fun, suddenly something strange happened.

Dandaung Snake slowly changed into a very handsome man. He looked into the youngest princess face and he said.

“Don’t be afraid. You have already helped me from the curse. A bad witch cursed me into a snake. Actually I’m a prince and I have great supernatural power.”

The prince went away. He knew the people were still afraid with the giant bird. The prince wanted to kill the bird. And finally he succeeded! The giant bird was dead. Everybody was happy. The king was also happy. He asked the prince to be the new king. Since then the kingdom was always peaceful. ***

The Borneo python (Python breitensteini)

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