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Home » Tale

A Balinese Folktale: Kaki Tua  

by on Sunday, 1 July 2007One Comment | 1,151 views

Kaki Tua (old man) had a fine fat cow which he was very proud of. He refused to lend her when the village wanted to borrow her for the work in the rice fields. One day, the cow strayed into the garden of Bedag, and began eating up his plants. He tried to kill her but he only succeeded in wounding her. The villagers heard of it, and again asked Kaki tua to lend his cow, just to tease him. This time he consented and went to look for her, but she was nowhere to be found. The people said they heard a great thud in Bedag garden; perhaps it was the cow falling down. And sure enough, Kaki Tua did find the cow lying there wounded. He asked the people to help him, and after three tries they managed to get her on her feet. Then they said a charm over her, and this was the song they sand as the charm:

Tinkle-tinkle goes Samplangan’s bell, all set with rubies.
Here comes Ida Bagus Nyoman and sits cross-legged.
The white horse goes trot-trot along the beach.

After that the cow was able to stand up properly. They took her to bathe in the river, and the cow drank to much water, swelled and died. Kaki Tua was furious and beat the villagers till they cried for mercy. ‘I will forgive you, if you find the man who wounded my cow.’ So they promised.

They met Bedag on the road and bound his hands and brought him along. The kris with which the cow was wounded was given to Kaki Tua, but just as he was about to strike they let Bedag loosed. Kaki Tua was frightened, and ran away, and Bedag was after him. Kaki Tua called the people to catch his enemy, and promised to spare his life if the cow is brought to life again, Bedag promised, and brought a balian (witch doctor). Suitable offering are made: fruit, rice cakes and spitted mosquitoes. In the middle of his prayer the balian became possessed and said that the offering was not enough. ‘What more must there be?’ ‘baris tumbak’, said the possessed witch doctor, baris is danced, and he resumed his prayer. Again he became possessed. ‘there must be a Rejang’, rejang is danced. More prayer, more trance. This time Gandrung performance was ordered. After this the prayer went off smoothly and the cow is brought to life.

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