Towjatuwa and the crocodile

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Information about Towjatuwa and the crocodile

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: wiewien71



A folktale from West Papua
Translated from 33 Cerita Rakyat Menakjubkan by Winarni Puji Astuti, S.Pd

TOWJATUWA AND THE CROCODILE (A folktale from West Papua) Towjatuwa lived in the depth of Papua forest. He really loved his wife. She was expecting a baby. Towjatuwa hoped that his son would grow up to be a good hunter, just like him. Then the time came. His wife was about to deliver their baby. She was crying in pain. Towjatuwa called the midwife and a neighbor to help her. But the baby would not come out. Towjatuwa‟swife could endure the pain no more. “Towjatuwa, it seems that your wife will not be able to give birth normally,” the midwife said. We need a clean sharp tool to get the baby out from the womb. Go find the tool, unless I won‟t be able to help your wife.” Then Towjatuwa went to Tami River to find the tool. He was thinking of a clean sharp rock to cut his wife‟s stomach. He was looking and looking, but still he could not find it. He began to panic. When he was walking among the rocks, he heard someone moaning. Towjatuwa walked towards the sound. He found a crocodile whose tail was stuck under a big rock. Towjatuwa felt sorry for the crocodile. He pulled the rock aside and freed the tail so that the crocodile could move again. The crocodile stretched and yawned. Towjatuwa could see his sharp teeth, he looked ready to eat him. He was very scared. “Don‟t be afraid. I won‟t eat you,” the crocodile said. Towjatuwa was shocked to find that the crocodile could talk. “My name is Watuwe. I am the king of this river. I really appreciate your help. What are you looking for in this river, human?” Towjatuwa braved himself to answer,”I am looking for a sharp rock to help my wife deliver our baby. But I haven‟t found it yet.” “I will help you. This evening, I will visit your house to help her. Now, go home. Wait for me there.” Towjatuwa went home happily. He really hoped the crocodile would help him. He did. That night, Watuwe came to Towjatuwa„s house. He saw Towjatuwa‟s wife who was in great pain. The midwife used Watuwe‟ssharp teeth to

cutTowjatuwa‟swife‟s stomach. Finally, she could deliver the baby safely. After that, Watuwe went back to the river. Towjatuwa was very happy to see his wife and son all safe and sound. Since then, he promised to himself that he and all his descendants would not ever hunt crocodiles or eat their meat. Translated from: 33 Cerita Rakyat Menakjubkan PT MizanPustaka)

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