A Balinese Folktale: Men Leket and The Big Monkey
There was once a widow by the name Men Leket (Mrs. Leket), living at the edge of the forest with only her son, I Leket. One day when I Leket went out to catch birds, there came a big monkey to their hut asking for food; thus, Men Leket trembled with fear. She wanted to scream but she knew nobody would come, because nobody lived. She tried to calm herself.
Then she spoke: “Hey, you monkey, go away, I don’t have any rice, I haven’t cooked anything.” When she said that, the monkey didn’t believe her. He forcefully entered the kitchen. Since men Leket truly didn’t cook, the monkey didn’t find anything. There was a dove hung at the edge of the roof of her hut. That bird was asked by the monkey to be grilled.
She spoke: “Hey you, don’t ask me to grill the bird. That’s the only bird belonging to my son. It was only yesterday my son caught it. When he returns, he’ll certainly be angry with me.” The monkey shouted: “Hey, you don’t want to do it? I’ll surely strangle your neck.” When the monkey said so, she did what she was told. Well, when it was cooked, it was given the monkey, he ate it greedily. Soon the monkey went away.
When Leket returned from catching birds, not sooner than he sat, he inquired about the bird: “Mother, where is my bird? Why isn’t it here?” his mother told him about the big monkey that came. The next day, again he went out to catch birds. Not long after he had left, the big monkey came back, at the moment Men Leket was carrying rice. Suddenly the monkey grabbed the rice. She screamed and tried to defend her rice from being taken by the monkey. In the end the rice fell scattered. The monkey became angry; she was kicked and fell down. Afterwards the monkey went to the kitchen, grabbed everything to look for rice. He found a container of cooked rice which he then ate. After eating it, he slipped away.
The Leket returned home where he found his mother dumped crying. He asked her why she was so. His mother told him about the big monkey that came again. Thus, this had made him very angry. He pondered to find ways to trick the big monkey and later made him dead.
The next day, it was said, Leket didn’t go to catch birds. He asked her mother to tie him with the cow rope. Her mother asked: “Why do you ask me to tie you? What goes in your head?” “Come on, just tie me, Mother; later you’ll know what I mean.”
That was intended by Leket; thus, he was tied by his mother. It was said that the big monkey wandered everywhere to look for food but he failed; then, he came to Leket’s hut. Arriving there he found him tied. He asked: “Hey, how come you’re tied?” Leket answered: “Well, monkey, if you don’t know, I’ll let you know. This is how to reduce fatigue. I feel exhausted because I have been moving around to catch birds. Now, I feel much better.”
When he said so, as the big monkey was tired because he had been moving around to look for food, he then said: “Well, I want to reduce my fatigue, too. Now let me be tied; I am also exhausted as I moved a lot.” “Well, if you wish that, please untie me,” said Leket.
Then the tie was loosened, and when Leket was free, the monkey was soon tied by him. The beast was tied very tightly from shoulder to both his legs. The monkey couldn’t move himself a bit. Afterwards Leket took a stick with which the monkey was then repeatedly beaten to death.