Cerita rakyat from Bali
Once upon a time in Bali, lived a wealthy man and his wife. They have been married for a long time but did not have any children. They prayed to God to give them a child. They prayed and prayed. God finally answered their pray. The wife got pregnant and they had a baby boy. They were very happy. The baby was extraordinary. He was very much different from other babies. He ate and drank a lot. Day after day he ate more and more. His body was getting bigger and bigger. And by the time he was a teenager, his body was as big as a buffalo. That’s why people called him Kebo Iwa, it means uncle buffalo. Because of his eating habit, Kebo Iwa’s parents spent a lot of money to buy his food. They finally went bankrupt. They had no other choice but to ask the villagers to help them provide the food.
The villagers then worked together to cook and build a big house for Kebo Iwa. He was like a giant. He could not stay in his parents’ house anymore because of his big body. After a few months, the villagers also couldn’t afford to cook him the food anymore. They then asked Kebo Iwa to cook his own food. The villagers just prepared the raw materials. Kebo Iwa agreed and as an expression of his gratitude to the villagers, he help built a dam, dug wells, and he also protected the villagers from animals and people who wanted to attack their village. It was easy task for him since he also had incredible strength.
Meanwhile, the kingdom of Majapahit was planning to attack Bali. They knew about Kebo Iwa. And they also knew that they could not conquer Bali with Kebo Iwa there. Kebo Iwa was more powerful than they were. The Maha Patih of Majapahit then planned something. They were pretending to invite Kebo Iwa to Majapahit to help them dig some wells. They said that Majapahit was suffering from a long dry season and needed water. Kebo Iwa did not know the plan, so he went to Majapahit to help them. When Kebo Iwa was busy digging a well, the Majapahit troops covered the well. Kebo Iwa had difficulty in breathing and buried alive. He died inside the well. After the death of Kebo Iwa, Bali was conquered by Majapahit. Until now, people still remember Kebo Iwa because he had done a lot for Bali.***
A long time ago, lived a rich man named Begawan Sidi Mantra. He was very famous for his kindness and also for his supernatural power. He had a son named Manik Angkeran who liked to gamble. Because of Manik Angkeran’s bad habit, his father soon bankrupt. Begawan Sidi Mantra had spent all of his money to pay his son‘s debts. But, Manik Angkeran still liked to gamble and he still owed some people a lot of money.
Begawan Sidi Mantra wanted to help his son to pay the remaining debts. He meditated for days, and finally he got a clue from the gods to go to Agung Mountain. He went to the mountain. There, he met with a dragon named Naga Besukih. It is said that Naga Besukih could provide gold and jewelries to those who could say a certain prayer and ring the sacred bell. Fortunately, Begawan Sidi Mantra had the bell, and he also knew the prayer from his meditation. “My name is Sidi Mantra. I have a problem. My son likes to gamble. I’ve spent all of my money to pay his debts, but it’s still not enough. I came here to ask for your help,” explained Begawan Sidi Mantra after he met with Naga Besukih. “I’ll help you, but you have to advise your son so he would not gamble again,” said Naga Besukih. The dragon then shakes his body and cause some of his scales fall of. Magically, the scales turn into gold and diamonds.
Begawan Sidi Mantra took the gold and diamonds and return home. He paid all the remaining debt and advised his son about his gambling habit. Manik Angkeran promised to stop gambling, but soon he broke the promise. Bagawan Sidi Mantra had to go to the dragon for help once again. “What brought you here again?” asked Naga Besukih. “I’m very sorry, Naga Besukih. My son had disappointed me; he broke his promise to me. I beg for your help once again,” said Begawan Sidi Mantra to the dragon. “I’ll help you, but this is the last time,” said Naga Besukih.
Begawan Sidi Mantra once again paid Manik Angkeran’s debts and advised him not to gamble again. Manik Angkeran promised and soon he broke his promise again. This time, Begawan Sidi Mantra didn’t want to help him anymore. He was too ashamed to meet with the dragon.
Manik Angkeran knew that his father got the jewelries from the dragon. So, he stole his father’s sacred bell and went to Agung Mountain. After he arrived, Manik Angkeran rang the bell. Naga Besukih heard the bell but there’s no prayer. He decided to see who was calling him. “Hey, Manik Angkeran. What are you doing here with your father’s bell? Did you steal it?” asked Naga Besukih angrily when he saw Manik Angkeran. “Please help me, Naga Besukih. I really need the money to pay my debts. Those people would kill me if I don’t pay them in time. Please, I beg for your mercy,” said Manik Angkeran to the dragon. “Okay, I’ll help you. But this is the last time, and you have to promise to stop gambling,” Naga Besukih then give him the jewelries.
But suddenly, Manik Angkeran had a bad idea. He wanted to kill the dragon and take all the jewelries. So he drew his keris and attacked Naga Besukih. He managed to cut the dragon’s tail, but he was no match for Naga Besukih. With his great power, Naga Besukih burned Manik Angkeran and killed him instantly.
In his home, Begawan Sidi Mantra couldn’t find his sacred bell. He knew that his son had stolen it, so he went to Agung Mountain. He was so sad when he found out what happened in the mountain. “I’m very sorry, Naga Besukih. But he was my only son. I beg you, please bring him back to life,” Begawan Sidi Mantra begged the dragon for mercy. Naga Besukih agreed with one condition, Manik Angkeran had to stay at Agung Mountain. Naga Besukih said some prayer and after few moments, Manik Angkeran lived again. Begawan Sidi Mantra then used a stick to make a big line between them on the ground. From the line, water flowed. Soon it became a river. Finally it became a strait. It separated Java and Bali. People then named the strait as Bali Strait.***