Author: Meka Kawasari Editor: Herlina Sitorus Illustrator: Maman Mantox Translator: Ratih Soe Proofreader: Dameria Damayanti Origin: Bali

Boom! Boom! Boom!

In a village in Bali, a giant was walking cheerfully. His name was short enough, Kebo Iwa. Being a giant, his body was enormous and his voice was loud. Not only that, he also had tremendous power.

“Good morning, mister village head. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,“ Kebo Iwa showed his large teeth.

“Good morning, Kebo Iwa. Wow, what a coincidence.  Can you help us build a temple?“ asked the village head.

“All right, but as usual, provide plenty of good food, okay?” pleaded Kebo Iwa. The village heads nodded in agreement.

Kebo Iwa was a helpful and kind giant. He was willing to help the villagers make a temple, a house or anything else needed by the residents. The villagers were happy. They considered Kebo Iwa as a friend. However, Kebo Iwa always asked for food. Because of his humongous body, he could eat a thousand adult food ration. Eventually, Kebo Iwa became dependent upon the villagers. Each time he felt hungry, he approached the residents to to ask for food.


Drought struck. Food supplies increasingly decreased. They villagers worried that, if the rain would not come, crops could fail. Livestock could die. Not to mention they had to face the anger Kebo Iwa, if there was no food for him.

“Boo hoo…  Mister village head, I’m hungry! “Kebo Iwa rubbed his rumbling stomach.

“Forgive us, kind Kebo Iwa.” The village head clasped his hands in front of his chest. “Our food supply is running low, the rain did not fall,” said the village head.

“I do not care, you’ve promised to always prepare food for me!” said Kebo Iwa with reddened eyes.

Kebo Iwa vented his anger, damaging the villagers’ houses in one blow. Not only that, the temples, cattle sheds, and barns were destroyed by Kebo Iwa. Feeling scared, the residents ran into the woods to avoid the wrath of Kebo Iwa. When the residents had fled and many buildings had been destroyed, Kebo Iwa took some food supplies he had found, and ate it greedily.

Yum… Yum… Yum…

In the woods, the village chief discussed with the residents. They thought of a way to reconcile with Kebo Iwa so he would not go berserk when starving. The village chief will speak well to Kebo Iwa. While waiting for the right time, villagers gathered food in the forest.


The long-awaited time had arrived. It was safe, Kebo Iwa was no longer furious. The village chief went to see Kebo Iwa who was sitting down, leaning against a large rock.

“Kebo Iwa, sorry we could not provide food for you.” The village head sat in front of Kebo Iwa.

“I’ve forgiven you. Forgive me too for having damaged your homes. But, I hate it when you do not feed me,“ said Kebo Iwa sullenly.

“Please cooperate with us. The villagers needed water for plants and animals to survive. That way we can provide food for you,“ said the village chief cautiously.

“Make us a very deep well. And please renovate the houses and temples. We will provide food after your job is finished, “said the village head vigorously.

“All right, mister village head. I’ve always been happy to help your people, “said Kebo Iwa with joy.

The villagers and Kebo Iwa worked together to repair homes, temples and wells. Villagers collect limestone for lining the walls. Kebo Iwa made well by digging the ground. Day by day, Kebo Iwa managed to make a deep well hole. The mound at the edge of the hole was even taller than limestone pile next to it.

Kebo Iwa, who was exhausted, slept soundly in the well. His snores echoed to remote areas in the villages. Imperceptibly, the water from the wellbore has been out and getting high. Kebo Iwa had not woken up. His snoring got even louder. The limestone pile near the mound quivered and fell into the pit because of Kebo Iwa’s snoring. Kebo Iwa woke up when the hot water mixed with lime began to clog the nose. It was too late.  Poor Kebo Iwa could not manage to escape.

The villagers ran aimlessly topsy-turvy, when the well water continued to flow out of the hole. The overflowing water wells formed a lake. The lake was named Batur. The mound which then hardened formed a mountain called Mount Batur.

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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