The Legend of Tes Lake

Legenda Danau Tes | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Bengkulu

THERE was a man lived in Kutei Donok village, Bengkulu. People call him Pahit Lidah. He was named Pahit Lidah because he had magical power. Whatever he said would come true. That was why Pahit Lidah was always careful with his words.

Pahit Lidah had a son. One day Pahit Lidah left his village. He wanted to open new rice field. He asked permission to the head of the village. The head of the village gave him the permission. Pahit Lidah went alone. His son still stayed at home.

After walking for several hours, he finally found a good place for his new rice field. He brought his hoe and started using it. He dug the soil and threw it to the Air Ketahun River. He was working days and nighst and he never stopped to rest. He was very powerful. He kept on hoeing the soil and always threw it to the river.

He had been working for two days and there was a lot of land covering the river. Slowly the soil blocked the water. The soil in the river made the water did not flow smoothly.

The villagers were restless. They knew if Pahit Lidah kept on throwing the soil to the river, finally the river would totally blocked by the soil. They were afraid that the water would overflow and their village would be flooded.

The villagers then reported this to the head of the village. After he knew the problem, the head of the village sent some villagers to meet Pahit Lidah. They had to persuade him to stop working and returned home.

“If he still does not want to go home, tell him that his son is dead,” said the head of the villagers.

Later the villagers left. They finally met Pahit Lidah. As planned, they tried to persuade him to stop working. However, Pahit Lidah ignored them. Then they told him that his son was dead.

“Impossible. My son is fine. He is still alive,” said Pahit Lidah.

They villagers gave up. They went home and reported to the head of the village.

“I’m sorry, Sir. Pahit Lidah did not want to listen to us. Maybe if you tell him, he will listen to you. He really respects you,” said one villager.

“Hmmm. Alright, I will go now,” said the head of the village.

The head of the village then found Pahit Lidah still hoeing the soil. Later he persuaded Pahit Lidah.

“Pahit Lidah, let’s go home now. Your son is dead,” said the head of the village.

Pahit Lidah stopped working. He really respected the head of the village.

Then he said, “Because you said that my son is dead, now I really believe that my son is dead,” said Pahit Lidah sadly.

“So, why don’t you go home now?”

“I will, Sir. I just need to hoe the soil a little more,” said Pahit Lidah.

After that, the head of the village left him. Pahit Lidah just realized his mistake. Pahit Lidah was so sure that his son was not dead, then his son was indeed dead. He was so angry. However it was too late. He kept on hoeing and throwing the soil to the river. And finally the land completely blocked the river and it made a new lake. People named the lake as Tes Lake.***

Danau Tes(Tes Lake)

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