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Golden Snail Part 1 as told by Kendro  
Dibawah cerita jaman dulu abad 13,
yang eyang K tulis untuk teman2 di international gamelan list.
Bahasa Inggrisnya model Tarzan.
Terutama untuk temen2 Jawa asal Jawa Timur.
Sayang kalau cerita ini hilang dari permukaan bumi.


Keong emas - The golden snail

King Kertamerta of Daha was at work in his royal office in the palace.
He just accepted Raden Inu Kertaparti son of the Governor of Jenggala Kahuripan,
his marriage proposal, to marry his daughter Candra Kirana.
He was excited because Daha will be politically stronger. Their alliance will deter Blambangan,
Tumapel, Tuban, Gresik, and other areas to revolt against him.
So he called his messenger. He wrote a short message in beautiful Javanese script that look like beansprouts.
King Kertamerta said to his messenger: "Bring this message to the queen, and do not let anyone see this message.
ASAP or I chopped your head off."
Quick like lightning the messenger run to the "gedong kuning" (Yellow pavilion), the residential area in the
palace compound. He gave the note to the queen. The note said, dinner tonight. only the two of us, send the girls out.

Immediately her majesty queen Kertamerta, name unknown,
(a bunch of male chauvinist pigs that time, women got married their names were erased from the face of the earth)
called their two princesses. Princess Galuh Ajeng, about 20, regular, not too pretty, and not too ugly.
The other Princess Candra Kirana, about 18, very beautiful. Miss Universe class.
The king and queen used to tease each other.
The King: "Are you sure Galuh Ajeng is MY daughter." The queen: "I am not sure, YOU are Candra Kirana daddy."
When the two princesses appeared in front of the queen, the queen said: " Here is some money twenty reyals for each of you.
Papa and mama have some kingdom business to discuss at dinner time. You two go out, with chaperones, please,
go to the mall, eat at Royal Hawaiian Hotel dining hall, see a movie or something. Be home by 11:00 pm.
Galuh Ajeng and Candra Kirana yelled of joy:" yahoo, arigatoo mama san."

Dinner was served. The two princesses were out.
King Kertamerta: " mBok Ratu (mama the Queen). I have good news for you.
I accepted Raden Inu Kertapati marriage proposal, he will be our son in law.
The Kingdom of Daha will be super strong with backing from Jengala Kahuripan.
Tax collections from Blambangan, Tumapel, Tuban, Gresik will be smooth like a new BMW on an autobahn.
Daha will be rich, rich, rich"
Queen : " Sinuwun (His highness), that is just great. Let's drink to that, Viva Daha."
King Kertamerta: " I am glad you agree mBok Ratu."
Queen :" And when is the wedding? Galuh Ajeng will be very happy. She will be the next queen of Daha, and Raden Inu Kertapati
will be her prince. Let us drink to that, viva Galuh Ajeng."

King Kertamerta surprised: " Stop stop stop, no, no, no. I accepted his marriage proposal with Candra Kirana, not Galuh Ajeng,"
Queen Kertamerta felt like a truck-full of ice cubes fall on her head. She gasped several times, Then say.
Queen:" Oh noo Sinuwun, please no. Not Candra Kirana, it has to be Gaul Ajeng. If you go ahead with this plan,
we all be dead ducks."
King Kertamerta, confused: " What is wrong with Candra Kirana and Raden Inu Kertapati?"
Queen: " Sinuwun, please drink your cup of kopi tubruk (instant), no cream no sugar, plain black. Wake up, and listen to me
good, with both ears. When our two girls were small, we made a big "ruwatan (ritual performance)
to prevent Lord Kale to eat those girls. There are two girls in a household, the Javanese call it "Kembang
Sepasang" (a pair of flowers), that is a no no according to the Kala law.
Lord Kala is permitted to eat those girls according to Lord Guru.
Because our ritual performance was extra ordinary, Lord Kala forgave us, the two girls are save.
And we promise him not to break any of his law again, The next one, there will be no forgiveness.
Now look at you, you will let the younger girl marry first, and the older one later?
That is "Kidang mlumpat" (jumping deer) . Another Kala law that we can not break. We will be eaten by Lord Kala.
I realy dont want to be stir fried with mushroom, onion, asparages, and soyu sauce, in a great wok, by Lord Kala.
Have mercy on me, please please cancell your plan.
Please please save us Sinuwun."

Part 2 will ollow

Golden Snail Part 2 as told by Kendro  
To answer some questions from readers:

Law of Lord Kala. re: number of child (ren) in a family.
The following will be eaten by Lord Kala, if ruwatan is not performed.
One only - Ontang anting - dangling ornament. (boy or girl)
Two only or twins = Gedana gedini - no English word for it - boy and girl
Kembang sepasang - a pair of flowers - two girls
Uger uger lawang - door posts - two boys
Three only - Sendang apit2 pancuran - a pond between two fountains = boy, girl, boy
in that order
Pancuran apit2 sendang - a fountain between two ponds = girl, boy, girl
in that order
Five only - Pandhawa - the five brothers as in the Mahabarata legend = all boys
Serimpi - Palace court dancers - all girls

Six or more: you will be eaten by md's, hospitals, medication, and educational expenses.

=======================================================================

The next day, at breakfast.
King Kertamerta: "mBok Ratu, don't worry. I will discuss the situation with my advisors. "
Queen:" Sinuwun, please find a way. I will explain gently to Galuh Ajeng and Candra Kirana."
King Kertamerta: " I am off to the office, take care."
Queen: "Have a nice day, Sinuwun."

After the princesses woke up, and while they are having breakfast, the queen explained the delicate situation.
For the strength of the country, Galuh Ajeng must sacrify. To let her younger sister marry earlier.
Unless Galuh Ajeng can find a husband immediately. But at this moment there is no bachelor like Inu Kertapati,
Mr. Daha himself, available in the country.
No response from the two princesses. Quiet. But after a while.
Galuh Ajeng: " No way Jose. I am the Putri Pambayun (first child/female of a king) The kingdom will be mine.
Not Candra Kirana. And I am not about to put ads on Radio, TV, Newspaper, that I am looking for a husband.
Wanted a: husband? What an insult, insult, insult."
With that Galuh Ajeng put her Adidas running shoes, running sweatpants and shirt, left the yellow hall, flew to her
retired Simbok Emban (Indoor maid that carry babies on her side or back with a slendang). Her name is Simbok
Madusari (Mama the essence of honey), living not too far from the palace.

The queen and Candra Kirana, like the Hawaiian say: "No can do nothing."
They both felt real bad, but understand how Galuh Ajeng must feel.
They both retired from the dining area, and do what queens ad princesses do during the day.

Simbok Madusari seeing Galuh Ajeng running into the house, with tear in her eyes, said:
Madusari: " My baby, what is the matter. Tell simbok the problems, I will help you with my heart and soul,
with my life and death."
Galuh Ajeng: "Ooo mbok, help me. I am about to lose the kingdom to my younger sister. She will be married
to Inu Kertapati. She will jump over me. Pa and Ma agreed for the sake of the kingdom.
Ooo please help."
Madusari, hugged Galuh Ajeng: " O child, poor child, I will find a way. As a putri pambayun, don't show your emotion.
Be brave, like a queen should. Of course I will help you. Sit down next to me,
and have tea and some pisang goreng (banana fritters)."
Madusari brains started churning.
She expected big things for her retirement, when Galuh Ajeng ascended to the throne of Daha.
After a while, after Galuh Ajeng calmed down, she said: "Eureka, this is what we are going to do. Did you learn from the USA presidential elections? How the candidates slinging mud to each other? They are accusing each other, of being corrupt, womanizer, in the pocket of special interest groups, rigging votes, anti black, anti Hispanic, anti gay, pro abortions and etc.
Well, I can do the same thing, I Madusari the caretaker of Galuh Ajeng the future Queen of Daha vow to help Galuh Ajeng to win the throne of Daha."
Galuh Ajeng: " Simbok Madusari, is that fair?"
Madusari:" O child to win a kingdom, every way is the correct way. So don't worry, go back to the palace, I will start my mudslinging campaign immediately. Go child go."
Galuh Ajeng run back to the palace, meet the queen and her sister Candra Kirana, and say: "I am very sorry, for being emotional."

Part 3 will follow

Golden Snail Part 3 as told by Kendro  
The mud slinging campaign by simbok Madusari, to show how good Galuh Ajeng is,
and how bad Candra Kirana, King Kertamerta the queen and Inu Kertapati are,
succeeded very well. Her well being depends on Galuh Ajeng to be the next queen of Daha..
She started from the "pelosok2, daerahs" (villages, other areas) out side Daha.
Like Blambangan, Tumapel, Gresik, Jenggala, Tuban and others, and finally to Daha itself.
The King popularity ratings (by reliable pre Gallup polls), and the approval rating,
dropped to below twenty percents, with more than several thousand participating in the poll.
Statements like:
"The King is not a good Hindu, he lets Candra Kirana to do "jumping deer" over her sister."
"The Governor of Jenggala paid a big sum of money to let his son to marry Candra Kirana."
"The king is a corruptor."
"Candra Kirana and Inu Kertapati, played "kong kong kalingkong" (untranslatable), may be Candra Kirana is pregnant."
"Galuh Ajeng will not give any comments re: Candra Kirana jumping the gun. She is a very dignified putri Pambayun."
And etc etc.
Ask any PR companies on 5th avenue; if lies are repeated several million times, it become facts.
(Check also with presidential elections all over the world)

On the next cabinet meeting King Kertamerta blew his top.
Kertamerta: "How come a bunch of smart ministers like you all,
can not protect me from all those innuendos, My name is mud.
Look at my rating, less than 20%. Do something or I will fire you all."
All the ministers look down, they watch flies attacking their "lemper" (Javanese sushi), fried bananas,
and the warm sweet tea. Hawaiian pidgin say: "Nobody say nothing."
Finally one elderly king's adviser:"Sinuwun, actually it is your own fault, for accepting Inu Kertapati marriage proposal.
It is to be a secret, till Galuh Ajeng marry first. Somehow somebody in this group or in the palace leak the secret to the press
radio and TV. What a mess."
Kertamerta: " Ok ok ok I accept that error, but who is the "leaker"? What do we do now?"
Adviser: "This is what we do, we will send Candra Kirana to Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, to study Government
Administration. Check with Ibu Irene Ritchie, our great friend, in Melbourne. Ask Candra Kirana to travel incognito, change her name to Dewi Sekartaji. After graduation I am very sure she can be the great queen, of Daha"
Kertamerta: "Terima kasih banyak banyak, my clever adviser. Then I am very sure my rating will go high again.
Meeting is adjourned. I will do the necessary steps immediately"

So he did. He called the queen, Galuh Ajeng, and Candra Kirana. As a king should, he is giving orders now.
He said: "Alright all, listen good. My rating is down to 20%, I have to raise it. Or I will be the laughing joker in whole Java.
Tomorrow Candra Kirana will leave for Australia to study. (He repeated the adviser's plan)
She will leave from the Royal Pier of the Brantas River to Surabaya. (Kediri the capital of Daha, is on the Brantas River. The Brantas river originated from the hills in Malang, to become a big river that run thru Tulungagung, Blitar, Kediri, Kertosono then to Surabaya, into the strait of Madura) ) From Surabaya there will be personnel from the Australian Shipping Co, She will help her with her passport, exit permit, student visa to travel to Denpasar, via the strait of Bali, Gilimanuk, then stop at DenPasar.
She can watch Barong and Rangdha if she want to. Then to Darwin. On land to Alice Spring, then to Melbourne to see Ibu Irene Ritchie. Understood? The queen, Galuh Ajeng, and I will stay in Daha. We will inform the world that Candra Kirana is meditating to become a lady hermit on top of the holy mountain Arjuno, (SE of Kediri). And there will be no questions and answers session, just do what I say"

Galuh Ajeng was flabbergasted, now her sister is going to college. What about her, the putri pambayun? Candra Kirana may come home later with a Ph.D. in Government Administration. Oh nooo. Unfair, unfair, unfair. I must run to see simbok Madusari.
She will find a way, to save me and my kingdom.
She told the queen: " Mom I am going to run 6 miles today, to I stay skinny. I will be back before supper"
The queen: " Go ahead Galuh, exercising will do you good."
Actually she run shorter than that, to see Simbok Madusari her Simbok Emban.

When Simbok Madusari saw Galuh Ajeng coming to her house, crying again, louder in fact, she can not believe it.
She hug her, and said: "What is the matter now? We won didn't we? You will be the next queen, because Candra Kirana name is mud now?" Galuh Ajeng told everything to her. Simbok Madusari is really mad now, all her campaign, all her effort failed.
The Indonesian say: "Senjata makan Tuan." (The weapon kills the owner.)

Madusari: "Child go home now, I will see the neighborhood "dhukun" (shaman) See what she can do to help you."
Galuh Ajeng left Madusari house, doing the real six miles. Madusari walk to see the lady shaman, Grandma Fiery Frog
(Simbah Canthuko-mowo)
Grandma Fiery Frog: "Come in Madusari, you look good. You are not sick, looking for medicine, are you?"
Madusari: " Oo wise one, you knew what I am coming for. But here are: cigarette kretek (clove's cigarettes), incense, and tobacco.
as our gift to you."
Grandma Fiery Frog: " Thank you, now explain your requests."
Madusari:" Galuh Ajeng and I begging your help, to stop Candra Kirana from leaving Java. And prevent her to be the next queen of Daha. Without killing her though, we simply can not face the consequences, facing Lord Yama and Durga later.
She plan to leave for Surabaya from the Royal Pier on the Brantas. She changed her appearance, and her name is Dewi Sekartaji."
Grandma Fiery Frog: "No problemo, simple like squeezing ripe tomatoes."

Grandma Fiery Frog went inside her lab.
After about five minutes, she came out and said: "Madusari here is a vial of holy water.
And the second one is a very potent powder in an envelope , like agent orange."
Madusari: " What do I do with it?"
Grandma Fiery Frog: "Come closer, I whisper into your ears, the way to do it."
After Madusari understand the instructions, she said thank you.
She run to the Royal Pier on the Brantas, and check Departure and Arrival list of all ships, docking at the pier, for tomorrow am.
She found one boat leaving at 8:00 am. to Surabaya.

The next morning, after clean up, at 7:00 am she drink the holy water from Grandma Fiery Frog.
Whalla she became a "gagak ireng" (a black raven.)
She carry the envelope containing the agent orange like powder in her beak and fly to the Surabaya bound boat.
Gagak Ireng perched on top of the mast of the boat,
When dewi Sekartaji, alone, boarding the boat, Gagak Ireng waited patiently.
Finally dewi Sekartaji went to the railing of the boat, with tears in her eyes, waving good bye to the city she loved,
Kediri the capital of Daha, famous with their "Yellow firm Tofu" now.
Right there and then Gagak Ireng, Black Raven, simbok emban of Galuh Ajeng, swooped down ward toward Sekartaji aka Candra Kirana with the potent powder. She bombed Sekartaji with the envelope, right smack on her head.
Sekartaji face was covered with the magic yellow powder, she fell in the river, and instantly became the famous,
long awaited "Golden Snail".

part 4 ending wil follow

Golden Snail Part 4 as told by Kendro  
For several months, Candra Kirana aka Sekartaji, the young princess of Daha, lived like a golden snail on the bottom
of the river Brantas. She chose to stay on the edge of the river, eating moss day in day out. The center of the river is deep and dangerous. She pray to Lord Wenang, Shiwa, Durga, and others for her safety. Unknown to her, the stream of the river pushed her farther away from Daha Kediri, toward Mojoagung. (The site of the Majapahit Kingdom.)

Worst yet, Simbok Emban Madusari, now a black raven, must protect the golden snail.
She promised Galuh Ajeng to keep Candra Kirana alive. For months. she too perched on trees next to the river bank.
Eating raw fish (not even sliced sashimi style, with shoyu and mustard), frogs, worms and other raw stuff.
She longed for her old warm bed in her cozy home in Daha. Having coffee tubruk in the mornings, nasi goreng istimewa (extra ordinaire fried rice), srabi (javanese pancake) with coconut syrup, rujak (hot fruit salad), and other delicatessen,

One rainy morning, cold and miserable, our black raven can not stand it anymore.
She said to herself: "What am I doing here? Punishing a young innocent princess. And punishing myself. Hoping to find a great job when her sister is crowned the queen of Daha. Am I crazy or what? And Galuh Ajeng is enjoying herself in the palace.
What if she is not selected as the next queen. I better fly back to Daha to see Simbah Fiery Frog. Immediately"

So she did. The distance Mojoagung to Kediri, can be done in 30 minutes with your Mercy 450 SL cabriolet, now.
But in the 13th century, our poor black raven must flap flappety flap with her wet wings, for several hours.
At noon or so, she arrived at Simbah Canthuko Mowo, our shaman. She was exhausted, knocked on the door with her
tired beak: " Knock, knock, knock."
Grandma F. F. " I know you. No need to identify your self. The door is open. Come in."
Black raven: " O honorable grandma, have mercy. Million mercies."
Grandma F.F.: "Now, what?
Black raven: "Ooh please I am tired, I am exhausted, I am hungry, please change me back into simbok Madusari, please."
Grandma F.F.: "That will be very easy, but then the minute you become Madusari, the golden snail will be the beautiful Candra Kirana again. Plus interest too, because she was doing non stop praying, while she was under water.
And all the Lords in Suralaya (heaven) will grant her her requests."
Black raven:" Oh I don't care, she deserves it. I am guilty, the law of Karma will be in effect, Galuh Ajeng and I will suffer."
Grandma F.F.: " I am glad, you know, the English saying is, "you will reap what you sow." If you are ready, stand still."
Grandma F.F. pointed her bend arthritic right pointer. In a second the black raven became a wet simbok Madusari.
Grandma F.F, feed her, nasi rawon, (rice with black colored beef soup,) with sambel kemiri (candle nut hot pepper paste)
krupuk udhang (fried shrimp chip) and fresh bean sprouts. Da best!! Make me home sick, try it if you are in East Java.

At that same time when our black raven decided to fly back to Daha, an old widow from the village of Mojoreno arrived at the edge of the river, in the same area where our golden snail swim . (caution: old Javanese stories always have a "poor widow from a certain village", no name just the widow from such and such. No widower neither. The ladies outlive their hubbies, just like now)
Anyway she earned money selling dry twigs and branches to the big market in Mojoagung. She also have a fish net, to catch small fish swimming on the bank of the river Brantas, for her snack. After collecting enough dry wood, she try her luck with her fish net. Ahter she scooped the net in the river, walla that net is full with snails. Our French friends will just love it, escargot!!!
And one of them is a golden snail. She said to her self: "why bother to walk to the market in Mojoagung, I can go home and have a sate kerang (another East Java delicacy, escargot on sticks on charcoal) with hot peanut butter sauce. Its raining its miserable."
So she dropped her twigs and branches bundle. Walk home happily with her fish net full with escargot.

At home after drying her self "the widow of Mojoreno" separate the golden snail from the rest. She kept the golden snail in a
bucket, It is too beautiful to be consumed. Before she is able to start washing the escargot, a blinding white flash of light came from the bucket, where the golden snail was. It was exactly the same time the black raven became simbok Madusari.
A beautiful young lady stood in front the widow from Mojoreno. It is princess Candra Kirana.

The widow from Mojoreno was scared to death, she did not know who she is. She prostrated in front of the young lady,
and said: " Oo Holy Lampor (river ghost), Goddess of the river Brantas, daughter of Baruno (Lord of all the oceans in the world),
have mercy on me, for stealing those escargot. Please, punish me." Tears roll from her eyes.
Before Candra Kirana answers her, the twin Lord Sadhana and the Goddess Sri arrived in the widow's hut. Lord Sadhana explained everything to the widow. Candra Kirana said thank you to the widow for saving her.
Then the Goddess Sri created a hot meal for the three of them, and blessed the widow. She will be able to catch one big fish everyday for her daily meal from the river, the rest of her life. After that Lord Sadhana and the Goddess Sri bid farewell to Candra Kirana and the widow. That was part of the boon for the golden snail.

Next come Lord Kamajaya and the goddess Ratih, the two love birds of Suralaya. The goddess Ratih dressed Candra Kirana properly, and the three of them flew to Jenggala to meet Inu Kertapati, the son of the governor of Jenggala.
The governor of Jenggala is very happy to see Candra Kirana, and Lord Kumajaya and the goddess Ratih.
Lord Kumajaya explained everything to the governor and his son Inu Kertapati, and asked the Governor of Jenggala to take care of Candra Kirana. While the mess in Daha Kediri can be solved. She warned Candra Kirana and Inu Kertapati, to remember the Indonesian kroncong (music) saying:
empat dan empat, jadi delapan. (four plus four, is exactly eight)
boleh dilihat, dipegang jangan. (you may watch each other, but no touch touch.)
With that Kumajaya and Ratih flew back to Suralaya.

Now, it is the turn, of Lord Narada, the brother of Shiwa (the upper lord in Suralaya) to visit Daha Kediri.
He called King and Queen Kertamerta, princess Galuh Ajeng, and simbok Madusari.
After they got together, he said: "Shame on you, you forgot to pray the Lords or what. You can ask for advice you know."
All four trembled of fear. Together they said: "Have mercy Lord Narada, we will follow your guidance, from now on."

Lord Narada:" Ok. here is what you must do. Have a big wedding for Candra Kirana and Inu Kertapati.
Then make Candra Kirana the queen of Daha, later. She suffered enough.
Galuh Ajeng, you dont need to attend the wedding, its to painfull for you. Your mom and dad will send you to Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Contact Ibu Irene for detailed information. Take courses in Government Administration.
Dont goof off, after you get your Ph D, come home. Your sister will send you to Peking China to be the Daha Kediri's ambassador.
Bring simbok Madusari with you, may be she can learn how to make "crispy Peking duck."
The four answered: "Yes lord Narada , we will follow your order."

With that the long story of the golden snail is over.







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