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Timun Mas (The Golden Cucumber)

Timun Mas (Rhyming Story)

The Golden Cucumber Illustrated Edition

Indonesian Folklore Homepage

Folklore from Central Java

Once upon a time, a husband and wife made their home not far from a jungle. They were farmers. They were diligent farmers who put in a lot of effort in the paddy fields. Despite being married for a long time, they were still without children. They prayed sincerely for a child every day.

One night, a giant passed their home as they were praying. The huge man heard them asking for help.

"Farmers, don't worry. I could give you a child. However, you must deliver that daughter to me once she turns 17 years old," the giant continued.

The farmers rejoiced greatly. They accepted the offer without giving the possibility of eventually losing their child any thought. The giant later gave them a bunch of cucumber seeds. The farmers carefully placed them in the ground. The seeds then developed into plants.

A large golden cucumber soon emerged from the plants after that. When it was fully ripe, the farmers harvested and cut it. They were astonished to see a beautiful girl inside the cucumber. She was given the name Timun Mas, which means Golden Cucumber. Timun Mas blossomed into a lovely girl as the years went by.

Timun Mas was pleased on her 17th birthday. The parents, on the other hand, were deeply depressed. Despite being aware that they had to honor their word towards the giant, they also wished to avoid losing their beloved daughter.

"Please take this bag, my daughter.. It can save you from the giant," said the father.

"What do you mean, Father? I don't understand," Timun Mas replied.

Right after that, the giant came into their house.

"Run Timun Mas. Save your life!" said the mother.

The giant was furious. He was aware that the farmers intended to break their promise. He was chasing Timun Mas. The giant was getting closer and closer.

Timun Mas Dessert
After that, Timun Mas opened the bag and threw some salt into the air. It turned into a sea. To get across the ocean, the giant had to swim.

Timun Mas afterwards threw some chili. It turned into a jungle with sharp thorns. The giant was injured by the trees' thorny branches. However, the giant was still able to chase after Timun Mas.

Timun Mas took her third magic stuff. They were cucumber seeds. She threw them away and became a cucumber field. But the giant could still escape from the field.

Then there was the last of the magic stuff she had in the bag. It was a shrimp paste, terasi. She threw it and became a big swamp. The giant was still trying to swim through the swamp, but he was very tired. Then he drowned and died.

Timun Mas then immediately went home. The farmers were overjoyed to be back together once more. ***

Moral message : Resilience and Bravery

It highlights the courage and resilience of Timun Mas in facing the challenges posed by the giant. Despite the daunting circumstances, she used her intelligence and the magical items to outsmart the giant and save herself. This teaches us about the importance of courage in the face of adversity and the ability to navigate challenges with determination and wit.

Did you know?

Buto is the Javanese word for giant. Buto Ijo is the well-known Javan Giant. However, there are many different types of giants, including Buto Buto Cakil, Buto Jathilan, Buto Terong (eggplant), and Buto Rambut Geni.

Indeed, Buto Ijo is the most well-known. Buto Buto Ijo appeared in folklore from Central Java, Timun Mas. Buto Ijo has a lot in common with green-skinned Ogres, and it's a kind of wild genie.

Terasi (shrimp paste), or shrimp sauce, is a common ingredient used in Indonesia. It is made from fermented ground shrimp or krill mixed with salt. (wiki)

Word Guessing Game - Indonesian Folklore

Word Guessing Game - Indonesian Folklore

What is the name of the giant chasing Timun Mas?

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