Kancil stepped on each crocodile, crossing
to the other side.
Traditional Malaysian Folktale
by Chok Yoon Foo from Malaysia
Kancil is a clever, tricky mouse deer who is always
finding himself in predicaments with animals that
want to eat him or harm him, but he cleverly
manages to escape each time. In this story, Sang
Kancil outwits a big, bad crocodile.
Kancil was a clever mouse deer. Whenever he was in
a bad situation, he always played a clever trick to
escape. In this story, Sang Kancil outwitted Sang
Buaya, a big, bad crocodile, who wanted to eat him.
There were many trees where Sang Kancil's lived
along the river, so he never had trouble finding
food. There were always lots of leaves. He spent
his time running and jumping and looking into the
Buaya, the big bad crocodile, lived in the river
with other crocodiles. They were always waiting to
catch Sang Kancil for dinner. One day when Sang
Buaya was walking along the river, he saw some
delicious fruit on the trees on the other side the
Kancil wanted to taste the tasty-looking fruit
because he was a little tired of eating leaves. He
tried to think of a way to cross the river, but he
had to be careful. He didn't want to be caught and
eaten by Sang Buaya. He needed to trick Sang
Kancil suddenly had an idea He called out to the
crocodile, "Sang Buaya! Sang Buaya!" Sang Buaya
slowly came out of the water and asked Sang Kancil
why he was shouting his name. He asked Sang Kancil,
"Aren't you afraid I will eat you?" Then he opened
his big mouth very wide to scare Sang
Kancil said, "Of course, I am afraid of you, but
the king wants me to do something. He is having a
big feast with lots of food, and he is inviting
everyone, including you and all the other
crocodiles. But first, I have to count all of you.
He needs to know how many of you will come. Please
line up across the river, so I can walk across your
heads and count all of you."
Buaya was excited and left to tell the other
crocodiles about the feast with all the good food.
Soon, they came and made a line across the river.
Sang Kancil said, "Promise not to eat me because or
I can't report to the king how many of you are
coming. They promised not to eat him.
Kancil stepped on Sang Buaya's head and counted
one. Then he stepped on the next one and said,
"Two." He stepped on each crocodile, counting each
one, and finally reached the other side of the
river. Then he said to Sang Buaya,"Thank you for
helping me to cross the river to my new home."
Buaya was shocked and angry. He shouted at Sang
Kancil, "You tricked us! There is no feast, is
there?" All of the crocodiles looked at Sang Buaya
angrily. They were angry because he let Sang Kancil
trick all of them.
Kancil loved his new home on the other side of the
river because he had a lot of tasty food to eat.
Poor Sang Buaya was not so lucky. After that, none
of the other crocodiles ever talked to him
©1997-2008 - Sandy and Thomas Peters -