Timun Mas Tale : Tale about Hard Work for Children

Timun Mas was a beautiful, smart and brave girl. That was why her mother loved her so much. Oneday when a giant wanted to eat her, she could escaped and defeated him. And this is the story…

Once upon a time in Central Java, lived a widow. He husband died few years ago, and she lived alone as she had no children. She always wanted to have a child to spend her day. She prayed day and night that she would have children. One night she dreamed that she met a giant that asked her to forest where she usually went for woods, there she should took something wrapped under big tree. When she woke up she did not really believe it. She was thinking that miracle seemed to be impossible. She tried to remove her doubt and went to the wood as he dream. She did not find a baby wrapped under big tree, but cucumber seed. She wondered why would the giant gave her cucumber seed?

Giant came behind her and laugh. The widow was scared as said ” Please do not eat me, Giant. I want to live”

The Giant said ” Do not be afraid, i will not eat you. Do you want a child, don’t you? If so, plant the seed and you will have baby girl. But remember, you should give her to me when she grow up, and i will eat her’.

The widow spontaneously said yes as she really wanted a child. The Giant disappeared after the widow   stated her agreement.  The widow plant the seed and took care of the plants well. 2 months later it has fruit, only one fruit. The fruit was getting bigger and bigger and the size was bigger than usual cucumber, and the color was golden color. When the fruit ripe, she picked it and brought it into her hut. When she cut the cucumber, she found a beautiful baby girl inside it. She named her Timun Mas or Golden Cucumber.

She was so happy. She raised her with love. Timun mas grew up as pretty young lady that made her mother proud. She was also smart and very gentle and polite. The widow loved her very much. The widow forgot that one day she should give her daughter to The Giant.

One night, The Giant came to The Widow’s dream and he said that within one week he would come to pick Timun Mas up. When she woke up she was very sad. She knew that The Giant had an evil nature, as he would make Timun Mas as meal. Timun Mas worried seeing her mother dreamy everyday for few days. She asked her ” Mother, what bothers you that lately you look very sad?” Actually The Widow did not want to tell her daughter, as she did not want her daughter to be sad and worry. But as her daughter insisted, she finally told her about how she got baby, and the Giant condition. Timun Mas was shocked knowing this. She said she did not want to be picked up by The Giant, as she loved her mother.

The Widow tried to find away to save her daughter’s life. And finally she found an idea about asking Timun Mas to pretend to be sick. As The Giant said in The Widow dream, at dusk on that day, The Giant appeared to her hut. He asked ” Where is the girl? I want to take her now”. The Widow answered ” My apologies, but she is very sick now. If you eat her now, she would not be delicious enough. What if you come here three days later, i will make her recovery first”. The Giant agreed and left the hut.

The Widow then thought about other way to save her daughter. She went to an ascetic living on a mountain slope. She told the ascetic as told him her problem. He would like to help. He gave a small pack to The Widow, the contains are cucumber seed, needle, salt and shrimp pasta (terasi). She accept the pack, said her gratitude to the ascetic and returned home. She gave the pack to her daughter and asked her to prepare when The Giant came.

Three days later, the Giant came to her hut and he asked her to bring Timun Mas to him. She called Timun Mas. The Giant was happy to know that the girl had grew up. But Timun Mas ran as fast as she could. The Giant after her. After she ran for quiet long distance, she was exhausted. She open the packed gave by her mother, and she throw cucumber seed. Miraculously, the forest where where she was turned to large cucumber field. Cucumber tendril crept over The Giant’s body. But he could release himself after trying hard. He ran after Timun Mas again. Timun Mas threw needles and suddenly  the area was covered by tall and sharp bamboos. The Giant, again, could through the bamboo forest though his feel were bleeding by the bamboos. Timun Mas threw salt from the pack and miraculously the forest she was in became a wide and deep ocean, but again The Giant could cross it. Timun Mas worried as she only had one weapon left, terasi. If this could not stop him forever, she will be The Giant’s meal. She threw terasi and miraculously a boiling ocean of mud was created. The Giant died inside the mud ocean. Timun Mas was safe.

Timun Mas returned to her mother and they lived together happily.

This tale is very popular among Indonesian children. The message of this tale is that by hard work, nothing is impossible. The Widow and Timun Mas tried hard to save Timun Mas from The Giant, and finally they could make it.