Author: Kiki Lie Editor: Veronica Widyastuti Illustrator: Maman Mantox & Rizky Adeliasari Translator: Erna Fitrini Proofreader: Ratih Soe Origin: Central Kalimantan

“Hi hi hi!” The witch’s laughter sounded creepy. That ugly old witch just went down a rocky hill where she meditated. The rocky hill was oddly shaped. The rocks were neatly arranged.

Hearing the creepy laughter, Puteri Intan was scared. Her heart was pounding. While walking back, she rubbed her chest. She did not dare to look at the witch.

“Beautiful girl, what’s your name? Why are you in the middle of the woods?” asked the witch. By the tip of the stick, she lifted Puteri Intan’s chin to see her face.

“I’m Puteri Intan. My father, Raja Kalang, expelled me from the palace,” said Puteri Intan with a trembling voice.

“Mmm, what a coincidence! I met a girl who was expelled. With the new skill that I got, I will curse you into an animal. Hi hi hi!” the witch laughed.

“Please, forgive me! Don’t curse me!” Puteri Intan pleaded.

Puteri Intan pleaded repeatedly, but the witch ignored her. The witch then cast a spell while shaking a stick. Inevitably, Puteri Intan was cursed. Swirl of green smoke lifted Puteri Intan, then turned her into a hornbill.

Wkwkwk! The hornbill chirped melodiously. The transformation of Puteri Intan, the hornbill had blue feathers. The beak was curved-horned, very large and red.

“According to prophecy when I meditated, the magic in your body would disappear if you meet a young man who can take you back to the palace,” said the witch.

After bewitching Puteri Intan, the witch suddenly disappeared. The hornbill flew back and forth, chirping. Since then, the hornbill lived in the woods. She flew from one tree to another in search of food.

One day, from a distance, a male hornbill chirped loudly. The big bird tried to attract the attention of female hornbill, the itransformation of Puteri Intan.

“Oh, my God. What’s my sin? Isn’t it enough the test you gave me?” Puteri Intan wondered. In the form of the hornbill, Puteri Intan always hoped that God would turn her back into a human and reunite with her parents.

In order to avoid the male hornbill, Puteri Intan flew away, looking for food on a banyan tree. After the meal, when she would leave the tree, she was shocked. Her legs were trapped so they could not move. She tried every way. She pecked the trap. Despite struggling hard, Puteri Intan could not escape from the trap.
Shortly afterwards, Puteri Intan heard the sound of approaching steps. She started to sing melodiously while struggling to attract attention.

Apparently the steps belonged to a handsome young man named Dohong. He intended to check the trap he had set yesterday.

The young man was very excited when he saw a hornbill caught in a trap. Without thinking long, he immediately climbed the tree to catch the bird. Then, he put back his trap.

“Wow, what a beautiful bird! The chirps were very nice. It’s the first time for me to get a beautiful bird, like this one,” said Dohong, amazed.

With pleasure, Dohong brought home the bird. The bird was put into a rattan cage. He took care of the hornbill very carefully.

The next day Dohong went back to the woods. However, he did not get any bird. By noon he decided to go home.

Dohong was surprised when he got at his cabin. He saw  delicious food served and ready to eat. He immediately ate hungrily, without thinking who had prepared the food.

The weird incident happened for three consecutive days. Dohong was curious to know exactly who did it all.

The next day, the handsome young man pretended to go to check the trap. Before noon, he stepped into the cabin carefully. What a surprise when he saw swirling green smoke coming out of the birdcage. A beautiful girl came out of the smoke. He was amazed at her beauty. He approached her.

“Hey, pretty girl! Who are you and where are you from?” asked Dohong.

“Please, Sir! I am Puteri Intan from Kalang Kingdom. Bad luck happened to me. My father expelled me from the palace. After that, a witch turned me into a hornbill while I was in the woods,” Puteri Intan explained.

“Sorry, Princess! Why were you expelled from the palace?” Dohong bowed, paying his respect.

Puteri Intan told him everything that had happened. After that, she asked Dohong to take her back to the palace. If Dohong fulfilled her demand, the magic from the witch would disappear by itself.

“Well, Princess! I am willing to take you to the palace,” said Dohong.

The next day, they went to the palace. On the way to the palace, Puteri Intan did not transform into a hornbill. The magic from the witch had gone.

At the palace, Dohong and Puteri Intan met Raja Kalang.  Dohong told Raja Kalang and his wife everything that Puteri Intan had experienced. Finally, Raja Kalang understood that his daughter was slandered by the royal servant.

“Forgive your father, my daughter! I’ve made you suffer,” said raja Kalang.

Raja Kalang punished the royal servant who had slandered Puteri Intan. The royal servant was imprisoned. Dohong and Puteri Intan eventually got married. They were crowned to be the heirs to the  Kalang Kingdom. They were very happy.

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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