A Balinese Folktale: Pakang Raras
Pakang Raras who was about fourteen years old, was flying kites one day with his attendants, Punta and Wijil, when the string broke and they lost their way in the forest. They were driven by a great storm to take shelter in the palace gardens of Daha, where the king’s young daughter was bathing in a pool. She took Pakang Raras home with her and became her page. He taught her to play the gamelan and she took a great fancy to the charming youth, and gave him fine clothes and a kris.
They used to sing Kekawin together about Arjuna and Suprabha, and one day after she had gone to her own room to rest, Pakang Raras followed her and made love to her. After that he went in everyday. And they exchange gift of flowers. But one day her maid Bajan saw him and told the King, who ordered his patih to take Pakang Raras away and kill him. When he was told that he must go at once with the patih to Blambangan, Pakang Raras knew that he was going to be put out of the way and asked leave to go and change his clothes for the journey.
In his own room, he wrote a hasty letter to the princess, in which he said: “Little sister, I am Mantri Koripan. Forgive me for not telling you. I am taking leave of you now, for I must die. But as proof that I really am king of Koripan you will find my clothes under the nagari tree in the garden. Then he put the letter under his pillow and dressed and went out to the patih. I know that I must die because I dared to make love to the princess. But listen! If my blood smells sour you will know I was of low caste. But if it smells sweet, that will be proof that I was royal blood.” So the patih stabbed him then and there, and his blood smelt very fragrant.
The princess very much surprised that her darling Pakang Raras suddenly stopped coming to see her, and she went to look for him in his room, thinking he might be ill. She found his letter under the pillow, and at once rushed into the garden and found his clothes, as he had said, under the nagari tree. Weeping bitterly she set off into the forest too look for him, and after long searching she found his body, and would have killed herself upon it, had not Civa taken pity on her sorrow and brought Pakang Raras to life again.
They returned radiant and rejoicing to the palace, and Pakang Raras, wearing his royal dress, went straight to the king, who at once recognized him as king of Koripan and gave his consent to the marriage, which was celebrated amid universal rejoicing.