Jaka Klinting

Folklore from Central Java

A man was walking. His name was Jaka Klinting. He was very tired and hungry. He had not eaten for days. Finally, he arrived at a village. He hoped the villagers would help him.

"Excuse me, Sir. Will you help me? I'm so hungry, would you please give me some food?" asked Jaka Klinting to a villager. Jaka Klinting was wearing a shabby cloth. He did not look good at all. His hair was long and messy. Everyone who saw him would not feel comfortable.

"What? Give you food? No way!" said the man. Then, Jaka Klinting met another man. Sadly, he also refused to help him. Jaka Klinting continued walking. Every time he met a villager, he always asked for food. Sadly, the villagers did not help him.

Finally, he arrived at an old woman's house. Her name was Nyai Lantung.

"Excuse me, Ma'am. I'm really hungry. I had not eaten for many days. Would you please give me some food?" asked Jaka Klinting.

"Of course, please come in. I'll prepare the food for you," said Nyai Lantung.

Nyai Lantung was a widow. Her husband had died years ago. She did not have a child. Nyai Lantung was a poor woman. She was kind and she always helped people.

Do you have a place to stay, young man?"

"No, Ma'am."

"You can stay here until you can find a better place."

Jaka Klinting was very grateful.

To return Nyai Lantung's kindness, he always helped her do anything. Nyai Lantung was also happy. Jaka Klinting did not only help her do the household chores, but he also helped her earn some money by farming.

Sadly, the villagers still did not like Jaka Kinting. They always teased him and made fun of him. They always said bad things to him.

"Hey you, ugly man! What are you doing here? Your place is in the jungle with the monkeys, ha ha ha..."

Every day, the villagers always made fun of Jaka Klinting. However, he never responded to them. He was always silent.

But one day, he could not take it anymore. It happened when the villagers also made fun of Nyai Lantung.

"I know why you stay at Nyai Lantung's house. Because you and her are from the same family, the monkey, ha ha ha..."

"Shut up! You can insult me. But I don't want you to insult Nyai Lantung. She is a kind woman. She is better than you are!" jaka Klinting was very angry. He wanted to give them a lesson.

"I will put this stick on the ground. If anyone can pull it out, I will give him a lot of money," said Jaka Klinting.

The villagers were laughing. They all thought he was crazy. The stick was small and they thought they could pull it out easily.

Amazingly, they could not do it. All the men tried to pull the stick out of the ground, but they could not do it.

"It's my turn now," said Jaka Klinting. With just a simple move, he could pull the stick.

People were surprised. The stick made a hole on the ground. Slowly, water was flowing from the hole. Slow but sure, the water flooded the village.

All the villagers tried to save their lives. All the houses were under water, except Nyai Lantung's house.

Who was Jaka Klinting? And why did he have supernatural power? Well, the villagers did not know that Jaka Klinting was a dragon. He changed himself into a human because in his hometown, people were trying to kill him as a dragon. And the water finally made a swamp. People then named the swamp as Rawa Pening. It is in Semarang, Central Java. ***

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