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Home » Tale

A Balinese Folktale: Cupak and Grantang  

by on Sunday, 29 April 2007One Comment | 2,651 views

Once upon a time in Bali, there were two brothers Cupak and Grantang. These two brothers are completely opposite. Cupak was the older brother, he was lazy, boastful, gluttonous, and cowardly. While Grantang was gentle, refined, fair and wise, humble in speech but fierce in battle.

One day, Cupak played a trick on Grantang and the result was, that their parents turn against Grantang accusing him of being a very lazy son, and they drive him from their home. Grantang was forced to wander in the wilderness, but Cupak sorrowfully followed him. Cupak however traveled without any burden, while Grantang carried all the provision. Moreover, Cupak was the one who eat most. All through their travels, Grantang was the one who must do all the heavy work. Finally, they arrive at the palace of Daha, where the king asked them to recover his daughter and promised that the one who successful could marry the princess. Cupak boastfully promised to kill the giant, while Grantang said humbly that he would also try.

They then set off in search of the giant Limandaru, once again Grantang bear all the burden. When they finally found the huge footprints of the giant, Cupak was afraid. When they encounter the giant, Grantang did all the fighting and finally killed the giant, while Cupak was hiding himself behind a tree. The princess felt in love with Grantang, but that night while they were sleeping in the forest with Cupak on guard, another giant carried the princess off to his home at the bottom of a deep well. Cupak was of course too coward to defend the princess and thought only of himself when Grantang set out in pursuit of the demon. It was Grantang who descent to the well and rescued the princess once more, by killing the giant. Grantang sent the princess out of the well to Cupak but before he can climb again, Cupak cut the rope, leaving Grantang to perish in the well. Cupak returned triumphantly with the princess to Daha. Cupak was betrothed to the princess. But this not prevented him from still pursuing other young girls.

Grantang meanwhile had gathered the bones of the giant and managed to make a ladder out of them and get out of the well. Starvation made Grantang very thin and people who met him believed he was an evil spirit. When he arrived at the palace, Cupak refused to acknowledge him and he was beaten and thrown into the sea. Fortunately, Grantang was found by a fisherman, to whom he brought a good fortune in the catch, and the fisherman looked after him. After a few years stay with the benevolent fisherman, Grantang regained his strength and one day he met the princess again, who managed to put off her wedding to Cupak. The princess the persuades her father to allow her to marry the most skillful warrior. She provided Grantang with magnificent clothes and weapons and he did battle with Cupak, he was off course, the winner and got the princess as his bride.

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