Never Ask A Devil For Help
Well, this article is supposed to be on Friday or on Saturday or on Sunday, but because the first five articles will be shown on BEC's blog (which means opening bigger opportunity to gain more traffic), I think I have to publish it today, hoping that I'm in. I apologize for that. But I hope you enjoy it. Alright. This week's challenge is about what Indonesian folktale I like and what values I got from it. I think the most interesting folktale for me is Timun Mas (Golden Cucumber in English). I used to listen to the story from a cassette. Yes, a cassette. If you are the 70-80s generation, you probably know 'Sanggar Cerita'. A group of story telling and singing in Jakarta. Sanggar Cerita recorded its stories in cassettes. There were some Indonesian folktales which were told beautifully. One of Sanggar Cerita's star was Ms. Maria Oentoe. If I'm not mistaken, Hana Pertiwi was also born from this group. Correct me if I'm wrong, please. Timun Mas is a girl's name. What a name? She was a parentless girl. Her mother wasn't her real mother. The woman she called 'mother' was a widow at the moment who was hoping to have a child. One night the widow had a strange dream. In her dream she met a Giant Hermit who claimed he could give her a child. In the morning, the widow searched for the place she had seen before in the dream. There, in the forest, she met the Giant who then gave her magical cucumber seeds. She planted those seeds around her house. The seeds grew into cucumber trees very quickly. One of the cucumber was the special one. It was big and golden. The widow took the golden cucumber carefully and opened it. She was very happy. There was a baby girl inside the cucumber. Days gone by and the baby grew into a beautiful little girl. The widow was very happy and very sad at the same moment. She remembered she had to full her promise to the Giant Hermit, that is to serve her daughter for the Giant's meal.
Couldn't bear to lose her daughter, the widow asked a wise man for a help. The wise man gave her four things and explained the widow how to use them. The D-day arrived. The Giant came and asked for Timun Mas. The widow let Timun Mas out of her house from the back door. Timun Mas ran as fast as she could while the Giant after her. Timun Mas threw the first ingredient, cucumber seeds. They soon turned into giant cucumber trees which block the Giant's steps. The Giant was trapped but he could escaped. Timun Mas kept running and threw the second ingredient, needles, which turned into sharp bamboo trees. The Giant's feet was hurt but he didn't give up. The Giant kept chasing Timun Mas. Timun Mas threw the third ingredient, salt, which turned the ground into lake. Timun Mas hoped that the Giant would be drowned into the lake forever. But the Giant could still escape from it. Then it came the last try. Timun Mas threw the last ingredient: the shrimp paste. It turned into muddy swamp which not only trapped the Giant, but shrunk him down as well. Timun Mas was safe and she got home to see her mother. They finally live together in peace.
#What a struggle! The widow struggled for a daughter, Timun Mas struggled for her life in her very young age. What's the value I got from this incredible story? First, people need to fight for their lives, just like Timun Mas did. No matter whether we are young or old, no matter whether we are male or female. Second, never ask a devil for help nor accept his offer. There's always something we have to pay at the end. Mostly the price is too valuable for us, such as our family member's health or life. I wonder, why this kind of story became a folktale? Is it the reflection of our people's lives in the past when magic and spell existed? Is it valueable enough to retold this kind of story over generations? I think we need to remake the story into a positive one to make it an old brand-new folktale. What do you think?
This post is to answer English Friday Weekly Challenge #16 Values From A Tale.