Author: Intan Daswan Editor: Aan Wulandari Illustrator: Rita Agustina & Susy Suzanna Translator: Diah Dwi Arti Proofreader: Ratih Soe Origin: West Java

“Nyai, help us, please. We haven’t eaten anything yet since yesterday,” asked a woman as she carried her child.

Nyai Endit pouted, then she stepped into her house. She let the woman standing out there and calling out her name.

“It’s no way she can borrow my money,” Nyai Endit grumbled as she sat on her  favourite chair.

Nyai Endit preferred to enjoy her apples while humming.  She pretended not to hear that child crying. She fell asleep instead, after having almost two apples.

“Nyai! Nyai Endit, please help me!” a shout from an old man was heard from outside.

Nyai Endit was woken up by that voice. The rest of the apples fell down to the floor. She stepped out of the house.

“What do you want, hey, Old Man?!” asked Nyai Endit, standing with arms akimbo.

Nyai Endit frowned because there wasn’t only that Old Man who came for help, but there were some villagers as well.

“Hey? What do you all want? Borrow my money?” Nyai Endit stared at the villagers’s faces one by one.

Some villagers couldn’t bear with what they saw. They were frightened by Nyai Endit’s loud voice. The Old Man who stood in the first row encouraged himself to move forward to approach Nyai Endit.

“Our respectful Nyai Endit, would you mind helping us, please?” said the Old Man. “We are all having water crisis, Nyai,” he continued.

“Without listening to you, I have already known that this village is having a waterproblem,” answered Nyai Endit.

“So, would you mind helping us, please? Could we get water from your well, Nyai?” asked the Old Man in full of hope.

Nyai Endit watched the Old Man sharply. “Hey! Old Man! It’s no way you can get water from my well!” scolded Nyai Endit.

“Nyai, don’t you feel sorry for us? We have to get water from the river that’s so far away from this village,” asked a villager.

“Hey, it’s not my bussines even if you have to get water from the edge of the world,” Nyai Endit answered.

The villagers were hurt by Nyai Endit’s words. They didn’t want to ask for Nyai Endit’s pity anymore. They left  the courtyard in disappointment.

“What a selfish person,” grumbled one villager as he left Nyai Endit’s courtyard.

“That’s true. We only ask for water but she didn’t want to give us that,” said another villager.

“Oh, come on. It’s not worth complaining. That selfish woman will pay for what she’s done,” said another villager.

Almost all of the villagers were still grumbling about Nyai Endit’s behaviour. Nyai Endit was a very wealthy woman, but she never used it to help others who were in trouble. Not only that, her words often hurt people’s feelings.

“I want to go back to Nyai Endit’s house,” said the Old Man.

“Oh, come on, Sir. We’dbetter get water from the river.  I’m sure that woman will not let us get water from her well,” an older man tried to stop the Old Man.

“I will try once more,” said the Old Man as he turned around.

Without paying attention to the villagers’s words, the Old Man rushed back to Nyai Endit’s house. He felt pity for all the villagers as they would have to struggle to reach the river for water.

“Nyai!” the Old Man shouted.

Busy counting her gold,Nyai Endit was surprised to hear such familiar voice. She immidiately kept the gold in a chest and walked outside.

“Hey, what do you want this time, Old Man?” asked Nyai Endit as she played her goose-feathered fan in her hand.

“Nyai Endit, don’t you feel sorry for the villagers?” asked the Old Man.

“Old Man, tell all the villagers, these wealth is all mine. It came from my own hard work,” said Nyai Endit. “So, it’s all up to me whether I will give you water or not,” she continued.

She stepped back into her house leaving the Old Man standing out there like a statue.

The Old Man took a deep breath. He couldn’t do anything more to see Nyai Endit’s stubbornness. The Old Man left Nyai Endit’s courtyard leaving his walking stick stuck in there.

After the Old Man gone, Nyai Endit came out of the houseto pull out and throw away the stuck stick. All of a sudden, water came from the hole where the Old Man’s stick was. The water became higher and higher. Slowly but sure, Nyai Endit’s house was drowned.

Nyai Endit cried for help but nobody came. In the end, Nyai Endit and all her wealth were completely drowned. Now, that place is called ‘Situ Bagendit’.

***

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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