Si Kancil (The Dwarft Deer)

Si Kancil (The Dwarft Deer)

- in All Categories, Folktale, Culture

folktales2006_sikancilITS–This story is one of the most popular folktale in Indonesia. As the story begins, on one beautiful day, Si Kancil was out of his den. He was very hungry. He wanted to go straight to the place where he usually looked for food. Unfortunately, there was not much food left. The only food available couldn’t fill his stomach. Eventually he decided to roam to other places for food and he arrived at a river bank.

Si Kancil saw plenty of food across the river; green grass grew, trees were decorated with green leaves and ripe fruits. He drooled, imagining how delicious the food across the river was. Yet, he was baffled by how he could cross the river because there was no bridge joining the two banks.

Then Si Kancil tried to step into the river, to see it it was shallow enough that he could cross it without any bridge. Only one of his feet that had touched the water when it was caught by a crocodile’s jaws. Apparently the crocodile had been watching him until he was careless. Si Kancil’s situation was critical, his life would end with one movement from the crocodile; his flesh would be a tender meal for the crocodile. “I intended to search for delicious meal, but now I end up becoming the delicious meal for the crocodile”, Si Kancil thought.

However, Si Kancil was not a mere animal; his brain was as quick as his movement. This wasn’t the first time he was in a critical situation. He had saved his own life many times using his wit. While his brain was working, he saw a group of crocodiles that were behind the one which caught him and they were also ready to chew his flesh. The plurality of the crocodiles didn’t scare him. Instead, it became an opportunity for him to escape from death.  “Dear crocodile, you should know that I am here voluntarily. I feel I’ve been living long in this world, and now I’ve made up my mind to end my life. I’ve also decided to distribute my flesh and my whole body to the crocodiles that live in this river. But I make a condition that my flesh must be distributed fairly and squarely to all the crocodiles here. Deal?” All the crocodiles were stunned for a while; they were amazed by what Si Kancil had said. “Alright, Kancil.If we are agree with what you’ve just said, how are we going to do it?” Si Kancil saw that the trap was working, and then he said, “First, I have to count how many crocodiles live in this river. When I learn the number, I’ll be able to determine home much of my flesh is for each of you. Therefore, you don’t need to fight one another”. The crocodiles seemed to be more interested in Si Kancil’s explanation because they saw the advantage before them. As if they were charmed by Si Kancil, the crocodiles positioned themselves from one river bank to the other. Si Kancil had executed his clever plan. While stepping on each crocodile as they lined across the river surface, he started to count, “One … two … three …” and finally he had crossed the riverand he quickly jumped to the bank and ran into the green, thick bush leaving the crocodiles stunned, realizing their stupidity.

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