The Red Dragons versus the White Dragon

Naga Merah Lawan Naga Putih >> Edisi Bahasa Indonesia

Folklore from South Kalimantan

ONCE upon a time in South Kalimantan, there was a family. The father was a fisherman. He had a wife and a son. His son was still a little boy. The farmer and his wife really loved him very much.

The fisherman caught the fish in the river. He had a small sampan and a net. Everyday he rowed his sampan along the river. He threw the net and caught the fish.

However, one day he could not catch any fish. He was curious why the fish was gone. He threw his net once again. He felt the net was heavy. He pulled it carefully. When he saw his net, he was disappointed. He did not catch any fish. Instead, there was a big egg. He threw the egg back to the river. He threw his net again.

Suddenly, he felt the net was heavy. This time he really hoped he caught a lot of fish. Sadly, there was no fish at all. Again, he found a big egg in his net. And he threw the egg back to the river.

Later, he threw the net back to the river. And it happened again. He did not catch any fish, but he caught a big egg. The fisherman gave up. He did not want to go home with empty hands. So he brought the egg home.

When he arrived at home, he told his wife that he could not catch any fish. Instead, he caught a big
egg. He asked his wife to boil the egg. When it was cooked, they both ate the egg.

Meanwhile, their son was sleeping. They did not eat the whole egg. The rest of the egg was still on the plate. Later, the fisherman and his wife went to bed.

In the morning, they both woke up. They felt something very strange with their body. They had red scales all over their bodies. They also had tails. Their bodies grew bigger. The fisherman and
his wife had changed into red dragons.

They were shocked! They ran away from the house and jumped to the river. They swam and they found another dragon. And it was a white dragon.

"Ha ha ha.. You have eaten the egg. And now you have changed into a dragon like me!" said the white dragon.

"What do you mean?" asked the fisherman.

"I hate you. I know you always catch the fish here..The fish is my food too. I want to stop you catching the fish. So I put the egg in your net. The egg is a magic egg. Anyone who eats the egg will change into a dragon," said the white dragon.

The fisherman was angry. He wanted to attack the white dragon. Suddenly he remembered his son. He asked his wife to go back home and told him not to eat the egg.

The fisherman's wife immediately went home. When she arrived, her son already woke up, He was crying looking for his parents. He was so scared when he saw a dragon at home.

"Don't be afraid, my son. It's me. I'm your mother. Your father and I have changed into dragons. Please don't eat the egg on the plate. Otherwise you will change into a dragon too. Right now, your father is fighting against the white dragon. I will follow him. After this, you go to the river. If you see the water in the river changed into white, it means your father and I already kill the white dragon. But if you see the watei is red, it means we are dead," later she went back to the river.

The boy then went to the river. He was waiting for days. After a while, he saw the water changed into white. After that, his parents appeared and swam to the river side.

The father said, "My sorry we cannot be together again. Your mother and I will stay in the river forever. But don't worry, we will always guard you."

Then they swam back to the river and disappeared.

Until now, the people in Kalimantan believe that dragons still live in the rivers. The Dayak people also believe that when a dragon shows up in the river, rain will fall down heavily and it will flood the area. ***

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