Story of Kids in English: The Legend of Horn Bills

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This story of kids in English comes from Kalimantan or Borneo, from the story of Dayak Tribe or Suku Dayak. You can find another Indonesian story for children from Kalimantan here. The title is The Crocodiles and The Dayaks.

The Story of Kids in English from Kalimantan - Indonesia

The Legend of Horn Bills

One day in the thick side of Kalimantan Jungle (Borneo Island) there is one of Dayak tribe. His name Ketupong. When he was going for hunting, he saw a bird with strange red eyes. He raised his blowpipes to his mouth. "Pssst" – the dart hit the bird. He bent down to pick it up.

Suddenly, it changes into a beautiful dress made of bird's feathers. He put it in a bamboo container he used for his darts. It was so fine made and soft that it could be folded up into a small space. "Have you seen my dress?" He turned around to see who spoke to him.

A lovely girl was standing behind him. He did not know where she comes from. "Yes, "he said, "here it is. But I must not give it to you unless you promise to marry me." He had never seen such a lovely girl before, and his mother was always telling him to get married.
Horn Bill (

The girl agreed, with one condition that he will never ask her to tell him her name. They were soon married. The next year, they have a son. Ketupong and his wife (he just calls her "wife") are happy together.

They love their son dearly. But, Ketupong often sees her wife looking up at the sky. "What are you staring at?" he asked. But she only shook her head. Then he sees his wife weaving two coats. They are the bright green color with a usual pattern with bird's feathers.

"For whom you make those coats?" he asks. "They are for you and our son, "she answers.

"When I finish making these coats, you can wear them to fly up into the sky."

"I don't want to travel," he said. "Silly," she smiled.

"Don't you know who I am? I am Inchin Temaga, daughter of Singalang Burong. My house is in the sky."

Ketupong surprises. He heard of Singalang Burong. He is the Dayak God of war, a great general who never lost a battle. "In that case, my wife must be a Goddess," he thought to himself.

His wife's body covers with feathers suddenly. In a few minutes, her arms change into wings. Then, she flies into the sky.

He tries to stop her, but it is too late. "Come back! Come- back!" he cried.

Her wife voice becomes floating down, "If you want to visit me, wear the coats I have made for you."

Years went by. All this time, the son is sad that he could not see his mother. He looks so unhappy that his father doesn't know what to do.

"Take me to my mom," the boy cried. "I want to see my mom."

"But how can I fly?" ask his father. Then he remembers the coats which his wife left for them. So they put on the coats.

They immediately feel much lighter. Soon they can fly up into the sky. They see a great palace in front of them. The castle gates open and a man wearing a splendid Dayak war dress appears. He is Singalang Burong.

"Welcome, Ketupong," he roared. "My daughter and I have been waiting for you. Why have you been so long?"

Then Inchin Temaga appears. She is not pleased to see her husband as she heard that he had married again.

"Go back to earth"' she told him. "I know that you have another family now. Our son can stay here with me. My father can teach him a lot. He can follow you later." So Ketupong return to earth.

Singalang Burong pleased to see his grandson. He teaches his grandson many useful things.

One day, a giant named Jumbang killed one of Singalang Burong's men. Then he decided to take revenge to that giant. He takes the boy with him and gives him a lesson about how to face such situation like this.

Singalang Burong was able to defeat the giant. When he returned home, the people are happy and held a feast which lasted three days and nights.

After the feast was over, Singalang Burong pointed to the carving of a strange. He looks bird on top of tall people. The birds’ beak pointed in the direction of the giant's house.

What's that, grandfather?" the boy asked.

"It's a hornbill. It is one of the sacred birds of the Dayak. We believe that it will help us beat our enemies in battle."

Later when the boy returns to earth, he teaches all the Dayak people. He teaches what he had learned from his grandfather.

End of Story of Kids in English: The Legend of Horn Bills

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