I Cikampeng

Folklore from Bali

THERE was a rich but stupid man. His name was I Cikampeng. He had a lot of money because he never wasted it. He was very careful in spending his money.

For example, he never took a bath in the bathroom and never bought any soap. If he wanted to take a bath, he only went to the river. He thought taking a bath with water and soap in the bathroom only wasted his money. He also did not have any utensils.

If he wanted to eat, he just bought a little rice and he divided the rice into three very small parts. They were for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That was why his body was so skinny. He also only had one clothes. He kept on wearing it even though it was already worn-out.

One day I Cikampeng went to a wedding party. People asked why he did not get married yet. He said that actually he wanted to get married soon. He was still looking for the perfect girl. He wanted to marry a girl who did not like to waste money.

Someone said that there was a girl I Cikampeng was looking for. Her name was I Mayang Sari. And she was as skinny as I Cikampeng. 

Soon I Cikampeng went to visit I Mayang Sari. He fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. I Mayang Sari agreed. She had been waiting for a man to marry her. Later I Cikampeng and I Mayang Sari got married. 

I Cikampeng did not know that I Mayang Sari was suffering a terrible disease. Because she did not get enough food from I Cikampeng, her disease was getting terrible. She was dying. And finally she was dead.

It was in the morning. I Cikampeng wanted to go to the rice field. He woke his wife up. He thought that she was still sleeping. In the afternoon, I Cikampeng saw his wife was still in the bed. I Cikampeng was happy. He could save the food for tomorrow because his wife was still sleeping.

It happened on the following days. He always thought that his wife was still sleeping. In the mean time, his wife's body started to decay and produced a very bad smell.

The neighbors asked I Cikampeng where his wife was. And they also asked why there was a bad smell coming from his house. I Cikampeng said that his wife was sleeping. The neighbors were suspicious. They wanted to see his wife. And when they saw her, they were very surprised.

"I Cikampeng, your wife is dead! Don't you smell it?"

"Really?" asked I Cikampeng. He was very stupid. 

Since then he thought that when someone smelled very bad as it meant that the person was dead. I Cikampeng and the neighbors buried I Mayang Sari. And when they have finished, they all went home. In the evening, I Cikampeng was farting. The smell was very bad. I Cikampeng then remembered what the people said about the bad smell.

He thought he was dead. He did not want to tell his neighbors that he was dead. He had to spend some money when he asked the neighbors to bury his wife. He did not want to waste his money, therefore he wanted to bury his body by himself.

He dug the ground and when it was deep enough, he slowly covered his body with the soil. And finally almost all parts of his body were covered by soil. Except for his head, it was not covered yet.

When people saw I Cikampeng, they asked what happened. He told them everything. The people were laughing. They all said that I Cikampeng was very stupid! ***


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