Author: Yosep Rustandi Editor: Triani Retno Illustrator: Maman Mantox & Purwa Gustira Translator: Dameria Damayanti Proofreader: Ratih Soe Origin: west Java

Nyai Bungsu Rarang lived by herself. Her parents had passed away. She lived in a small and shabby inherited house.  There were so many leaks on the roof and the bamboo woven wall had holes here and there.

Nyai Bungsu Rarang had two older sisters. Both of them lived a wealthy life. They had big houses. They had their own rice fields, yards, and ponds. But they were never generous toward their little sister. Even when they called forNyaiBungsuRarang, it was never for giving her foods or clothes but for asking her to do their house chores. Furthermore, the payment she received was often too small.

One day, Nyai Bungsu Rarang went fishing in the field. She caught a baby goldfish. The baby goldfish was yellowish gold. Nyai Bungsu Rarang did not know why she did not dare to cook the fish. Since she did not get the heart to do, she decided to put the baby fish into the pond. The baby goldfish was so glad it swam cheerfully.

Since living with the baby goldfish, Nyai Bungsu Rarang felt motivated to work harder. She always saved the money she earned from doing house chores at her sisters’. She also did not forget to share half of the rice on her plate for the goldfish. Nyai Bungsu Rarang was excited about being able to eat together with her best friend.

She named the baby goldfish Si Leungli. Whenever she fed it, she would sing to it.

Leungli… Leungli… hurry come
Here is the cooked rice
Although it’s not a basket full
But it will make us full
For  it was cooked with love

As if Si Leungli understood the song, it came out and swam and jumped cheerfully. As Nyai Bungsu Rarang sprinkled the rice into the pond, Si Leungli welcomed it by doing some somersaults. Nyai Bungsu Rarang laughed seeing it.

Everyday, NyaiBungsuRarang fed Si Leungli and played with it. As time flew by, Si Leungligrew big. Its fins and tail grew longer. Its golden yellow color became even brighter andit glowed beautifully.

Nyai Bungsu Rarang’s cheerfulness made her siblings suspicious. One day, they followed Nyai Bungsu Rarang.

“It seems that fish that has been keeping her happy,” said the eldest sister.

“We should to take that fish, Sis,” said the other sister.

The next day, the two sisters asked Nyai Bungsu Rarang to do errands in the neighboring village. When Nyai Bungsu Rarang left, her siblings took Si Leungli. They fried and ate the fish. They kept the head part and the bones to be given to Nyai Bungsu Rarang.

Nyai Bungsu Rarang was surprised when she received a meal of rice with bones and head of a fried fish. There was a strange feeling in her heart. She did not know why she felt so sad. She ran home with teary eyes.

When she arrived at the pond in the back of her house, she sang right away to call on her best friend. But Si Leungli did not show up. When she’s convinced that Si Leungli had gone, she wailed with a very sad voice.

“Oh… Leungli…
My heart is hurt
I’m so sad you’re dead
But you always live in my heart

After that, Nyai Bungsu Rarang buried the fish head and bones in the backyard.

One day, Nyai Bungsu Rarang saw a tree growing on top of Si Leuli’s grave. The small tree then was taken care of NyiBungsuRarang. She hoped that the tree would grow big to shade Si Leungli’s grave. Every day, the tree grew tall and the leaves grew bushy. Finally, the tree produced fruits.Strangely, the fruit color was yellow golden.

While singing, Nyai Bungsu Rarang cleaned the grave.

Leungli… Leungli… My darling
Rest peacefully inside the earth
You and I live in different world
But we both have each other’s love

When she finished singing her song, the fruits fell to the ground. Nyai Bungsu Rarang collected the fruits. She was surprised because the fruits were as heavy as metal. She took the golden fruits to the city and to have them checked at a jewelry store. Apparently, all fruits were pure gold and their price was very expensive

Nyai Bungsu Rarang finally became rich. She was so generous in helping the neighbors, the poor and anyone who needed help.

Knowing their youngest sister became rich, the two older sisters visited Nyai Bungsu Rarang and questioned her about how she became rich. Without getting suspicious, Nyai Bungsu Rarang told her siblings.

“My dear little sister, we have been missing you so much. Please allow us to stay in for a night,” said the eldest.

In the evening, when Nyai Bungsu Rarang fell asleep, her siblings sneaked out to Si Leungli’s grave. They brought a large container for the golden fruits. There they sang.

When they finished singing, a lot of fruits fell hard to the ground as if being thrown by someone. However, instead of the usual golden fruits, the fruits were thorny.  The two sisters screamed as the thorny fruits hurt their heads, foreheads, necks and their backs. The wounds were painful. Embarrassed by their behaviors, they went home without saying goodbye.


This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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