I was cleaning up my old stuff that I brought from Indonesia the other day and found one torn-apart book. That was my elementary school book!! I went through pages and remember that one of my teachers used to give us assignment to write tales/legends/fables and present it in front of the class, oh my God I still remember those groggy moments :D
Anyway, one of the ‘story’ I presented at that time was about the legend of Danau Toba/Lake Toba, here goes the tale…
Once upon a time there was a man living in the area of the present day Danau Toba (Lake Toba). He lived in a simple hut in a farming field, did some gardening and fishing for his daily life. One day he caught a big golden fish in his trap. It was the biggest catch he ever had in his life.
Back home this fish turned into a beautiful princess. He felt in love with her and proposed her to be his wife. She said yes with one condition… the man had to promise not to tell a soul about the secret that she was once a fish, otherwise there would be a huge disaster. The man made the deal and they got married and had a daughter.
Few years later, this daughter would help bringing lunch to her father out in the fields. One day, this daughter was so hungry and she ate his father’s lunch. He found out and got furious, and shouted “You damned daughter of a fish”.
The daughter ran home and asked her mother. The mother started crying, felt sad that her husband had broke his promise. She told her daughter to run up the hills because a huge disaster was about to come. When her daughter left, she prayed. Soon there was a big earthquake followed by non-stop pouring rain. The princess also ran from the house, and each footprint she left became a natural spring. The whole area got flooded and became Lake Toba. The princess turned into a fish again and the man became the island of Samosir (the big island in the middle of Lake Toba).
There are tons of tales from North Sumatra that I learned from my parents and relatives. Back then I used to believe that every place, every river, every house, every stone, every banyan tree had their own story that would wow us as kids :)
Hmm I should find that tale about Hutabarat woman who got curse because she felt in love with a snake…