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

The Legend of Sitiha and Sisiti

Ibu Kandungku Seekor Kuncing–“My Mother is a Cat”

(Some have written this legend with the names of the two girls being Mimi and Mini.)

A long time ago two teenage girls came to visit the home of Sitiha and Sisiti. They were amazed when they saw that Sitiha and Sisiti were giving food to a cat using an extremely nice plate. Usually cats are given food on a banana leaf.

Banana leafs are commonly used as plates throughout Indonesia.

One of the visiting teenagers said, “Why are you giving food to that cat on such a nice plate”?

Quietly and with a little embarrassment, Sitiha replied, “Because this cat is the mother that gave birth to both me and my sister.”

The two visitors felt very bad they had asked the question, because they saw it embarrassed Sitiha and Sisiti. Without delay, the two visitors said they had to leave.

After hearing and seeing how the two visitors acted, Sitiha and Sisiti felt humiliated because their mother was only a cat. Sisiti and Sitiha began to search for a different mother. They were embarrassed to have a cat as their mother.

The cat then said, “Go ahead daughters. Look for another mother instead of me, if you don’t want to be insulted for having a cat as your mother.”

Sitiha and Sisiti speaking with the sun.

Sisiti and Sitiha then went to the sun and said, “Hey sun, we desire to have you as our mother. Would you be willing to do so, or not”?

The sun replied, “Yes, I would be happy to become your mother, but you must know that if a cloud comes it will block me off. Maybe it would be so much better if the cloud would become your mother.”

Sisiti and Sitiha then went to the cloud and asked, “Cloud, we would like to invite you to become our mother, would you like to or not?”

The cloud said, “Yes, I would love to become your mother, but if the wind would come, I would be hurled against mountains. If you want my opinion, maybe it would be a little better if you would invite the mountain to become your mother.”

Sisiti and Sitiha then went to the mountain and asked, “Hey mountain, we would like to ask if you would want to become our mother.”

The mountain responded, “Yes, it would be wonderful to have you two as my daughters, but I have a weakness. If you would look at my slopes, you will find that there are many holes. Those holes were made by mice. I think that it would be a whole lot better for you if you would ask a mouse to become your mother.

Indonesian cats have a short tail that is curled, somewhat like pig’s tail.

Sisiti and Sitiha then went to the place where they could find a mouse, and they asked one mouse there, “Mouse, we would like to know if you would be willing to become our mother. Would you like to become our mother or not?”

The mouse replied, “It would be great to have a couple of nice daughters like you, but I have a large enemy that is very strong, namely the cat. All mice are afraid of cats, so I suggest that both of you go and invite a cat to become your mother.”

Sitiha and Sisiti realized that their real mother was impossible of being replaced. Finally they returned home and they found that their mother had been waiting for them. When they entered the home Sitiha and Sisiti gently and lovingly petted their mother, showing total love and acceptance.