Bungsu and the Snake (The Legend of Mate River)

Bungsu dan Ular | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Batam

BUNGSU was an orphan girl. She lived alone and she was very poor. To make a living, she worked for a rich merchant. The merchant and his wife had a daughter. She was the same age as Bungsu and they both were also beautiful. However, their personalities were very different. Bungsu was kind, helpful, and mature, while the merchant's daughter was selfish, arrogant, and childish.

One day Bungsu was washing some clothes at the riverside. She already finished washing and prepared to go to the merchant's house. Suddenly she heard someone asking for help. Bungsu was looking around, but she could not find anyone. She walked here and there looking for the person asking for help.

Then she heard, "Over here, I'm down here!"

Bungsu looked down and she saw a big snake wounded. Bungsu was scared! A big snake was able to talk!

The snake then said, "Please help me,.. I'm wounded."

Bungsu felt very sorry. She tried to control herself. After she was calmed dowry she carried the snake to her house. She healed the wound. She took care of the snake carefully. The wounded skin was big. When the wound was healed, the skin exfoliated.

Bungsu collected the dead skin and burned it. Amazingly the fire changed the skin into gold!

The snake said, "It's my gift for you!'

Bungsu was happy. She sold the gold and she gave some of the money to poor people. She built her house bigger and better. She was very rich. She decided not to work for the merchant anymore.

Bungsu got gold every time the snake's skin exfoliated and that made her richer than the merchant. The merchant and his wife were very curious. One night they went to Bungsu's house. They peeped through the window and they saw the snake. They also saw how the snake's skin turned into gold.

On the following morning, the merchant's wife went to Bungsu's house.

"I know how you become very rich but I don't know how you find the snake."

Bungsu was an honest girl. She told the merchant's wife how she found the snake.

The merchant's wife was extremely happy. She asked her daughter to go to the river and looked for a wounded snake.

"Remember, you have to find a wounded snake. That's the key for our wealth," said the mother.

The daughter was standing at the riverside looking for a wounded snake.

There she saw a big snake. But it was not wounded!

"Hmm... maybe I have to hurt the snake first." She threw the snake with a big stone.

The snake was angry. It attacked and squeezed the merchant's daughter. She screamed in pain, and then she died.

Meanwhile, Bungsu finally healed the snake completely. She accompanied the snake to go back to the river.

When they arrived, the snake said, "I want to tell you something. I'm in love with you. I really love you. Will you marry me?"

Bungsu was speechless. She never thought that she would be proposed by a snake. She admitted that she liked talking to the snake. And she also did not know why she said yes and agreed to marry the snake.

Right after Bungsu said yes, the snake suddenly disappeared. Then, in front of her, a handsome man was standing, staring at Bungsu.

"Don't be afraid. I'm not a real snake. I'm a human. I was cursed and I could turn back into a human if a girl is willing to marry me."

Bungsu was surprised but she was also very happy. Then the couple got married and they lived happily. People were talking about how Bungsu and her husband met at the river.

They then named the river as Sungai Jodoh or Mate River. ***

Landmark Sungai Jodoh Batam

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