The New Sang Kancil Tales

United we stand

May 30th, 1999

Once upon a time, in an enchanted forest far, far way, there lived a buffalo, a seladang, a dragon and a deer. The animals lived happily together and the land was peaceful. But one day, Sang Kancil the Mousedeer appeared before them, panting and out of breath. "Terrible news! A ferocious tiger has come to our enchanted forest. He has killed many animals and the whole forest now lives in fear. He is coming for you now and has sworn to kill you all!"

The buffalo said, "I am big and my horns are sharp ... but will it be enough to drive him away?"

The seladang agreed, "My horns are even longer and sharper, but I fear that I alone may not be able to stop him"

The dragon said "I can breath my fire upon him ... but the tiger is quick and clever, and he may escape my flames ... "

The deer said "I can wound him with my antlers and run like the wind ... but what if he attacks me from behind?"

"I think we all agree that you alone cannot stop this tyrant," the wise Sang Kancil said. "But I can take you to a clearing in the forest where you can wait for him. And if you all stand together and turn your tails to one another, you will be able to fight him off, whichever direction he may approach you"

They agreed and they made their way to the clearing. The buffalo faced the west, towards Mecca, and prayed to God for strength and guidance. Standing behind him, the dragon faced east, towards the rising sun and called upon his ancestors for their blessings. Standing alongside them, the seladang faced south star, vowing to protect the weak animals from the tiger's cruelty. And the deer stood behind him, facing the northern star, and he vowed to forever destroy the tigerís tyranny.

Moments later the tiger arrived. "Ahhh! There you are ....," he growled. "I will now show you who is King of this Jungle!" And he pounced on the four.

But no matter from which direction he came, he was beaten back, wounded and defeated. When he attacked from the west, the buffalo plunged his horns towards his side. When the tiger tried to attack him from behind, the dragon's flames singed his fur and made him flee. And when he came from the south, the seladang charged boldly and when he came from the north, the deer's antlers made him bleed even more.

For days, the tiger kept attacking and was beaten back. Day by day, the tiger grew weaker and weaker, and the four animals grew more and more confident. They were drunk with victory. "It is my long horns that have kept him at bay." said the buffalo. "I am by far the strongest of us four!"

"I have horns too," said the seladang. "But it is my courage alone that has kept us alive!"

"Your horns are nothing compared to my searing flames." the dragon cried haughtily. "It is I alone whom the tiger fears."

"You would all be dead were it not for my sharp antlers piercing his side," the deer declared. "I am without doubt the strongest!"

And the four of them quarreled among themselves like this for days, while the tiger watched and waited from a distance, licking his wounds, growing stronger every passing day. "I am the strongest!" "No! I am by far the stronger!" "Nonsense! I am the strongest!" "Fools! Can you not see that I am the strongest?!"

Finally, they quarreled so much that they all separated and went their own way. "I can take that tiger on my own, I'll show you!" said the Buffalo, as he galloped to the west. "Not if I get him first ... I'm faster than you!" said the deer, as he skipped northwards.

"You will all run at the first sight of the tiger ...." said the seladang, thundering to the south. "I am braver than you and I will kill him first!"

"I will burn him to a crisp before you all can come near him," the dragon said as he raced eastwards.

"Fools! Fools! Forget your pride and arrogance!" Sang Kancil cried out to them as they disappeared into the four corners of the forest. "United we stand, divided we fall!" But his words just echoed among the trees, unheeded.

And indeed, the buffalo was big and his horns were sharp ... but they were not enough to kill the tiger. And the tiger killed him.

And though the brave seladang's horns were even longer and sharper, but that alone was not able to stop the tiger, and he too died.

And the dragon shot his flames at the tiger but the tiger was too quick and clever, and the dragon too was mauled.

And the speed of the deer could not save him when the tiger hid from behind a bush and pounced on his back.

And because the animals were proud and arrogant and would not stand united, the tiger ruled the forest with cruelty and fear for many years to come.

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