Ambun and Rimbun

Ambun dan Rimbun >> Edisi Indonesia

Folktale from Central Kalimantan

AMBUN and Rimbun were brothers. People always thought they were twins, they both looked alike. Actually, Ambun was one year older than Rimbun.

The two brothers lived with their mother in a hut. Their father had died when they were kids. They always helped their mother finding some firewood and then sold them at the market.

They were poor and Ambun was upset with his condition. He wanted to go to some place and worked. He hoped he could get lots of money and give it to his mother.

He talked to his mother about his plan. His mother could not stop him. However, Rimbun also wanted to join his older brother. Apparently he also had the same feeling about their poor life. The mother could not do anything. She knew how good they were. She also knew that they just wanted to make her happy.

Before they left, the mother gave them two traditional knives, one was wrapped by red cloth and the other one was wrapped by yellow cloth. Ambun got the red one, while Rimbun got the yellow one.

The two brothers started their journey. When they crossed a jungle, suddenly Rimbun fell down. Ambun was so panicky.

"What happened? Are you all right?"

Rimbun didn't say anything. He looked very pale. Ambun brought him to sit under a big tree. Rimbun suffered a strange illness. His physical condition was getting weaker. And finally, Rimbun died.

Ambun was extremely sad. He felt guilty. He thought that he should not have let his brother join him. Ambun then buried his brother. He took his brother's knife and stabbed in on his grave.

Ambun continued his journey in the jungle. It was getting dark and he not have a place to stay. From a distance, he saw a house. He knocked the door, not long after that an old woman greeted him. Ambun asked her permission to stay in her house. Luckily she welcomed him to stay.

Ambun introduced himself to her and told her about his mother and his brother, who was just dead in the jungle. He also told her that he wanted to work so he could have lots of  money. He wanted to make his mother happy.

The old woman was amazed to hear how Ambun wanted to make his mother happy. She then told him great information.

"I heard that the king is looking for a man to marry his daughter. Later he will also ask the man to be the next king to replace him. But there is one condition. The man has to be able to jump from the front yard of the palace to the roof of the palace to pick a jasmine flower."

Ambun wanted to participate. He thought he could do it. When his father was alive, he had taught his sons about some skills.

Ambun and the old woman arrived at the palace. People mocked Ambun. Previously, some princes from other kingdoms had tried and they all failed. They thought how a poor man like Ambun could win the competition.

Fortunately, the king let him try. Ambun concentrated. He was thinking of his father. Then..wusshhhh. He could easily jump and pick the jasmine. People were astonished! They applauded and cheered Ambun. The king was also happy. He finally found the winner.

Before the wedding started, Ambun went home. He wanted to ask his mother to stay in the palace. However, she was extremely sad when she knew Rimbun was dead. She asked Ambun to find 'the water of life' in the top of the mountain.

After he got the water, the mother asked Ambun to dig Rimbun's grave. She poured the water into Ambun's dead body. Amazingly, Rimbun was back to life. The family was reunited. Ambun got married and later he became the king. He also asked the old woman to stay in the palace. Since then they all lived happily ever after. ***

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