Kancil and Monkey
Tugas Mata Kuliah Folklore and Mythology
By Rizal Saryadi
Kancil is a name which is very popular in many countries in Indonesia. Many people indicate it as a smart, clever, and tricky animal. It is because many authors in some countries take Kancil by those characters in plays. Indeed the readers assume Kancil as so. However the question is why do some authors often take kancil as a bad character in the play? It is probably the question that often appears in the some people’s mind. Therefore, It’s important to know to give us extra knowledge and for the answer of the question.
According to the Simalungun folklore, why does Drs. Henry Guntur Tarigan take Kancil as the main figure in the story? Are there other stories could be raised for different topics? Drs. Henry Guntur Tarigan is a person who collects the stories from Simalungun folklore.
Concerning about the story of Kancil, here I try to raise the topic of Kancil and Monkey. It is because this topic is important for me. It has the lesson which is could inspired us how to think and consider something. In addition, the story is very nice to join.
In the fact of this story, Kancil is illustrated as the tricky figure which deceives the monkey to fall into the hole for rescuing itself. Furthermore, it also deceives a tiger for surviving from eaten by it. This is the description about the behavior of Kancil in this story which makes us probably think kancil is bad or clever figure. More importantly, we should know which is not all in this topic raises the badness of Kancil. There are some events that Kancil did something tricky just for surviving itself and not involving other animals as the sacrifice.
In general, there is a common mistake from the readers usually happened. It is why don’t many people take a lesson from kancil story after reading it? This is also the question which is probably rarely revealed by many people. We should know this one as the introspection for our self as the reader. It is in order to make us being meticulous readers, not just being fun readers. In short, when we are reading the story of Kancil, we are necessary to figure out the lesson in the story because it is one of the aims in the reading the story beside for having fun.
Once Kancil was fell into the hole had dug by a hunter to catch the tiger. Because the hole was deep enough, it was very confused; because of course it would be difficult to jump. The effect, it couldn’t breathe nature reserve more in. Most, in the hole there were no food or drinking water anymore.
For a few minutes in the hole, suddenly there was a leaf fell down into the hole. The leaf was from a tree surround the hole which was close to. “Great luck! Alright, I will pretend to read this leaf like there is a text on. Then there is one hear my voice, so it will approach here. After that I will invite it to come into this! It is not bad idea!” Kancil said as wiping off its head.
“On the moon two days has been trapped, the trapped day on the moon two; I am free other people are confined, other people are confined I am free” So it was it said repeatedly as if it was reading the letter. For a long time he was reciting it, but no one approached it. Kancil was not hopeless; it read it louder till its voice being hoarse. However more and more no one came.
Not far from the hole, a gang of monkey approached. When the ears of Kancil heard monkey’s voice, it read the writing of leaf louder and louder. So because of that voice, a monkey visited it from the tree. When they looked at each other, the monkey asked, “What are you doing, Kancil? You look like a crazy animal? The other monkeys came approaching the hole. “You don’t know what happened!” Kancil said. “Don’t you look the sky will fall down? Come in……protect yourself soon?!” then, “Look up! As pointing the sky; won’t the sky fall down? Come on, jump into this hole in order to avoid you all from the death!” it lied to the monkeys. Because being afraid of the death, so the monkeys fell down directly to save themselves. After they all came into the hole, then Kancil said; Are there your other friends outside? If so, let me to pick them up! It is pitiful if they died there!” The monkeys said that all of their friends have been here.
“E-eh….the sky has moved down!” Kancil said to make them afraid. Astounding! My grandmother still outside! Is there one of you brave to pick it up?” it tested the monkey. They all were quivering. One was probably their leader said, “Enough kancil, it is better if you pick it up! And please tell to other friends to hide here! It’s pitiful if they are died because the sky!” Hearing their agreement, Kancil felt comfortable. However in order to not being suspicious, Kancil pretended to refuse it. Then the monkeys pressured it, so Kancil even said, “How can I go out? Ah….I fell afraid?! Furthermore, Do I know when I go up, then the sky fall down? So I will be dead, whereas you’re free from the death! it said as if it’s difficult to accept. “Yet…,” it pretended thinking for a moment. “Alright! Anymore, I can’t forget my grandmother’s favor! Please, you all throw me out of this hole in order that I can come back soon! Or like this! You all make stairs by constructing your body like pyramid. So I will be easy go up by your back!” The monkeys didn’t protest more. They did what Kancil suggested. Afterwards kancil walked on their back till reached the top of the hole. Then it jumped up,”hu…up!” Now it was free to breathe the fresh air in. After arriving to the top, it repeated the reading:
“On the moon two days has been trapped, the trapped day on the moon two; I am free other people are confined, other people are confined I am free.” Then it repeated 2-3 times. Afterwards, it left the monkeys which were confined succeeding its self.
When Kancil was joining its trip, it met the tiger. It felt afraid because it was impossible to avoid. “What is the idea to avoid it?” it thought under heart. “O…here is the feces of buffalo! If so….?” It thought again, “I have an idea!” Then it took a slice of wide leafs and it covered the feces up. Afterwards it kept it away by other leaf. The tiger approached it, “what are you doing, Kancil?!” it asked. “Nothing grandmother (a summons for tiger in that country), I am just given the duty by the king Sulaiman to protect his food. He will come to eat for a while later,” said kancil as keeping the feces away. Hearing that, the tiger felt hungry, “how if you give this food for me? Accidentally I felt so hungry!” it asked to kancil. “I don’t, grandmother! I am afraid if the king Sulaiman being angry with me. If this food is not arrived to him, I would be killed! So I forbid you to eat this!” Kancil pretended. “I am very hungry, Kancil! If you don’t give it, I will eat you soon! Give it or not?!” it threatened by its tusks.
“If so grandmother, please take it, but I should go first in order that I get free of the punishment from the king,” says Kancil deceiving the tiger. The tiger was very happy heard this, “Ok Kancil, please go away from me! I am so hungry, I will eat this soon!”
Kancil then went by whole of its power. Afterwards the tiger began to eat the feces supposed food. “Ngaup..,” it joined the feces. However, then its stomach felt painful, so that it was very angry with Kancil. It knew it was not food but buffalo’s feces. Because of that, it tried to chase after Kancil. It followed the track of Kancil till the track was not clear anymore. “Damn it”, the tiger mocked Kancil roughly. It didn’t found Kancil for a long the day. So, it became more and more angry. However it didn’t know what to do. It just could keep that animosity till the exact time to revenge.
This story has described us about the ideas of Kancil to survive itself. There are some bad sides and good sides of the way for surviving. It victimizes Monkeys gang as the method for its plan. This is bad behavior and no justice for this event. The monkeys which have no any mistakes to it become the victims of its trickiness. In addition, it takes the advantages for this case without thinking and repaying their service. However, it traps them all instead.
“Great luck! Alright, I will pretend to read this leaf like there is a text on. Then there is one hear my voice, so it will approach here. After that I will invite it to come into this! It is not bad idea!” Kancil said
This statement is a description of its behavior which How tricky it is. It plans are very nasty. In what condition, kancil may not do this. It should do a favor after arriving over the land. After using monkey’s service in the hole, it should help them all because there are many ways to do. It could try to seek something like the rope, staircase, wood, and etc. However that is impossible for Kancil itself. It doesn’t think monkey’s sufferings after helping it. It is probably proper if I illustrate it as egoistic animal.
In the other cases, Kancil may be true in the way surviving itself. As when rescuing itself from the evil tiger, it do same method by deceiving it. However in this one, it doesn’t take a benefit from other animals as the victim. It just uses a property of buffalo’s feces. This is not too bad in my opinion, because it doesn’t make dangerous to other animals. In addition, this trick is natural to do in this situation. The most important is it just tries to deceive the tiger trickily for surviving.
“If a child eats the baby of Kancil which is just born, he/she would be smart person through his/her growth period”
(The myth from some countries in Bangka)
A myth above, which is I heard directly from the native person, indicates Kancil as a sacred smart animal which is very useful for children’s intelligence. It could make a child who eats being clever or smart. I think this myth could be related to the story of Kancil in this folklore as the description the characters.
Kancil is very famous as bad figure in general. It is because many authors take Kancil as this character in the plays. Furthermore, Kancil is smart and clever like described on the myth above which probably proper to be this figure for being tricky. Also, Kancil is suitable as the main character in this story according to Drs. Henry Guntur Tarigan. It is probably Drs. Henry Guntur Tarigan thinks that Kancil is weak yet smart. So, it could be the chance to reveal how useful is the cleverness of someone or something which is better than the big muscle and strongness. However the problem is many people rarely take the lesson from the story of Kancil. Therefore, they should chance this habit as the introspection for themselves.
Actually there is one other animal which is suitable to chance the characters of Kancil. It is the aunts because they also weak, smart, and clever naturally. If we look at the behavior of these animals, we will see something different. Those are the aunts could work together in every case. They also can obey their leader which always controls them. Furthermore, they can make the line well regulated as one of the symbol of their disciplines.
Henry Guntur Tarigan, Drs., 1980, “Cerita Rakyat Simalungun”, Proyek Penerbitan Buku Sastra, Jakarta.