February 27, 2006

Edisi Diari's

Folkstale II


Muara Kaman county lies along the Mahakam River, in eastern Borneo. In the past the county was a kingdom, ruled by Queen Aji Bidara Putih. She was a typical queen of myths: beautiful, wise, and sensitive. Many princes and kings proposed her but she always refused them because she concerned more about ruling her country and guarding her people. One day, a Chinese junk came to eastern Borneo. First the people thought it was a merchant ship but the ship was loaded with trade goods and highly trained soldiers.Their envoys brought gold antiques and porcelains to announce the proposal from Prince of China. The queen didn't refuse instantly and replied that she had to ponder first.

After the envoys left the palace, the queen called a court officer and ordered him to infiltrate the Chinese junk to gather information on the prince.When the night fell, the officer sneaked into the junk, got through behind every guards, and finally found the prince's room. The large door was opened and he couldn't find any peek hole. So the officer put his ear to the wall, trying to catch sounds from inside. He heard that the prince was having his dinner and the noise of his chewing and slurping surprised the officer. It was like a boar which once he heard when he was hunting.He quickly left the boat and returned to the palace. He reported that the prince must have been a phantom, not a human. He believed that the phantom could be in a human's form only during the daytime.

The queen was so surprised and got angry. On the next day, she refused his proposal.The enraged prince ordered his troops to raid Muara Kaman. The battle was won by the huge troops of China, and they got close to the palace. Queen Aji Bidara Putih chewed a leaf of betel vine and sang a mantra (spell) while holding it. When she threw it to the Chinese troops, it turned to giant centipedes. The Chinese troops started to retreat but three centipedes chased them and sank the junks.The site of the sunk ship is now known as Danau Lipan, Lake of Centipede, with Chinese treasures hidden on the lake's bed.

p/s: centipedes = lipan

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