Raden Putra was the king of Jenggala kingdom. He had a beautiful queen and concubine. Unlike the queen, the concubine had bad personalities. She was envious and jealous with the queen, so she planned to make the queen leave the palace. The concubine then asked the royal healer to help her in her plan. One day, the concubine pretended to be ill. Raden Putra called the royal healer to give the concubine treatments. “What is her disease?” Raden Putra asked the royal healer. “I’m very sorry, My Majesty. She is sick because the queen put poison in her meal,” the royal healer lied.
Raden Putra was shock and angry to hear the explanation. He called the queen and asked her if the story was true. Of course the queen denied, but Raden Putra won’t listen. “Please Your Majesty, have mercy. I really didn’t do anything,” cried the queen in her tears. Raden Putra’s anger ended in a decision. The queen should be banished to the woods and terminated. He did not know that the queen was already pregnant. Raden Putra commanded one of his general to do the punishment. The queen was banished to the woods, but the wise general didn’t have the heart to kill her. He built a simple house in the woods for her. On his way back to the palace, he smeared his sword with rabbit blood, so Raden Putra would believe that he had killed the queen.
After the general left, the queen lived by herself in the woods. Several months later, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The baby was named Cindelaras. He grew up as a nice, healthy, and handsome boy. One day, while Cindelaras helped her mother to collect some fire woods, an eagle dropped an egg. Cindelaras brought the egg to be brooded by a chicken behind their house. The egg hatched into a chick and then it slowly became a strong rooster. The rooster is no ordinary rooster. The rooster could sing. Every morning, the rooster woke Cindelaras up with its beautiful song, “My master is Cindelaras. His house is in the woods. He’s the son of Raden Putra.” The rooster often sang that song.
Cindelaras always woke up early in the morning and listen happily to his rooster’s song. He didn’t realize the meaning of the song until one day, he started to think. “Who is Raden Putra?” he asked his mother. The queen then told him the whole story. She also told him why they were banned from the kingdom and lived in the woods. Cindelaras was very surprised. He decided to go to the palace to meet the king, his father. Cindelaras asked her mother’s permission to go to the kingdom and to tell the king what really happened. He also brought his rooster that grew bigger and stronger each day.
On his way, Cindelaras stopped at a village. There, he met some people who were involved in cockfighting. They challenge him to see how strong his rooster was. “If your rooster wins, you’ll get a reward,” said the man who challenged him. Cindelaras accepted the challenge. In a few minutes, his rooster defeated the opponent’s rooster. He was challenged again by other man, and one more time, his rooster won. He won again and again.
The news about Cindelaras’ rooster quickly spread to the whole Jenggala kingdom and made Raden Putra curious. So, he invited Cindelaras to the palace. “What is your name, boy?” Raden Putra asked as Cindelaras arrived in the palace. “My name is Cindelaras, Your Majesty,” Cindelaras answered. He felt both thrilled and happy to see Raden Putra.
Raden Putra challenged Cindelaras with one condition. If Raden Putra’s rooster won, Cindelaras’ head would be cut off. But if Cindelaras’ rooster won, Raden Putra would share half of his wealth. Cindelaras accepted the condition. The competition was held in the front yard of the palace. The two roosters fought bravely. But in just a few minutes, Cindelaras’ rooster won the fight! Raden Putra shook his head and stared at Cindelaras from his seat, “That rooster is no ordinary rooster, and the boy is not an ordinaty boy either. Who is he exactly?” he thought. Raden Putra was about to asked when suddenly Cindelaras’ rooster sang the song, “My master is Cindelaras. His house is in the woods. He’s the son of Raden Putra.”
Raden Putra was surprised. “Is it true?” he asked. “Yes, My Majesty. My name is Cindelaras and my mother was the queen,” said Cindelaras. Raden putra called the general who had banished the queen. The general then confessed that he never killed the queen. Later, the royal healer also admitted his mistake. Raden Putra was so shocked. He immediately went to the woods to pick up the queen. Ever since, Cindelaras and his parents lived happily together. As for the concubine, she was sent to the jail as punishment.
Cerita rakyat from West Java
Long time ago in West Java, lived a beautiful girl named Dayang Sumbi. She was also smart and clever. Her beauty and intelligence made a prince from the heavenly kingdom of Kahyangan desire her as his wife. The prince asked permission from his father to marry Dayang Sumbi. People from Kahyangan could never live side by side with humans, but his father approved on one condition, when they had a child, the prince would transform into a dog. The prince accepted the condition.
They get married and lived happily in the woods until Dayang Sumbi gave birth to a baby boy. The prince then changed into a dog named Tumang. Their son is named Sangkuriang. He was very smart and handsome like his father. Everyday, he hunted animals and looked for fruits to eat. One day, when he was hunting, Sangkuriang accidentally killed Tumang. His arrow missed the deer he was targeting and hit Tumang instead. He went home and tells her mother about the dog. “What?” Dayang Sumbi was appalled. Driven by sadness and anger, she grabbed a weaving tool and hit Sangkuriang’s head with it. Dayang Sumbi was so sad; she didn’t pay any attention to Sangkuriang and started to cry.
Sangkuriang feel sad and also confused. How can his mother love a dog more than him? Sangkuriang then decided to go away from their home and went on a journey. In the morning, Dayang Sumbi finally stopped crying. She started to feel better, so she went to find Sangkuriang. But her son was no where to be found. She looked everywhere but still couldn’t find him. Finally, she went home with nothing. She was exhausted. She fell asleep, and in her dream, she meets her husband. “Dayang Sumbi, don’t be sad. Go look for my body in the woods and get the heart. Soak it with water, and use the water to bathe, and you will look young forever,” said the prince in her dream. After bathing with the water used to soak the dog’s heart, Dayang Sumbi looked more beautiful and even younger.
And time passed by. Sangkuriang on his journey stopped at a village and met and fell in love with a beautiful girl.He didn't realize that the village was his homeland and the beautiful girl was his own mother, Dayang Sumbi. Their love grew naturally and he asked the girl to marry him. One day, Sangkuriang was going on a hunt. He asked Dayang Sumbi to fix the turban on his head. Dayang Sumbi was startled when she saw a scar on his head at the same place where she, years ago, hit Sangkuriang on the head.
After the young man left, Dayang Sumbi prayed for guidance. After praying, she became convinced that the young man was indeed her missing son. She realized that she had to do something to prevent Sangkuriang from marrying her. But she did not wish to disappoint him by cancelling the wedding. So, although she agreed to marry Sangkuriang, she would do so only on the condition that he provides her with a lake and built a beautiful boat, all in one night.
Sangkuriang accepted this condition without a doubt. He had spent his youth studying magical arts. After the sun went down, Sangkuriang went to the hill. Then he called a group of genie to build a dam around Citarum River. Then, he commands the genies to cut down trees and build a boat. A few moments before dawn, Sangkuriang and his genie servants almost finished the boat.
Dayang Sumbi, who had been spying on him, realised that Sangkuriang would fulfill the condition she had set. Dayang Sumbi immediately woke all the women in the village and asked them to wave a long red scarf. All the women in the village were waving red scarf, making it look as if dawn was breaking. Deceived by false dawn, the cock crowed and farmers rose for the new day.
Sangkuriang’s genie servants immediately dropped their work and ran for cover from the sun, which they feared. Sangkuriang grew furious. With all his anger, he kicked the unfinished boat. The boat flew and landed on a valley. The boat then became a mountain, called Mount Tangkuban Perahu (Tangkuban means upturned or upside down, and Perahu means boat). With his power, he destroyed the dam. The water drained from the lake becoming a wide plain and nowadays became a city called Bandung (from the word Bendung, which means Dam).
Cerita rakyat from West Sumatra
Once upon a time, on the north coast of Sumatra lived a poor woman and his son. The boy was called Malin Kundang. They didn’t earn much as fishing was their only source of income. Malin Kundang grew up as a skillful young boy. He always helps his mother to earn some money. However, as they were only fisherman’s helper, they still lived in poverty. “Mother, what if I sail overseas?” asked Malin Kundang one day to his mother. Her mother didn’t agree but Malin Kundang had made up his mind. “Mother, if I stay here, I’ll always be a poor man. I want to be a successful person,” urged Malin kundang. His mother wiped her tears, “If you really want to go, I can’t stop you. I could only pray to God for you to gain success in life,” said his mother wisely. “But, promise me, you’ll come home.”
In the next morning, Malin Kundang was ready to go. Three days ago, he met one of the successful ship’s crew. Malin was offered to join him. “Take a good care of yourself, son,” said Malin Kundang’s mother as she gave him some food supplies. “Yes, Mother,” Malin Kundang said. “You too have to take a good care of yourself. I’ll keep in touch with you,” he continued before kissing his mother’s hand. Before Malin stepped onto the ship, Malin’s mother hugged him tight as if she didn’t want to let him go.
It had been three months since Malin Kundang left his mother. As his mother had predicted before, he hadn’t contacted her yet. Every morning, she stood on the pier. She wished to see the ship that brought Malin kundang home. Every day and night, she prayed to the God for her son’s safety. There was so much prayer that had been said due to her deep love for Malin Kundang. Even though it’s been a year she had not heard any news from Malin Kundang, she kept waiting and praying for him.
After several years waiting without any news, Malin Kundang’s mother was suddenly surprised by the arrival of a big ship in the pier where she usually stood to wait for her son. When the ship finally pulled over, Malin Kundang’s mother saw a man who looked wealthy stepping down a ladder along with a beautiful woman. She could not be wrong. Her blurry eyes still easily recognized him. The man was Malin Kundang, her son.
Malin Kundang’s mother quickly went to see her beloved son. “Malin, you’re back, son!” said Malin Kundang’s mother and without hesitation, she came running to hug Malin Kundang, “I miss you so much.” But, Malin Kundang didn’t show any respond. He was ashamed to admit his own mother in front of his beautiful wife. “You’re not my Mother. I don’t know you. My mother would never wear such ragged and ugly clothes,” said Malin Kundang as he release his mother embrace.
Malin Kundang’s mother take a step back, “Malin…You don’t recognize me? I’m your mother!” she said sadly. Malin Kundang’s face was as cold as ice. “Guard, take this old women out of here,” Malin Kundang ordered his bodyguard. “Give her some money so she won’t disturb me again!” Malin Kundang’s mother cried as she was dragged by the bodyguard, ”Malin... my son. Why do you treat your own mother like this?”
Malin Kundang ignored his mother and ordered the ship crews to set sail. Malin Kundang’s mother sat alone in the pier. Her heart was so hurt, she cried and cried. “Dear God, if he isn’t my son, please let him have a save journey. But if he is, I cursed him to become a stone,” she prayed to the God.In the quiet sea, suddenly the wind blew so hard and a thunderstorm came. Malin Kundang’s huge ship was wrecked. He was thrown by the wave out of his ship, and fell on a small island. Suddenly, his whole body turned into stone. He was punished for not admitting his own mother.
Cerita rakyat from Central Java
Mouse Deer and Tiger
One upon a time, there was a mouse deer living in a forest. Although he was small, he wasn’t afraid of the other bigger animals who wanted to eat him. He was so smart; he always managed to ditch them. One day, a tiger was wandering around for food. He hadn't been eating for days. He was really hungry. While he was walking in the forest, he saw Mouse Deer. The tiger wanted to eat him.
Tiger slowly ducked, crawled, approaching Mouse Deer, then..."Gotcha!" said Tiger. He caught Mouse Deer. “Hello, Mouse Deer! I’m really hungry right now. You’ll be my lunch!” said Tiger. Mouse Deer didn’t want to be his lunch. He tried to be calm. He looked around and saw some buffalo’s dung. He had an idea. “I’m sorry, Tiger. I can’t be your lunch now. The King has ordered me to guard his cake,” said Mouse Deer calmly. “His cake?” said Tiger curiously. “Yes, there it is. It’s very delicious. The King doesn’t want anyone else to eat it, so he ordered me to guard it,” Mouse Deer pointed the buffalo’s dung. “Can I taste it?” Tiger asked. “Of course you can’t. The King would be very angry,” said Mouse Deer refused. “Just one little bite, Mouse Deer! The King will never know,” said Tiger. “Well, okay, Tiger. But first let me run far away, so the King won’t blame me,” said Mouse Deer. “All right, Mouse deer. You can go now.” Mouse Deer ran quickly out of sight. Tiger then took a big mouthful of the ‘cake’. “Phoooey!” He spit it out. “Yuck, that’s not cake. That’s buffalo’s dung.”
Tiger ran through the forest. He caught up with Mouse Deer. “Mouse Deer, you tricked me. But now you will be my lunch.” Mouse Deer looked around and saw a wasp nest in a tree. “I’m sorry, Tiger. I can’t be your lunch now. The King has ordered me to guard his drum,” said Mouse Deer calmly. “His drum?” said Tiger curiously. “Yes, there it is. It has the best sound in the world. The King doesn’t want anyone else to hit it,” Mouse Deer pointed the wasp nest. “Can I hit the King’s drum?” Tiger asked. “Of course you can’t. The King would be very angry,” said Mouse Deer refused. “Just one little hit, Mouse Deer! The King will never know,” said Tiger. ”Well, all right, Tiger. But first let me run far away, so the King won’t blame me,” said Mouse Deer. “All right, Mouse Deer. You can go now.” Mouse Deer ran quickly out of sight. Tiger then reached up and hit the wasp nest. Bzzzzzzz…! “Ouch…ouch! That’s not a drum. That a wasp nests!”
Tiger ran away. But the wasps keep following him. He came to the river. He jumped in and stayed underwater as long as he could. At last the wasps went away. Then he jumped out. He ran through the forest till he found Mouse Deer. “Mouse Deer, you tricked me again. But now you will be my lunch.” Mouse Deer looked around and saw a cobra. The snake was coiled asleep on the ground. “I’m sorry, Tiger. I can’t be your lunch now. The King has ordered me to guard his belt,” said Mouse Deer calmly. “His belt?” said Tiger curiously. “Yes. There it is. It’s the best belt in the world. The King doesn’t want anyone else to wear it,” Mouse Deer pointed the cobra. “Can I wear it?” Tiger asked. “Of course you can’t. The King would be very angry,” said Mouse Deer refused. “Just for one moment, Mouse Deer! The King will never know,” said Tiger. ”Well, all right, Tiger. But first let me run far away, so the King won’t blame me,” said Mouse Deer. “All right, Mouse Deer. You can go now.” Mouse Deer ran quickly out of sight. Tiger then took the snake and started to warp it around himself. The cobra woke up. It squeezed Tiger and bit him. SSssssstt! “Oouch! Ow! Ooow! That’s not a belt! That’s a cobra! Help! Mouse Deer! Help!” But Mouse Deer was already far away. He laughed aloud. Mouse Deer was safe from Tiger now.
Cerita rakyat from West Java
Prabu Tapa Agung had led a kingdom in West Java for a long time. He was getting old and therefore wanted to choose a successor. But unfortunately, he had no son. He thought of choosing one of his daughters, Purbararang and Purbasari. But it wasn’t an easy choice. They were both very pretty and smart. The only difference was their temperament. Purbararang was rude and dishonest, while Purbasari was kind and caring. With those considerations, Prabu Tapa Agung finally chose Purbasari to be his successor.
Purbararang didn’t agree with her father’s decision. “It’s supposed to be me, Father. I’m the eldest daughter!” Purbararang said. Prabu Tapa Agung smiled. “Purbararang, to be a queen takes more than age. There are many other qualities that one must possess,” explained Prabu Tapa Agung wisely. “What does Purbasari have that I don’t?” Purbararang pouted. “You’ll find out when Purbasari has replaced me,” Prabu Tapa Agung answered.
After the discussion, Purbararang went back to her room. “Is there something wrong?” asked Indrajaya. Indrajaya is Purbararang’s future husband. “I’m upset! Father chose Purbasari as his successor and not me! I have to do something!” Purbararang said. Driven mad by her anger, she came to a witch and asked her to send rash all over Purbasari’s body. Before going to bed, Purbasari started to feel itch all over her body. She tried applying powder to her body, but it’s no use. Instead, the itching grew even worse. She didn’t want to scratch it, but she just couldn’t help it. In the next morning, there were scratch mark all over Purbasari’s body. “What happened to you?” asked Purbararang, pretending to be concerned. “I don’t know, sis. Last night, my body suddenly felt very itchy. I scratched and scratched, and this is what happened,” Purbasari answered. Purbararang shook her head. “You must have done something really awful. You’ve been punished by the gods!”
That day, the whole kingdom was scandalized. “What have you done, Purbasari?” demanded Prabu Tapa Agung. Purbasari shook her head. “I didn’t do anything that would upset the gods, Father,” she answered. “Then how can you explain what happened to your body?” Prabu Tapa Agung asked again. “If you don’t confess, I’ll banish you to the woods.” Purbasari took a deep breath. “Like I said before, I didn’t do anything wrong. And I’d rather be thrown into the woods than to confess to a deed I didn’t commit.”
After a short discussion with his advisor, Prabu Tapa Agung ordered Purbasari to be moved to the woods. Purbasari was very sad, but she couldn’t do anything to defy her father’s order. She was accompanied to the woods by a messenger. He built a simple hut for Purbasari. After the messenger left, suddenly a black monkey came to Purbasari’s hut. He carried a bunch of bananas. From behind him, some animals looked on. “Are the bananas for me?’ Purbasari asked. The black monkey nodded, as if he understood what Purbasari said. Purbasari took the bananas with pleasure. She also said thanks. The other animals that were looking on also seemed to smile. “Are you willing to be my friend?” Purbasari asked them. All the animals nodded happily. Although she was living by herself in the woods, Purbasari never lacked of supplies. Everyday, there were always animals bringing her fruits and fish to eat.
A long time had passed since Purbasari was banished to the woods, but her body still itched. At some places, her skin was even ulcerating. What am I supposed to do?” Purbasari sighed. The monkey who was sitting next to her stayed still, there were tears in his eyes. He hoped Purbasari would remain patient and strong.
One night, on a full moon, the monkey took Purbasari to a valley. There is a pond with hot spring water. The monkey suddenly spoke, “The water of this pond will heal your skin,” he said. Purbasari was surprised, ”You can talk? Who are you?” she asked. “You’ll find out, in time,” the monkey said. Purbasari didn’t want to force the monkey. She then walked to the pond. She bathed there. After a few hours, Purbasari walked out of the pond. She was shocked to see her face reflected on the clear pond water. Her face was beautiful again, with smooth and clean skin. Purbasari observed her entire body. There were no traces of any skin ailments. “I’m cured! I’m cured!” Purbasari shouted in joy. She quickly offered thanks to the gods and also to the monkey.
The news of Purbasari’s condition quickly spread to the kingdom, irritating Purbararang. She then accompanied by Indrajaya go to the woods to see Purbasari. Purbasari asked if she would be allowed to go home. Purbararang said she would let Purbasari return to the palace if Purbasari’s hair were longer than hers. Purbararang then let her hair down. It was so long, it almost touched the ground. But it turned out that Purbasari’s hair was twice longer than Purbararang’s hair.
“Fine, so your hair is longer than mine.” Purbararang admitted. “But there is one more condition you must fulfill, do you have a future husband who is handsomer than mine?” said Purbararang as she walked toward Indrajaya. Purbasari felt miserable. She didn’t have a future husband yet. So, without much thought, she pulled the black monkey beside her.
Purbararang and Indrajaya burst out, but their laughter didn’t last long. The monkey meditates and suddenly transformed into a very handsome young man, a lot more handsome than Indrajaya. “I’m a prince from a kingdom far away. I was cursed to be a monkey because of a mistake I committed. I could regain my true form only if there’s a girl who would be willing to be my wife,” said the young man.
Finally, Purbararang gave up. She accepted Purbasari as the queen, and also confessed everything she had done. “Please forgive me. Please don’t punish me,” Purbararang said, asking for forgiveness. Instead of being angry, Purbasari smiled. “I forgive you, sis,” she said. Soon after, Purbasari become queen. Beside her was the handsome prince, the former monkey known as Lutung Kasarung.
Cerita rakyat from West Java
Long time ago there was a kingdom in West Java. The kingdom was ruled by a king called Prabu. He was a kind and wise king. Under Prabu’s leadership, the kingdom grew into a prosperous kingdom. There’s no hunger in the kingdom. Everybody in the kingdom loved their king. But, there’s one problem. The king and his queen hadn’t got any children. It made the couple very sad. That was why Prabu decided to go to the jungle. There, he meditated and prayed to God. Everyday he begged for a child. His dream finally came true. A few months later, the queen got pregnant. All people in the kingdom felt very happy. They sent many presents to the palace to express their happiness. Nine months later a baby girl was born. The baby grew as a beautiful teenager then.
Prabu and his queen loved their daughter so much. They gave what ever she wanted. It made the princess grew into a spoiled girl. When her wish couldn’t be fulfilled, she would be very angry. She even said bad things often. Even though the princess behaved badly, her parents still loved her, and so did the people in the kingdom.
Time passed and the princess grew more beautiful. In a few days, the princess would be seventeen years old. That’s why people of that kingdom brought many presents for her. They bring gold and beautiful jewelries. Prabu collected the presents. Then Prabu stored them in a special room. Some times he would take them to give to his people who needed it. Prabu only took a few gold and jewels. Then he brought them to a goldsmith. “Please make a necklace for my daughter,” said Prabu. “My pleasure, Your Majesty,” the goldsmith replied. The goldsmith worked with all his heart and his ability. He wanted to create the most beautiful necklace for the princess.
The birthday came. People gathered in the palace field. Then Prabu and the queen appeared. They waved to their beloved people. Cheers were loud and louder when the princess appeared. Everybody admired her beauty. Prabu got up from his chair and took a small pillow. A beautiful necklace was on the pillow. Prabu took that necklace. “My beloved daughter, today I give this necklace to you. This necklace is a gift from people in this country. They love you so much. They presented it for you to express their happiness, because you have growing to a woman,” said Prabu. The princess accepted the necklace. She looked at the necklace in a glance. “I don’t want this necklace! It’s ugly!” shouted the princess as she threw the necklace away. The necklace hit the floor and was broken. The gold and jewels were spread out on the floor.
No body dared to speak. They never thought that their beloved princess would do such a cruel thing. In their silence, people heard the queen crying. Every woman felt sad and began crying too. Then everybody was crying. Suddenly, from the middle of the field, a spring emerged. It quickly became a pool. The palace was getting flooded. Soon the place became a big lake.
Nowadays the water on that lake is not as full as before. There is only a small lake now. People called the lake Telaga Warna (it means lake of colour). On a bright day, the lake is full of colour. These colors come from the reflections of forest, plants, flowers, and sky around the lake. But some people said that the colours are from the princess’ necklace, which spreads at the bottom of the lake.
Cerita rakyat from East Java
Jaka Tarub and Nawang Wulan
Jaka Tarub was a handsome and diligent young man. He lived in a village near a lake. One day, when Jaka Tarub passed the lake, he heard some giggles and laughs of some girls who were bathing in the lake. He was curious, so he peeped through the bushes. There were seven beautiful girls in the lake. They’re fairies from the heavenly kingdom of kahyangan. Jaka Tarub saw a scarf near the bushes. It belonged to one of the fairies. Jaka Tarub then took it and hid it.
Crack!!! Accidentally, Jaka Tarub stepped on a twig. “There’s someone!” said one of the fairies. “Let’s get back. Hurry!” she said. They pulled over and wear their scarf. “Where is my scarf?” one of the fairies couldn’t find her scarf. She was the youngest fairy called Nawang Wulan. They tried to search for it, but it was no where to be found. “We’re sorry, Wulan. We have to go back to kahyangan,” said the eldest fairy. “You’ll have to find it by yourself. We’ll wait for you in kahyangan,” she said in empathy. The other fairies then flew to the sky leaving Nawang Wulan behind. Nawang Wulan saw them leaving in tears. She was so sad.
“Excuse me …,” said Jaka Tarub, startling Nawang Wulan. “Are you okay?” he asked. Nawang Wulan moved backward, “Who are you?” she asked. “My name is Jaka Tarub. I was passing by and I heard you crying, so I came to see what happen,” Jaka Tarub lied. Nawang Wulan then told him about her problem. “I can’t fly without my scarf,” she said. Jaka Tarub then asked Nawang Wulan to come home with him. At first, Nawang Wulan refused the offer. But since she didn’t have anywhere else to go, Nawang Wulan then decided to follow Jaka Tarub.
Nawang Wulan stayed with Jaka Tarub in the village. A month passed, and they decided to get married. Nawang Wulan was willing to marry a human because she fell in love with Jaka Tarub. After a year, they had a beautiful daughter. They named her Kumalasari. They lived happily.
Jaka Tarub was also happy to live with Nawang Wulan and Kumalasari. Especially because he always got a lot of harvest since he married Nawang Wulan. He couldn’t even keep all of his harvest in the barn because it was always full. “It’s so weird. Nawang Wulan cooked everyday, but why is my barn always full,” Jaka Tarub mumbled to himself. He was so curious. One day, Jaka Tarub stayed at home. “I want to stay home today. I’d like to play with Kumalasari,” he said to his wife. “Well, I’ll go to the river to wash the clothes. Please keep an eye on Kumalasari,” asked Nawang Wulan. “I’m cooking rice now. Please do not open the pan cover before it’s done,” she said just before she left. “Could this be the secret?” Jaka Tarub thought. After Nawang Wulan left, he curiously opened the pan cover. He found only one single paddy. “How come?” he wondered.
Before lunch, Nawang Wulan came home. She headed to the kitchen to see the rice she had cooked. She found that the rice turned into only a few grains. “Did you open the pan cover?” she asked her husband. “I… I’m sorry. I was curious,” Jaka Tarub said as he realized his fault.
Ever since, Nawang Wulan had lost her power. She couldn’t cook rice with only a single paddy. Their paddy supply was slowly lessened. Their barn was almost empty. One day, Nawang Wulan went to the barn to get some paddy. When she took one of them, she found a scarf. “What’s this? This is my scarf,” said Nawang Wulan startled.
That night, Nawang Wulan asked her husband about the scarf. Jaka Tarub’s eyes widened, “You found it?” he asked. Jaka Tarub looked down and asked for her forgiveness. “Because I’ve found my scarf, it’s time for me to go back to where I belong,” Nawang Wulan said. Jaka Tarub tried to stop her, but Nawang Wulan had made up her mind. “Please take good care of Kumalasari,” she said. “If she wanted to see me, take seven grains of candlenut and put it into a basket. Shake it as you play the bamboo flute. I’ll come to see her,” she explained.
Jaka Tarub promised to take good care of their daughter. He once again asked for forgiveness for all of his mistakes. “I’ve forgiven you, so you don’t have to feel guilty. I must go now. Take care,” said Nawang Wulan as she flew to the bright full moon.
Cerita rakyat from Central Java
Long time ago, there was a kingdom named Prambanan. All the people of Prambanan lived peacefully. But then, Prambanan kingdom was attacked and occupied by the Pengging kingdom. Prambanan then was ruled by Bandung Bondowoso of Pengging kingdom. He was a mean king. He also had great supernatural power. His soldiers were not only humans, but also genies.
The king of Prambanan had a beautiful daughter named Loro Jonggrang. Bandung Bondowoso fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. “You’re very beautiful. Would you be my queen?” asked Bandung Bondowoso. Loro Jonggrang was shocked. She didn’t like Bandung Bondowoso because he was a mean person. She wanted to refuse, but she afraid that Bandung Bondowoso would be angry and endangered the people of Prambanan. Then, she came up with a plan. “If you want to marry me, you have to build a thousand temples for me in just one night," said Loro Jonggrang. “What? That’s impossible!” said Bandung Bondowoso. But he did not give up. He consulted with his advisor. “Your Majesty can asked the genies to help built the temples,” said the advisor.
So, Bandung Bondowoso summoned his entire genies soldier and commanded them to help him built a thousand temples. The genies worked in unbelievable speed. Meanwhile, Loro Jonggrang heard from her servant that the building of a thousand temples was almost finished. She was so worried. But again, she came up with a great idea. She asked all of her servants to help her. "Please prepare a lot of straw and mortar. Please hurry up!" said Loro Jonggrang. “Burn the straw and make some noise pounding the mortar, quickly.” All those servants did what Loro Jonggrang ordered them; burning straw and pounding the mortar, making the genies think that the sun is going to rise.
“It’s already dawn. We have to go,” said the leader of the genies to Bandung Bondowoso. All the genies immediately stopped their work and ran for cover from the sun, which they afraid of. They didn’t know that the light was from the fire that burning the straw, not from the sun.
Bandung Bondowoso can’t stop the genies from leaving. He was angry. He knew Loro Jonggrang had just tricked him. "You cannot fool me, Loro Jonggrang. I already have 999 temples. I just need one more temple. Now, I will make you the one-thousandth temple." He pointed his finger to Loro Jonggrang and said some mantras. Magically, Loro Jonggrang’s body turned into stone. Until now, the temple is still standing in Prambanan area, Central Java. And the temple is called Loro Jonggrang temple.
Cerita rakyat from Central Java
Long time ago, lived an old women named Mbok Sirni. She lived by herself because her husband had long passed away and she had no children. Every day, she prayed so God would give her a child. One night, when she was praying, a giant passed her house and heard her pray. “I can give you a child on one condition,” the giant said to Mbok Sirni, “You must give the child back to me when it is six years old.” Mbok Sirni was so happy; she did not think about the risk of losing the child later and agreed to take the giant’s offer. The giant then gave her a bunch of cucumber seeds. “Plant it around your house.” The giant then left without saying anything else. In the morning, Mbok Sirni planted the seeds. The seeds grew within mere days, and blossomed plentifully.Not longer after that, a big golden cucumber grew from plants. Carefully, Mbok Sirni plucked the golden cucumber and carried it home. With caution and care, she sliced the cucumber. She was very surprised to see a beautiful baby girl inside the cucumber. She then named the baby Timun Emas (it means Golden Cucumber).
Years passed by and Timun Emas has grew to become a lovely and beautiful little girl. She was also smart and kind. Mbok Sirni loved her very much. But she kept thinking about the time the giant would take Timun Emas away from her. One night, Mbok Sirni had a dream. In order to save Timun Emas from the giant, she had to meet the holy man who lived in Mount Gundul. The next morning, Mbok Sirni took leave of Timun Emas to go to Mount Gundul. The holy man then gave her four little bags, each one containing cucumber seeds, needles, salt, and shrimp paste. “Timun Emas can use these to protect herself,” said the holy man to Mbok Sirni.
A few days later, the giant came to see Mbok Sirni about her promise. “Mbok Sirni! Where is Timun Emas?” shouted the giant. "My daughter, take these bag with you. It can save you from the giant. Now, run through the back door," said Mbok Sirni. But the giant saw Timun Emas running to the woods. The giant was angry. Starved and enraged, he rushed toward Timun Emas. Mbok Sirni tried to stop him, but the giant was unstoppable.
The giant was getting closer and closer, so Timun Emas opened the first bag she got from Mbok Sirni. Inside the bag were cucumber seeds. She threw the seeds, and instantly they grew into large cucumber field. But the giant ate them all, giving him more strength. As the giant was getting close, Timun Emas took the second bag with needles inside and spilled the content behind her. The needles turned into bamboo trees, sharp and thorny. The giant’s body was scratched and bled. “Aaargh, I’ll get you, Timun Emas!” shouted the giant as he tried to get himself out from the bamboo field. He made it and still chasing Timun Emas.
Timun Emas then reached the third bag and spilled the salt inside. The ground which the salt touched turned into a deep sea. The giant almost drown and had to swim to cross the sea. After some time, he managed to get out from the water. Timun Emas saw the giant coming, so she reached for the last bag. She took the shrimp paste and threw it. The shrimp paste became a big swamp of boiling mud. The giant was trapped in the middle of the swamp. The mud slowly but surely drowned him. Helpless, he roared out, “Help! Heeeeelp…!” Then the giant drown and died. Timun Mas then immediately went home. Since then, Timun Emas and Mbok Sirni live happily ever after.
Cerita rakyat from West Kalimantan
The Crying Stone
One upon a time, lived a poor old widow in a small village. She lived with her daughter. Her daughter was very beautiful but also very lazy and arrogant. She never helped her mother and didn’t want to know what problem her mother had. Everyday, she put make up and wears her best clothes. She always wanted to look rich and beautiful.
One day, the mother and her daughter went to the market to buy some food. At first, the daughter refused to accompany her mother, but finally she agreed. “I’ll go with you, but you must walk behind me,” said the daughter. She didn't want to walk side by side with her mother. Although her mother was very sad, she agreed to walk behind her daughter.
On the way to the market, everybody admired the girl's beauty. But they were also curious. Behind the beautiful girl, there was an old woman with a simple dress. The girl and her mother looked very different. “Hello, beautiful girl. Who is the old woman behind you? Is she your mother?" they asked. “No, she is not my mother. She is my servant,” the girl answered. Her mother was very sad to hear that, but she didn't say anything. She could understand that her daughter was ashamed.
The girl and the mother met other people. Again they asked who the woman behind the beautiful girl. And again the girl answered that her mother is her servant. She always said that her mother is her servant every time people asked.
At last, the mother cannot hold the pain anymore. She prayed to God to punish her daughter. Suddenly, the girl's leg turns into stone. Slowly, the process continues to the upper part of the girl's body. The girl was in panic. "Mother, please forgive me! Mother!" she cried and asked her mother to forgive her. But it's already too late. Her whole body finally becomes a big stone. Until now, people can still see tears falling down from the stone. People then call it batu menangis (it mean the crying stone).
Cerita rakyat from West Kalimantan
The Golden Watermelon
Long time ago, at the north area of West Kalimantan, lived a wealthy merchant. He had two sons. The older one is named Muzakir and the younger one is named Dermawan. The two brothers were so different in their attitudes. Muzakir had a very mean and greedy character. On the contradictory, Dermawan was a caring and kind person. He was not greedy and always tried to help those in needs.
Before he passed away, the merchant divided all of his money equally to both of his sons. He did it so that both of his sons will not envious at each other. Muzakir then bought a big cash-box. He put his entire share inside the cash-box and locked it. When a poor came to Muzakir’s house, he laughs at them instead of giving them something. If the poor don’t want to leave, Muzakir would summon his servants to chase them away.
Many of the poor in that area had heard about Muzakir’s rude attitude, therefore they preferred to come to Dermawan. When Dermawan saw those peoples coming, he sincerely welcome them to his house and shared money with those who needed it. It was almost every day a poor came for his help that f inally he ran out of money. Dermawan then moved to a smaller house. He also worked as a foreman. His salary was not much, only enough to buy his own daily meals. But Dermawan was happy with his simple life.
His elder brother laughed when he heard the news about Dermawan. He always thought that Dermawan was a fool to share his money with other people. He himself has just bought a large new house. “There is no one who as stupid as my younger brother,” he said.
One day, when Dermawan was sitting and relaxing in his house yard, a sparrow suddenly fell off in front of him. The sparrow twittered in pain. “Poor bird, did you broke your wing?” He took the bird and examines its wings. He’s right. One of the sparrow’s wings is broken. “Let me take care of you,” he said. Dermawan bandaged the sparrow’s wing and then he took some rice to feed the poor bird. After some time, the bird gradually tamed and was no longer afraid to Dermawan. Few days later, its wings were completely healed. After a while, it flew to the sky. The following day, the sparrow came to visit Dermawan. It held a seed with its beak, and then it put the seed in front of Dermawan. It was an ordinary seed, but Dermawan accepted it with a big smile on his face. He then planted the seed in the back yard of his house.
Three days later, the seed started to grow. It was a watermelon tree. Dermawan took good care of the tree. He thought the tree would bear many fruits since it was so blossomy. But, from all the flowers, only one turned to fruit. Day by day, the fruit grows bigger, bigger than any watermelon Dermawan ever see. Harvesting time finally came and he decided to take the watermelon. “Oh my God, it is so heavy”, he uttered while trying hardly to carry it into the house to put on the table. He took a knife and started to cut the watermelon. Dermawan was shocked. Inside the watermelon is some kind of yellow sand. “What could this be?” Dermawan wondered. Then he realized that the strange yellow sand was actually a pile of pure golden sand. “Holy God, it’s gold. I’m rich,” he danced happily. He heard bird twittered and he looked outside. He saw the sparrow on a tree. “Thank you”, he shouted. “Thank you”, he shouted again, and then the sparrow flew away.
Dermawan then bought a big house with a very big garden the next day. All of the poor came to his house and were welcomed for meals. This time, Dermawan would not run out of money. He had so much money, and his fields produced plants with good fruits as well.
The news about Dermawan’s fortune was heard by Muzakir and made him envy. He went to Dermawan house, and Dermawan honestly told his brother about the sparrow. Muzakir immediately commanded his servants to find a bird with broken wings as he heard the story from his brother. A week passed, but Muzakir’s servants still couldn’t find such bird. He was so angry and even couldn‘t sleep during the nights. The next day, he asked one of his servants to catch a bird using chopsticks. Of course, the chopsticks hurt the bird and broke its wings. Muzakir then pretended to pity the bird and took care of it. Days passed and the bird was completely healed and let to fly. The following day, the bird came back to Muzakir and brought a seed for him. He was very happy. ”I will be very rich soon, even richer than Dermawan,” he said to himself.
Muzakir planted the seed at the back yard of his house and it grew to a fine watermelon tree after several days. It also bore only one fruit, which was much bigger than that once owned by Dermawan. As the harvesting time approached, Muzakir asked his servants to take the fruit into his house. He couldn‘t wait to find a pile of golden sand inside. He cut the watermelon himself and was very shocked when black mud mixed with dirt flushed out to his face. It smelled very bad. Muzakir‘s clothes and also the room were terribly dirty because of it. He ran to the street because he couldn‘t stand the rotten smell from the watermelon. All the people on the street laughed at him for what they saw.