The Cat and the Tiger

Kucing dan Harimau | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore From Lampung

ONCE upon a time, the animals were able to talk to one another. They talked just like humans talk to other humans. All the animals lived peacefully in the jungle. They had a king, and their king was the cat.

All animals chose the cat as their king because he had all the knowledge and the skills. He was the wisest and the cleverest animals in the jungle. Other animals became his students. The cat was a generous and kind animal. He was willing to teach them everything.

One of the cat's students was the tiger. He was the most obedient student. Whatever the teacher asked, the tiger was always willing to do it. Days and nights, the tiger was with the cat. He wanted to master all the cat's skills. He wanted to be the best animal in the jungle.

"Master,  there is one skill you haven't taught me yet," said the tiger.

"It’s the skill how to climb trees. You are good at climbing trees, Master. And I want to have that skill," said the tiger.

Actually, the cat had a bad feeling against the tiger. The cat did not really believe the tiger's sincerity in becoming his student. The cat did not want to teach him the skill how to climb trees. He felt the tiger would be a super animal if he mastered the skill.

The cat knew the tiger's potential. Therefore he always prolonged the tiger's request.

"You have to wait. You are not ready to study how to climb the tree. Let me teach you another skill. It's how to sneak," said the cat.

In a very short time, the tiger mastered the skill. He could sneak perfectly. He was very happy. Then he asked his teacher to teach him how to climb the tree. And again the cat prolonged his student's request.

"Wait, you haven't mastered the skill how to swim," said the cat.

He hoped the tiger could not study the skill easily. He knew it's very difficult to swim. But the cat was wrong. Indeed, the tiger was a great animal. He could swim in just a minute.

The tiger became restless. He had a feeling his teacher did not want to teach him how to climb trees. However he just kept his feeling in his heart. And when the cat again prolonged his request to teach him how to climb trees, the tiger became very angry.

"Master, I'm your best student. And not only that, I'm your most obedient student compared to other animals. I'm always next to you days and nights and I'm willing to do anything you asked me. But why you don't teach me how to climb trees?" asked the tiger.

The cat knew he could not always hide it anymore. Sooner or later he had to tell the truth.

"My student, I have a reason. I don’t really believe in you. I am afraid you will use the skill to do something bad," explained the cat.

"What?!" the tiger was angry.

"Teach me now! Otherwise, I will kill you!"

The tiger attacked the cat. And the fight could not be avoided. The tiger was bigger and had more strengths than the cat. Slowly the cat was cornered, and he had no other choice but to save himself.

The cat ran away and when he found a big tree he immediately climbed it. The tiger chased him, but because he did not know how to climb trees, he just waited under the tree.

The tiger screamed, "Wherever you go, I will chase you. And not only that! When you defecate, I will eat your feces!"

The tiger once heard that the cat's power was in his feces.

And it has happened until now. That's why every time cats defecates, they always bury their feces with sand or soil. They are afraid tigers will eat their feces!***


Cat and Tiger

Princess Mandalika (The Story of Bau Nyale)


Folklore from West Nusa Tenggara

ONCE upon a time, there was a kingdom in Lombok. The king had a very beautiful daughter. Her name was Princess Mandalika. She was very beautiful; many young men fell in love with her.

Princes from all over the place wanted to marry her. One by one, they came to propose her. Princess Mandalika was a kind girl. She hated to make people sad. So, when those princes came to propose her to be their wives, she was very confused. She could not decide, and she also did not want to make them sad.





The king then held a competition at the Seger Kuta beach, Lombok. He asked all the princes to take part in an archery competition. The rule was simple: whoever shot the target perfectly, he could be the husband of his beautiful daughter.

One by one, all participants tried their best. They all wanted to be the winners. After several times, there was no winner. All the participants were great. Those prices were great at archery.
Because there was no one a winner, then they started to argue. They claimed to be the best. The argument was getting hotter and hotter. Finally, they all were fighting. Soon, the fighting was bigger. It was like a war, because all princes brought their soldiers in the archery competition.

Princess Mandalika was really worried. She did not want the war to get bigger and hurt many people. Finally, she had an idea.

"Everybody, listen up! I know you all love me and want me to be your wife. But I can't be all your wives. I don't want you to fight because of me. And I don't want you to be sad either. I want you all to have me, but not as your wives. I want to be someone that everybody can have. I want to be useful for you. I want to be nyale that you all can enjoy together," said Princess Mandalika.

The king and all other people on the beach did not understand what she meant. The king then came to her. But before he came closer to his daughter, Princess Mandalika jumped to the sea. She was disappeared in the big waves.

It was chaos on the beach. People were screaming. All the princes tried to swim to find the princess. But no one dared to jump in the sea, the waves were too high.

After several hours trying to search the princess, suddenly they found a lot of sea worms on the beach. The king then realized that his daughter had returned as sea worms. Later he named the worms as nyale.

Until now, people in Lombok always try to catch nyale. Nyale is very delicious and that is why more and more people come to Lombok to catch it. However, they cannot catch it anytime they want. They can only find it once a year, in February or March. The tradition to catch the sea worms is called Bau Nyale. ***





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Bau Nyale
Did you know?

Bau Nyale… Lombok’s Unique Festival. One of Lombok’s most important and popular festivals is Bau Nyale, meaning “to catch the sea worms” in local Sasak language. It is a cultural tradition, deeply rooted in local legend and drama, and unique to the island of Lombok.

The sea worms are a rare variety of Palolo worm (Eunice viridis) found in tropical waters in certain parts of the world and in Lombok, Sumba and Savu in Indonesia. Once a year, when seasonal, marine and lunar conditions combine, the Nyale come to certain beaches around Lombok to spawn and, for a few days, the seas are filled with wriggling sea worms in a variety of colours, ranging from simple brown or pale cream to red and green.

Bau Nyale, or the Nyale Festival, takes place every year in the tenth month of the Sasak calendar at a time close to the full moon, and was celebrated this year on 14 and 15 February on the south coast beaches of Lombok. The most popular site for celebrating Bau Nyale is at beautiful Seger Beach near Kuta; an area called Putri Nyale (Princess Nyale) by the people of Lombok.

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The Faithful Tiger