A Princess and the Eagle

Putri dan Elang | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from South Sulawesi

THERE was a kingdom in South Sulawesi. The king and the queen had six daughters. They all were beautiful. The king and the queen were happy with their family.

The queen was pregnant. The king was restless when he knew that he would have the seventh child. Why? Well, the tradition said that if the king had seven daughters, then the seventh one had to be sacrificed to the giant eagle when she was 17 years old!

The new baby born was a girl. The king and the queen were happy with their beautiful baby girl. However they were also sad that they had to sacrifice her on her 17th birthday.

Time passed by and the youngest princess soon would celebrate her 17th birthday. The king was so worried. He asked his advisor what to do.

"I have an idea, Your Majesty. Why don't we hold a competition? If a man is able to kill the eagle, he can marry your youngest daughter."

The king was smiling.

"That's a good idea! I will announce this to my people!"

Lots of young men were eager when they heard about the competition. They knew how beautiful the princess was. They all fell in love with her.

"My daughter will celebrate her 17th birthday a month from now I want you all to prepare yourself. You have to be ready when the eagle comes," said the king.

The day of the princess' birthday finally came. The tradition said that she had to climb a mountain to wait for the eagle to bring her,

The princess was on the top of the mountain. She was sitting helplessly. She was waiting for any men to come and save her. Sadly, no one came. It seemed that men were scared with the eagle.

The eagle came! The princess closed her eyes. She did not have any courage to look at the eagle. When the eagle was about to grab her, a man came! He used his sword to attack the eagle. The eagle fought back! He used his claws to attack the man. The man was wounded. Then he stabbed the eagle! The eagle was dead!

The princess was happy. When she saw the wound, she gave her scarf to the man to stop the bleeding.

The man left the princess.

"I have to heal my wound now," said the man.

The princess did not have any chances to ask the man's name.

The king was happy when he knew the eagle was dead. To celebrate it, he held a great party. He invited his people to come. He hoped that the man who killed the eagle would come.

"Look at all the guests, My Child. Can you recognize the man who helped you?" asked the king.

"I still remember his face, Father. I gave him my scarf. I'm sure he will bring it and return it to me," replied the princess.

After a while, the man came. He brought the princess' scarf!

"Is he the man who killed the eagle?" asked the king to the princess.

"Yes, he is," said the princess.

She was so happy that she could meet him again. She was also happy that the man was very handsome. She fell in love with him.

The king kept his promise. He once again held a party and this one was a party of her daughters wedding with the man who killed the eagle.***

Sulawesi Serpent-Eagle

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