The Kids with Golden Chests

Folklore from South Sulawesi

THERE was a kingdom in South Sulawesi. The King and The Queen had been married for years but they did not have any children yet. The King was always restless. He was always thinking who would replace him as the king one day.

The King wanted to marry again. He asked his soldiers to go the people's houses and tried to over hear people's conversation. If they heard that there was one girl who wanted to be the king's wife and also wanted to have some children, the soldiers had to report to the king.

Well, one soldier overheard that there was one poor girl who said, "If I became the King's wife, I would have children with golden chests. The children are two sons and one girl."

The soldier immediately told the king about the poor girl. After that the King ordered the girl to go to ihe palace. The King asked if it was true that the girl wanted to the king's wife. The girl said yes and she also said that she would have three children with golden chests.

The King wss happy. He soon held a great wedding party. Not long after they got married, the girl was pregnant. The king was extremely happy and to celebrate this happy moment, the king went to the jungle to go hunting,

The king went for months and in the meantime, the girl delivered the babies. She hadtriplets, two boys and one girl. The babies had golden chests! They were shining brightly!

The queen was extremely jealous. She had a bad plan. She exchanged the babies with three puppies, two males and one female. When the King returned from hunting, he was very angry! He thought the girl was a liar and as a punisnment, she was sent to the jail.

How about the babies? Well, the Queen asked one soldier to kill them. However, the soldier did not have the heart. He felt very sorry for the babies so he gave them to an old woman. He told her the truth about the babies.

Who was the old woman? Well, apparently she was a witch, but a good witch. She promised the soldier that she would take care of the babies.

Times flew and the babies became teenagers. One day, the old, woman heard that the King held a cockfight competition and the first prize was gold. The old woman thought it was a good time for the children to go to the palace.

"But we don't have a cock, Mother," said the oldest child.

"Don't worry, I will find a cock for you," replied the old woman. With her supernatural power, she changed a cat into a cock.

"Bring this cock. Later when you win, tell the king that you dgn't want gold as the prize. TelI the king that as the prize you want the king to free the woman in the jail. Listen, she is your real mother," explained the old woman sadly.

The three children could not believe what they heard. Then the old woman told them the truth. After that the three kids went to the palace to challenge the king's cock.

Well, the king's cock could not fight the kids' cock. In just a minute, the kids' cock became the winner.

The King was fair so he gave them the gold. But the kids refused the gold instead they asked the
king to free a woman in the jail.

"Why?" asked the King.

"She is our mother," said the kids.

The king did not believe them. Suddenly the old woman and the soldier appeared. They told the king about the Queen's bad action.

The King was terribly angry! He immediately freed the woman and he apologized to the kids and their mother. The king also punished the Queen. She was sent to the jail! ***

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