A Balinese Folktale: Tiger and Firewood Collector
Once upon a time, a tiger lived in Kadamba forest. All animal were afraid of him since he did not just prey on week animal such as deer, goat or hare but also strong animal such as buffalo or elephant. He reigned supreme in that forest, other animal do their best to avoid him.
One day, while he was patrolling his territory, he encountered an elephant who took a rest under a tree. “Hey elephant” roared the tiger “show some respects to your king or I will slay you”. “Forgive me your majesty,” said the elephant “I failed to give you a proper respect since my body is full of wounds. I just fought a strong and clever animal called human; he is full of deceits when I tried to kill him with my tusks he shot me with arrows from the back. I gave him my best fight but he is to strong and clever; I was lucky to be able to escape though my body is hurt so much.”
“Your gallant deed is worth of my praise”, said the tiger. “Hold on your majesty,” said elephant “when I said ‘watch out human, my king, the tiger, will kill you’ the proud human said ‘I killed many tigers before, another tiger is no big deal”. The tiger was so angry and screamed, “where can I find this human? How does he look like?” “His body is small but so agile your majesty”, said the elephant, “he stands on two feet but he can run so fast; your majesty can find him on the east side of the forest”.
The tiger run as fast as he could to the east side of the forest. At the end of the forest, he found a human who collected firewood. “This animal stands on two feet and he can move fast, he must be human” thought tiger.
“Hey human”, roared the tiger, “is it you who hurt elephant and boast of killing many tiger?” The firewood collector trembled and said, “forgive me your majesty, I am just a firewood collector; I am just a weak and stupid creature; it is impossible for me to kill a strong tiger.” “Then tell me! Who is the human that boast of killing many tigers?” “He is my friend your majesty, the hunter. He is so strong and brave, he has killed many tiger.” “Tell your friend to come here!” roared the tiger “I will kill him to prove that I am the strongest in this forest.” “Forgive me your majesty,” said the firewood collector, “when I go to find my friend I beg you not to flee. As far as I know, the hunter is so strong; he can kill a tiger while his hands are tied.” “Do you doubt my courage? Ok, you can tie me so I cannot run away. I will wait for that hunter.”
The firewood collector tied the tiger tightly so he could not move. The firewood collector run to his house but when he came back to the place where the tiger was tied he did not bring his friend, the hunter, instead he came back with a spear in his hand and killed the tiger with that spear.