Timun Mas, Folk story from Central Java.

tmTimun Mas retold by Renny Yaniar Long long time ago, there was a farmer couple. They were staying in a village near a forest. They lived happily. Unfortunately, they hadn’t had any children yet. Every day they prayed to God for a child. One day a giant passed their home. He heard what they were praying. Then the giant gave them a cucumber seed. “Plant this seed, then you’ll get a daughter,” said the giant. “Thank you, Giant,” said the couple. “But in one condition, in her 17-th birthday, you must give her to me,” said the Giant. The couple wanted a child so much that they agreed without thinking first. Then the couple planted the cucumber seed. Each day they took care the growing plant so carefully. Months later, a golden cucumber grew from the plant.

The cucumber was getting heavier and bigger each day. When it was ripe, they picked it. Carefully they cut out the cucumber and how surprised were they when they found a beautiful baby inside. They were so happy. They named the baby Timun Mas, or Golden Cucumber. Years were passing by and Timun Mas had grown into a beautiful girl. Her parents were very proud of her. But their happiness turned to fear when her 17th birthday came. The giant returned to ask for their promise. He was going to take Timun Mas away. The farmer tried to be calm. “Just a moment, please. Timun Mas is playing. My wife will call her,” he said. Then the farmer came to his daughter. “My child, take this,” as he was giving her a little bag to Timun Mas. “This will help you from the giant. Now, run as fast as you can,” he ordered. So Timun Mas ran away. The couple was very sad about her leaving. But they didn’t want the giant to eat Timun Mas. Meanwhile, the giant had been waiting for too long. He became impatient. Somehow he knew that the couple had lied to him. So he destroyed their house and ran for Timun Mas. The giant was chasing Timun Mas and he was getting closer and closer. Timun Mas then took a handful of salt from her little bag. She spread out the salt behind her. Suddenly a wide sea appeared between them. The giant had to swim to reach her Timun Mas was still running, but now the giant almost caught her. Then she took some chilly and threw them to the giant. The chilly suddenly grew into some trees and trapped the giant. The trees grew some thorns as sharp as a knife. The giant screamed painfully. At the mean time, Timun Mas could escape again. But the giant was very strong. Again he almost caught Timun Mas. So Timun Mas took the third magic stuff, the cucumber seeds. She threw the seeds and suddenly they became a wide cucumber field. The giant was very tired and hungry so he ate those fresh cucumbers. He ate too much that he felt sleepy and fell asleep soon. Timun Mas kept on running as fast as she could. But soon she was very tired herself. To make things worse, the giant had woken up! Timun Mas was so scared. Desperately she then threw her last weapon, terasi (a kind of shrimp pasta). IT did a miracle again. The pasta became a big swamp. The giant fell into it but his hands almost reached Timun Mas. Suddenly the lake pulled him to the bottom. The giant panicked and he couldn’t breathe. At last he was drown. Timun Mas was very relieved. She was safe now. Then she returned to her parents’ house. Her parents were of course very happy to see their daughter safe and sound. “Thanks God. You have saved my daughter,” they cried happily. From then on, Timun Mas lived happily with her parents with no fear anymore. Home Jembatan Persahabatan

retold by Renny Yaniar

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