Borneo Legends & Myths
Text & Images Courtesy of SarawakAlive!
THIS IS an old story about crocodiles. It happened many, years
ago in the Samarahan River.
were lots of crocodiles living in that river. The crocodiles were very friendly
towards people then. They never ate children. They never took dogs. But
one day the crocodiles changed. This is how it happened.
night there was a gendang party in kampong near the Samarahan River.
This party was to celebrate the end of harvesting. Many boys went to the gendang party.
Among them there were seven strange boys. The people in the kampong wanted to
know where they came from. But when the gendang was over, the seven boys quickly
left the kampong.
man thought that these seven boys might be crocodiles. He was not sure about it and
he wanted to find out. Held a meeting with the other kampong people. He
told them of his plan to find out where the strangers came from. So, one night, they
held another gendang party in their kampong.
began and the seven boys came again. The older men quietly left the house.
Some of them went to the foot of the hill because they thought the seven boys were from
the hill. Some of them went to the river. Soon, they heard people running
towards the river. It was the seven boys.
hid and waited to see what the boys would do. The seven boys quickly ran into the
bushes and then jumped into the river. The men saw them turning into
crocodiles! Now they knew who the seven boys were; they believed that the crocodiles
could change themselves into people.
wanted to catch one of the crocodiles and make him stay human. So he held a
gendang party. Then he hid near the river and waited.
minutes later the man saw the water in the river moving.
crocodiles were swimming to the river bank. There they changed themselves into seven
boys. They put their crocodiles skins on the branches of a tree.
they set off to the gendang party. When they had gone, the man took one of
the crocodiles' skin and hid it.
The six crocodiles jumped
into the river and swam away
the boys returned. They picked up their skins and jumped into the river. But
one of them could not find it. One of them saw a man's footprint on the muddy
ground. They knew then that a man must have taken the skin. The six
crocodiles jumped into the river and swam away.
one cried when the others told him to stay as a boy. He did not want to be a
boy. He wanted to be crocodile again. He cried and cried. He wanted to
see his six brothers, his father and mother again. At last he died of broken heart.
brothers were very angry. They would revenge their brother's death. From that
night crocodiles began to catch and eat human beings. But the six crocodiles only
killed the relations of the man who had killed their brother.
then crocodiles became very dangerous. People could not bathe any more in the
river. They could not take water from the river for cooking, drinking and
washing. They had to go away from the kampong. But the six crocodiles
still continued to take revenge for their brother's death. They went everywhere
seeking the great-great-grandchildren of the man who had killed their brother. And
even now, the crocodiles catch and eat people.
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