Kancil Story

The Kancil Stories or the tales of Sang Kancil are the compilation of traditional folklore about a clever Kancil. It is a popular fables children story in Malay and Javanese culture in Malaysia and Indonesia.[1] A weak and small yet cunning figure, the Sang Kancil (mouse deer)[2] uses its intelligent advantage to triumph over beings more powerful than itself. The protagonist of the story is the Kancil, a smart and sly mouse deer. He can fool the other animals to escape from trouble. The Kancil story is very famous in Malaysia and Indonesia, comics and cartoons often based on the Kancil story. This folklore character is similar to the American figure Br'er Rabbit. Following stories are the examples of Kancil Stories.

Kancil and the Farmer or Kancil steals Cucumber

One day, Kancil is trying to steal cucumbers from a farmer's field. The first time, he steals some cucumbers successfully. But then, he encounters a scarecrow. He mocks the scarecrow because it cannot scare off Kancil. Kancil punches the scarecrow with his front leg, but his front leg gets stuck in the scarecrow. The scarecrow has been filled with glue by the farmer. Kancil forcefully tries to pull out his leg, but it is useless; the glue is too strong. Then later on, the farmer comes. He laughs at Kancil, who has finally been trapped by his plans. He puts Kancil in a cage for the rest of the day. Later at night, the farmer's dog comes to see Kancil. He mocks Kancil and says that Kancil will be cooked the next morning. Kancil stays calm and relaxed. The dog confused and asks Kancil why. Kancil says,"You were wrong, I'm not going to be cooked! I'm going to be a prince!" The dog becomes more confused. "I will marry the farmer's daughter and I will become a prince. I feel sorry for you, all of your loyalties were paid just like this! You just become a dog! Look at me! Tomorrow I'll become a prince!" says Kancil proudly. The dog, who feels discriminated against by his own master, asks Kancil to switch place. He thinks that by switching place with Kancil, he will become a prince instead. So he opens the cage and lets Kancil free. The next morning, the farmer is confused, because he does not see Kancil anywhere; instead, he sees his own dog in the cage, wagging his tail.

Kancil and the Elephant

One day, Kancil is trapped in a hole made by the hunters. He screamed for help but no one heard him. He thinks it is hopeless for him to escape from the trap. He waited and waited until an elephant came. Kancil has an idea. He said, "Hurry, come down here! Come down and seek shelter with me because the sky is falling!" The elephant, confused yet terrified, foolishly followed Kancil's order and jumped down into the hole. Quickly Kancil hopped on the elephant's body and then hopped out of the hole, leaving the elephant trapped in the hole.

Kancil and the Crocodile

One day, Kancil wants to cross a river. But the river is full of hungry crocodiles. The crocodiles will eat Sang Kancil if he crosses the river. Eventually, Kancil has an idea. He said to the crocodiles, "You cannot eat me unless you make a row!" "Why must we do that?" replies one of the crocodiles. "The King wants to make a festival and he wants me to count all the animals in the jungle." said Kancil. Believing Kancil's words, the crocodiles follow his order and make a row of crocodiles. Kancil quickly hops from one crocodile to another until he reaches the other side of the river, leaving the angry crocodiles far behind.

Sang Kancil and the Tiger

One day, as the mousedeer was drinking on the river, suddenly a tiger came who wanted to eat him. Sang Kancil tried to escape, but the tiger was faster than he was. Cornered by the tiger, Sang Kancil tried to think how to escape. While thinking he praised the tiger who, eaten by the words, forgot to eat Sang Kancil. Then the mousedeer said to the tiger, "Your mightiness and toughness are very great! But my king has a greater strength than yours! Nobody can match his!" Feeling taunted, the tiger declared he would challenge this king. The mousedeer escorted him to the king and led the tiger to the river, saying, "Look at the water and you will see my king." The tiger looked into the river and saw another tiger in the water. He growled, but the "king", his reflection, growled too. Then he jumped into the water, believing there was another tiger there. The mousedeer took this opportunity to escape. After fighting with himself in the river, the tiger realized it was only his reflection! Fooled by Kancil, the Tiger wanted revenge and continues to hunt mousedeer down to this day.


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