Kancil and crocodile story
(Favourite Stories from Indonesia)
(Favourite Stories from Indonesia)
One of his greatest enemies was Crocodile, who lived in the river that bordered the forest. Many times Crocodile had tried to capture the small mousedeer. Crocodile was big, but he was not very clever. Kancil was able to trick him every time.
One day it was very hot. There was no wind at all to refresh the thirsty plants and trees of the forest. It was in the middle of the dry season. For many weeks no rain had fallen so that the little creeks where the small animals used to drink had dried up. Kancil was walking alone in the forest; he was very thirsty. He had walked a long way; looking for a brook where he could quench his thirst, but he had found only dry mud in the once gay rippling brooks. It was very quiet in the forest. All the animals seemed to sleep. Even the birds did not sing in the trees. Kancil finally decided to go to the river that bordered the forest. Usually he avoided going there as he knew that Crocodile was always on the look-out for him, waiting for an opportunity to catch him.
When he arrived at the river. Kancil looked cautiously around him. There was no body to be seen. The clear river water mirrored blidingly the rays of the sun. step by step Kancil approached the water. His sharp eyes looked right and left; his pointed ears strained to catch the slightest sound. But no danger seemed to threaten him this time. Relieved, he bent his head to enjoy the cool water. Suddenly, his glance fell upon an object that was floating not far away from where he stood. It was a blackish thing. It looked like a fallen branch ………. Or, like the back of crocodile! Kancil jumped back, surprised and thoughtful. But he was also very thirsty. How could he possibly know whether the thing there in the river was really a log or a crocodile? Then he smiled a little as he hit upon an idea. In a clear voice he shouted, “ Hey! There, you who are in the river. If you are crocodile, don’t answer me, but if you are only a long of wood, tell me your name!”
Now it was really Crocodile who was floating in the river. He had seen Kancil approaching and he was waiting for him to bend his head to drink. At the very moment when Kancil did not look. Crocodile would catch him. Without thinking any further, Crocodile answered Kancil in his gruff voice, “Don’t be afraid, I’m only a harmless log!”
Immediately, Kancil ran away as fast as his leg could carry him, while shouting over his shoulder, “O, stupid Crocodile, have you ever heard a log of wood talk?”
A fortnight later, however, Kancil forgot this incident. The dry season was not over yet and it seemed to be hotter than ever. Kancil remembered the cool, fresh river water. How wonderful it would be take a bath in it! He decidec to try his luck once again. This time there was nothing suspicious to be seen, so Kancil went to the water and drank to his heart’s content. It was very quite, and also very hot. Without thinking any further Kancil went down into the river and began to splash himself. In his delight he forgot all about danger. He pick up a dry twig that was floating by and began to beat the water with it. He made so much noise that he woke up….. who else, but old crocodile who was sleeping in the neighbourhood.
“Well, well, this seem to be my lucky day,” thought Crocodile. In a flash he shot out of his hiding place and all of a sudden. Kancil felt sharp teeth biting into one of his legs. It hurt him very much, but though he was shocked and frightened Kancil did not lose his wits. Without hesitation he dipped the dry twig into the water and in a mocking tone he said, “stupid old log of wood, do you really think you have got me? It is only a twig you have in your mouth, not my leg. Here is my leg’ catch it if you can!”
Kancil moved the twig rapidly to and in front of Crocodile’s eyes. Crocodile could not see very well in the water and above all, he really was blockhead! He believed the clever tal of the little mousedeer, released kancil’s leg and snapped his jaw on the twig. Of course, kancil did not wait one second to jump out of the water and run to the safety of the woods. Though his leg was very sore, he laughed heartily. Once more he had tricked Crocodile.