Dewi Kilisuci and Lembu Suro

Dewi Kilisuci dan Lembu Suro | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from East Java

A long time ago, there was a kingdom in Kediri, East Java. The king had a very beautiful daughter. Her name was Dewi Kilisuci. The princess was very beautiful. She was very famous. Many young men fell in love with her. They proposed the princess to be their wife. However the princess always rejected the proposal.

One of the men who came and proposed the princess was King Lembu Suro. He was not an ordinary king. He had great supernatural power. And he looked very strange. He did not have a human head. Instead, his head exactly looked like a cow. That was why his name was Lembu, which means a cow.

Dewi Kilisuci was very confused. She knew that King Lembu Suro was very powerful. He had many soldiers. Some of them were genies. She also knew that the king was very mean. He would hit and destroy anything if his wishes did not come true. The princess was thinking how she could refuse the proposal. And then, she got an idea.

"I will accept your proposal. However, I have one request," said the princess.

"Ha..ha..ha.. I'm glad you will accept my proposal. Just tell me, My Dear. What can I do for you? With my power, I can do anything," said King Lembu Suro.

"Listen. I want to take a bath on the top of a mountain. And I want to do it on the top of Kelud Mountain. However, there is no a well there. I want you to dig and make a deep well," asked the princess.

"That's all? Ha..ha..ha.. that's so easy for me," said King Lembu Suro.

Princess Dewi Kilisuci was silent. She did not think that the king would accepted the challenge.

She was thinking and finally she got another idea.

"No, that's not all. I want you to finish the well within one night. The well has to be finished before sunrise" said the princess.

"Ha..ha..ha.. that's still not a problem for me. Just wait, you will see the well to be ready early in the morning."

The princess was so scared. She hoped the king could not finish the well before sunrise. Sadly, her fear came true. The king could finish the well before sunrise. He asked all his genies soldiers to make the well.

"I have finished the well. Now will you marry me?" asked the king.

The princess was thinking another idea. And she got a good one. She asked all the kingdom soldiers to accompany her.

"I'm not going to believe it if I don't see it with my own eyes."

"No problem, I will take you there."

"OK but you have to go alone. Don't bring your soldiers. Meanwhile, I will bring my soldiers,"
said the princess.

Later, King Lembu Suro, Princess Dewi Kili Suci, and her soldiers went to the top of Kelud Mountain. When they reached the top, the princess pretended to be amazed with the well.

While she was standing at the side of the well, she dropped her ring.

King Lembu Suro did not want to see the princess sad. He jumped to the well to take the ring. And when the king was inside the well, the princess immediately asked her soldiers to close the well with big stones.

The stones were very big. King Lembu Suro was helpless. He was trapped inside the well. However before the well was completely closed, he was cursing.

"Some day, I will destroy this area! I will make this mountain erupt!"

Everyone who heard the curse was scared. To avoid the curse from happening they regularly gave offering. The habit continues until now. People always give offering with hope that their place will be safe from the eruption.***

Lembu Suro

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