La Tongko-Tongko

Folklore from South Sulawesi

THERE was a very stupid man. His name was La Tongko-Tongko. He lived with his nlother. One day, La Tongko-Tongko told his mother that he wanted to get married.

"If you want to get married, you have to find a girl first. Then ask her to marry you."

La Tongko-Tongko listened to his mother. So, he started to find a girl. And while he was looking around, he met a girl. She was carrying some potatoes in her bag.

"Hey, girl I want to get married. Do you want to be my wife?"

The girl was angry! She thought La Tongko-Tongko was mocking her. She threw the potatoes at him. La Tongko-Tongko ran away !

At home, La Tongko-Tongko told his mother about the girl he met today.

"Oh, you are so stupid La Tongko-Tongko. You canrrot ask a girl io get married like that. You and the girl have to love each other, then you can get married," explained his mother.

LaTongko-Tongko immediately went out. He still renrernbered his mother's advice. While he was looking around, a girl was walking and she was carrying some fire woods. La Tongko-Tongko approached her and talked to her.

"Hey, girl I love you. Do you love me? If you do, let's get married."

Thc girl was angry She threw some woods at him. La Tongko-Tongko ran way!

Again, La lbngko-Tongko told his mother about the girl he met.

"Oh, no. You're so stupid. You cannot do that. Love takes time. Besides that you have to talk nicely and gently," explained his nrothcr.

La Tongko-Tongko walked around. Finallv he arrived in the jungle. He saw a girl was lying on the ground under a big tree. He clid not know, that the girl was dead. He approached the girl and talked to her.

"Hi, beautiful girl." I really love you. How about vou? Do you love me?"

Of course the girl did not respond. After all she was dead already. However, La Tongko-Tongko thought that the girl needed time to respond. He remembered his mother's advice. He repeated his question again. And when she kept quiet, La Tongko-Tongko thought the girl was shy. Finally, he asked the final question.

"Do you want to marry me? If vou keep quiet, I will think you say yes."

And because the girl did not say anything and did not move at alJ, La Tongko-Tongko held her and
brought her home.

At home, La longko-Tongko put her in his bed room. He told his mother that he had already found a wife. The mother was happy. She wanted to meet the girl.
And when she saw a dead body in the bed room, she screamed!

"La Tongko-Tongko, why did you bring a dead body to our home?"

"Dead body? How did you know she is dead?" asked l.a Tongko-Tongko.

"Can't you smell the stink from her body? Bury her now!"

La Tongko-Tongko then buried the girl's body. He felt that he just learned something. And afterhe finished burying the body, he went back home.

Before he went to bed, he broke wind. It smelled so bad. La Tongko-Tongko thought that he was dead. He dug a hole and buried his body. He just left his head on the surface, his whole body was buried. And when his mother saw him, she was really angry.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm dead mother. I broke wind and it smelled so stink.''

The mother could not do and say anything. He just left La Tongko-Tongko alone. And after several hours, La Tongko-Tongko could not hold it anymore. He freed himself and went back to
his home.***

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