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Dongeng Bahasa Inggris - Si Tupai Pintar


ONE DAY a man was walking through a dense forest. In one hand he carried a kris, and in the other a long lance, in case he met any tigers and snakes along the way.

He had reached the edge of the forest and was congratulating himself that he had not had to use either his kris or his lance, when all at once he heard, just above his head, a most frightful noise. He looked up into the branches from where it seemed to come, and he saw an enormous snake that had caught its tail in a split of one branch.

The snake was doing everything it could to free its tail. Suddenly it saw the man and called out to him, "Oh, help me, help me! Make the split in the branch a little wider with your lance, so that I can get my tail out and be on my way/'

"Til gladly do that/' said the man, "if you'll first promise me that you will do me no harm after I have freed you/'

"Well now, why should I do you harm?" asked the snake.
"You have nothing to fear from me/*

So the man made the split in the branch a little wider with his lance and the snake pulled its tail out,

"Reach your lance up to me/ the snake said then, "so that I can crawl along it down to the ground/ This the man did. The snake curled itself around the lance but, instead of creeping along it to the ground, it stopped at the man's shoulder and twined itself fast around his neck.

"Ho, what are you doing?" the man cried out in terror. "Why are you twining yourself around my neck? Why don't you crawl down to the ground?"

"Because I want to slay you/' hissed the snake.

"But you promised that you would do me no harm/ the man said.

"Well, so I did," the snake replied "But when I promised that, I was still in the tree. Now, I am on earth, and on earth good is always repaid with evil."

The man thought frantically of a way to escape. "Very well/' he said, "you may kill me. But first I want to hear the opinion of three others, whom we may meet here in the woods, as to the truth of what you say."
"Good; said the snake. "Let us go."

The first thing they came to was a palm tree. "Ask the palm tree/* ordered the snake.

"Palm tree," the man explained, "just a little while ago I saved the life of this snake, and now it wants to kill me because, it says, here on earth good is always rewarded with evil. Is that true?"

"Certainly it is true," the palm tree said. "Look at me. With my waving fronds I refresh the wanderers who creep to me, tired and worn out; I let them sleep in my shade. And after they are refreshed, they hack me into little pieces with their sharp axes and throw me into the fire."

"Do you hear what the palm tree says?" asked the snake, twisting itself still tighter about the man's throat.

They went a little farther, until they came to a brook. The man told the brook how he had saved the life of the snake and how it wanted to kill him because on earth good is always repaid with evil.

"The snake is right," chattered the brook. "Just look at me. With my water, I revive all who come to me tired and thirsty. And after they have quenched their thirst, they repay me by throwing into my crystal-clear water all kinds of unclean things. You will have to let yourself be throttled by the snake, because here on earth good is always rewarded with evil."

And to the snake, "Go ahead, snake, and throttle the man who saved your life!"

The snake twined itself still tighter around the man's neck, until he almost suffocated. Gasping for breath, he cried, "Don't kill me yet, O snake! Ask a third opinion. Then you may kill me."

"Very well/' said the snake, looking at a little squirrel that sat on one of the branches of a tree.

The man also saw the squirrel. "Let us ask him what he thinks/' he said to the snake.

"Ask him, then/' the snake said, "because I'm in a hurry to throttle you before I take the squirrel as my prey."

"Little squirrel/' the man said, "I saved the life of this snake, and now it wants to kill me because, as it says, here on earth good is always rewarded with evil. Is that true?"

The squirrel looked first at the snake and then at the man.

"Well, that is very difficult to decide. I ought to see first how the whole thing happened. For I really don't know just how you saved the life of the snake. You must show me that first.

Only then can I give you my decision."

"I'll certainly let you see how it went/' said the snake.

They all returned to the tree where the man had first seen the snake, and while it crept up the trunk toward the split branch the man took his lance and struck the snake dead! 

Diceritakan Adele Leeuw dalam Indonesian Legends and Folktales

 
Kembali ke Kumpulan Cerita Legenda Bahasa Inggris

 

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