A Balinese Folktale: Complaining Gecko
One day a Gecko went to the Village chief and complained: “Oh, sir, can you help me? Will you speak to the Firefly? He keeps me awake all night….flashing his light in my eyes.”
Now, the Village chief, who liked to sound important, said: “I will look into this matter. Come back one week from today for my answer.”
The Village chief called the Firefly and asked, quite kindly: “tell me, why you have to worry people by flashing your light?”
And the Firefly, who was a very humble little fellow, put out his torch, folded his wings and said:
Oh might sire, I am only passing on the massage. I hear the Woodpecker going tong-tong-tong on the tree trunk –and I think it must be a kul-kul warning the village to awake.
Then the Village chief, anxious to get to then bottom of all this, called the Woodpecker: What do you mean, causing all this trouble?’’
But the Woodpecker fluffed up his feathers and answered: “your worship, I heard the frog in the rice field going kwak… kwak… k…wa…k… and I said to myself … ‘there must be an earthquake coming, listen to the Frog. So I pass the warning.’
So the Village chief, who was now getting pretty fed up, called the Frog. The Frog hopped up to the Village chief, made a bow and said, “I know why you sent for me, but so help me, I was only trying to stop Big Black Beetle from carrying loads of filth down the street. Most unhygienic I must say.”
“Oh”, said the Village chief, popping a wad of betel nut in his mouth, “wait till I have word with Big Black Beetle”.
Now when the Beetle crawled into Village chief’s office, he was very upset. “My Village chief,” he said, wiping his feelers humbly on the carpet. “It is obvious I can’t please everyone. Do you think it is any pleasure for me to carry filth down the road? Far from it – but someone has to clear up after the Water Buffalo has dropped a pat in the middle of the road.”
“So that’s it”, roared the Village chief, who fears he will be late for the cockfight in the next village. “Bring in the Water Buffalo!”
When the Water Buffalo came to the Village chief, he was so mad. “So that’s all the thanks I get for filling up hole in the road,” he snorted. “Do it yourself next time the Rain washes one of the stone away.”
Of course, the Village chief had to speak to the Rain – but the Rain was so cross he spat hailstones at the Village chief.
“I like that”, thundered the Rain. “For weeks the Gecko’s been making offerings to the gods to send rain – because without rain there will be no mosquitoes – and without mosquitoes the gecko goes hungry. Speak to the Gecko and leave me alone” and the Rain departed in a flash of lightning.
When the Gecko returned the Village chief looked at him sternly and said, “Go, and live at peace with your neighbors – for all of us have our problems”