This is our translation of a legend from the Jambi Province.

Sumatran Tiger at the Jambi Zoo

The village of Kemingking Dalam is located in the Muaro Jambi Regency of the Jambi Province, specifically in the kecamatan named Taman Rajo.

This area is famously known as having various types of produce, and one of them is the famous fruit, durian.

The durian season arrives in Kemingking Dalam one or two times per year, producing an abundance of durian. The durian fruit in this area is famous because, although it’s size isn’t all that large, it does have a very special taste that is sweet and delicious (so some say!).

Every harvest season the people of Kemingking Dalam will gather and wait for the durian to fall from the trees in their orchards. As a united family effort they guard their orchards very carefully, both day and night.

But, when the harvest season has almost concluded, and there are only a few durian fruit still hanging on the trees, the community will only guard the orchards at night. This is the normal way the harvest season is conducted, and it lays the ground work for the following legend.    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The Legend of the Tiger that Ate Durian

Once upon a time the Village of Kemingking Dalam was self-governing with its own king. The citizens of the village lived together in peace and security, being blessed by the leadership of that wise king.

Suddenly, out of the blue, the prosperity of this village was disturbed by the presence of a huge tiger from a kingdom on the other side of the river. The tiger was vicious, fierce, and of course very hungry. That tiger ate all the livestock of the village, and if allowed to continue, it would begin to attack the people, in fact, the tiger had already killed dozens of people, and dozens more were seriously injured.

P. with stuffed Sumatran Tiger: Museum Negeri Jambi.

Seeing this terrible situation develop, the king who was ruling at that time wasn’t able to remain silent. He immediately commanded a soldier, who had supernatural powers, to take control of this situation that had threatened his kingdom.

The soldier, in obedience to the kings command, went to look for the tiger, to chase it out of the kingdom or kill it. When the soldier found the tiger he attacked it, utilizing all the powers he possessed. Even with all his supernatural powers, that powerful tiger broke his sword and spear and the soldier was seriously injured.

Knowing that he no longer had his full strength with which to fight the tiger, the soldier ran from the tiger. Utilizing all the power he had left, he was able to avoid the tiger’s pursuit as long as several seasons. Finally the end of the year arrived and the wounds the soldier received from the tiger were not yet fully healed. After all the effort he expended, and his wounds still not fully healed, he could no longer oppose the tiger. At this time the soldier had arrived in a section the Village of Kemingking Dalam, which at that time the area was full of the sweet aroma which was coming from the durian fruit.

When the soldier arrived at this location and realized he could no longer run, he decided to fight the tiger, no matter what the outcome would be. When the tiger found that the soldier could no longer run, he attacked the solder mercilessly. Both the tiger and the soldier fought with all their skills and abilities. It was then that the soldier saw that there were many durian fruit located right in front of him. He then took the durian fruit, which was full of very sharp long thorns, and used it as a weapon. The soldier began to throw the fruit at the tiger repeatedly. Finally the tiger was seriously wounded and it knew it had been defeated.

When the tiger knew that it was going to be killed, it asked for mercy and forgiveness for all the wrongs it had previously done. He then promised the soldier that he would never again attack the citizens, as long as he would be allowed to feast on some of the durian fruit that was growing in their orchards. Because of the soldiers feelings of pity and compassion, and the sincerity on the face of the tiger, the soldier allowed the tiger to live, under the condition that he wouldn’t ever get forgiveness again if he broke his promise to the soldier.

With having obtained victory over the tiger, the soldier returned to give his report to the king about all that had transpired. He told the king that the promise of the tiger was toward the entire population of the village, and that it should be honored and obeyed. Until now, even though the Village of Kemingking Dalam is still in an area where tigers are known to live, they have never appeared to attack or threaten any of the people in the village again. The tigers only emerge in the black of night when the durian season is almost over to gorge themselves on the durian that was promised.