A Balinese Folktale: Arrogant Elephant
In order to preserve Balinese language, Balinese usually hold an event to increase youngsters’ passion to use Balinese language. Annually, some communities hold this event; storytelling, speech, and writing some sentence in Balinese alphabet on Lontar (Palmyra palm). The most popular is storytelling. The participants will be very excited in preparing the story to be told. There are some interesting choices: Cupak and Grantang, Bawang merah and Bawang Putih, and Gajah Nyapa Kadi Aku. Though the last is not the most favorite yet it is a good story. Gajah Nyapa Kadi Aku means an arrogant elephant.
A long time ago, there was a big elephant living in the jungle with other animals. This elephant was so arrogant because of his over confidence on his strength and his gigantic body which could destroy anything. Many animals had been killed.
One day, this elephant, again, behaved unpleasantly. It walked wildly without any consideration on other animals’ safety. He felled the trees; trampled on them; and sometimes threw the stems out using its trunk. And that day, he felled another tree, the tree where a female bird named I Siung Luh brood her eggs. Unfortunately, the female bird could only save itself. Watching her eggs were broken made her felt so guilty and sad. Every single day she cried on her eggs and blamed herself.
Other animals also couldn’t stand it anymore. All decided to take revenge to this arrogant elephant. They; I Belibis (heron), I Buyung (fly), Guak (a crow), I Belatuk (woodpecker), I Godogan (frog) gathered to discuss it. “Siung Luh, it is better for you to stop crying. That damned elephant is really an evil. He will pay for it if he dies,” said I Guak calming down I Siung Luh. I Siung Luh then smiled and asked to them how to defeat the giant elephant. I Belibis who had thought a strategy on his mind then proposed his strategy. “It will be good if we are careful in going to the elephant place. First, I will make he falls asleep by looking for fleas on his body,” explain I Belibis. “ Okay. After falling asleep I will stab his eyes,” I Guak continued the discussion. “Well, I Belatuk will peck its ear and I Buyung will lay his eggs on its eyes so his eyes unable to see,” I Guak added. “The last, it is obvious he will look for water because he will be very thirsty. And I will sing as a sign that there is water near him,” I Godogan proposed his idea. “I will sing there near the ravine,” he closed the plan discussion.
Shortly, all animal had been in elephant place. The elephant did not know that his end was near; it was very sure that it could not be defeated by anything. Then with stealthy steps, the animal, one by one moved closer to do what they should do. Each of them did the duty very well. After, its eyes unable to see and its ears were peck again and again, the elephant was thirsty and he started looking for water. On that time, I Godogan sang. The elephant that could only hear then went toward the sound. He went right to the ravine. And when he fell down to the ravine all animal were happy.
The life of animals in that jungle was finally at peace after the giant elephant died. The trees never be destroyed and the birds never worry about the broken egg anymore.
That is the story of Gajah Nyapa Kadi Aku which is usually told by the Balinese youngster in a storytelling competition.