6/20/2019

Hedgehog Meat



Why The People of To'po Do Not Eat Hedgehog Meat ?? Folktales from Flores.

In the beginning, the inhabitants of To'po, a village in west Flores, were very fond of Hedgehog meat, but since Kraeng's sad experience his descendants have not been allowed to eat it.

Kraeng, the head of the village, liked hedgehog meat very much and he would never miss and opportunity to go hunting hedgehogs. One they he set out hunting, this time accompanied by his servant and two dogs. Expecting that the hunt would last for several days, he took with him more provisions than he usually did.

After a long walk they reached a certain spot in the woods where Kraeng thought a great number of hedgehogs were living.
"Boy. he said. don't you think this looks like the hole of a hedgehog? look! there is a big hole! and Kraeng pointed to a large opening under a tree.

Certainly, sir. answered the servant. There should be a lot of hedgehogs in there. Both of them looked carefully into the hole. it was big enough to let a dog through. Of course it was dark inside and they could not see anything. Kraeng sent both dogs down into the hole and waited. A long time passed but the dogs still did not appear again.

"Now you go down, boy! Kraeng said to his servant after they had waited in vain for quite some time. But the servant was not willing to enter the hole and replied;
"After you, sir; it is not fitting for a servant to go first.
Not suspecting anything, Kraeng crawled into the hole. As soon as he was inside, the wicked servant fetched a big rock and closed off the entrance. Kraeng was thus locked in. Escape seemed impossible unless a miracle occured. And id did, right at the moment when Kraeng, feeling exhausted after crawling through the dark hole, was about to lose courage.

The hole suddenly seemed to broaden and at the end Kraeng saw a glimmer of light. Gathering all his strength, he managed to reach the end of the hole, which opened out into a big room. There he saw both his dogs but no hedgehog holes. At the moment he felt hungry and remembered the food he had left outside. in his pocket there were only two banana, which appeased his hunger for only a short time. He did not dare think about what would happen and so shut his eyes tightly.

When Kraeng opened his eyes again, he saw the owner of the hall standing in from of him. He could not guess how long he had been there, as he had lost consciousness through lack of food. he could not see daylight, and only a small light was burning.

Usually hedgehogs are shy animals. As soon as someone comes near to them, they run away. But this one standing in front of Kraeng was different. He did not run away but remained firmly on the ground and spoke to kraeng; why have you came here?
"I was hunting your friends and thought there were a lot of them here. But now I am very sorry for killing so many of your sort. I promise you I won't kill any more from now on. I ask your forgiveness for me and my dogs. Please help me find way out. I'll give you anything you desire.

"Well. the hedgehog replied. indeed, many of us have died because of you. Now that you are facing death yourself, you beg me told help you. However, I'm not going to aveng my dead companions. Instead, I'll for give you but on condition that from now on you agree not to hunt us ever again.

"I'll keep my promise, hedgehog. Kraeng stated firmly. and I'll forbid my fellow-villagers and my descendants to kill your sort and to eat the meat.

Oleh. Dra. S.D.B. Aman
Rewrite. Apero Fublic
Editor. Desti. S. Sos
Source:
Dra. S. D. B. Aman. Folktales From Indonesia. Djambatan. Jakarta, 1995.

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