15 April 2013
16644 / C
Folklore and Mythology
Kancil, The Story That Has a Lot of Messages
Indonesia is a country that consists of many cultures. There are over 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia. Every region in this country has its own story that exist from generation to generation. Fables, is the kind of story that famous in Indonesia. “Fables, which frequently feature animal character, are told with the intention of educating the listener or reader.” There are so many fables that grow in Indonesia. Indonesia has a famous fable with the main character is a mousedeer who is described as a smart animal. There are a lot of version of mouse deer’s fable that spread in Indonesia. This story usually dedicated to children especially for those who are still in Kindergarten. This fable focuses on how the mousedeer solves its problem. There are also moral value that want to be shared with the reader or listener. Now, the question that come up about this fable and its moral values is that whether this story is good or not for children. In this case, the word children refers to people whose age is 0-12. “Orang yang dikategorikan sebagai anak adalah orang yang berusia 0-12 tahun. Jadi, anak yang dimaksudkan ke dalam sastra anak itu adalah anak yang berusia 0 sampai 12 atau 13 tahun, atau anak yang sudah masuk dalam masa remaja awal.” In order to answer the question, I use one Wayang Kancil story entitled Kancil and The Snail in Racing that I watched from you tube posted by Sri Wisnu.
Before I go directly to decide whether Kancil’s story is good or not for Kindergarten children, I will make a plot about the story from the video I have watched. One day, Kancil walked in the forest. He felt so thirsty after a long walk, so he decided to find water there. Finally he find a river with a very fresh water. He drank it quickly. Suddenly he was very surprised because something touched his nose. In fact, it was The Snail who unintentionally touched Kancil’s nose. Kancil became so angry and started to mocking The Snail because he is so lame that could not run as fast as Kancil. The Snail was so angry to hear that kind of word. He said that even he was a small animal that not as big as Kancil, he could run faster than Kancil. Kancil was laughing very hard because he did not believe that The Snail could beat him in a race. Therefore, Kancil challenged The Snail to had a race against him. The Snail accepted the challenge with one condition, the race should be held tomorrow because he was too tired at that time. Kancil accepted the condition. When the night came, The Snail invited all of his colony to help him defeat Kancil. He asked his colony to make a line from the start of the race until the end of the race and whenever Kancil called his name, every single snail who was right in front of him should answer it. The next morning, Kancil and The Snail ready for their race. Kancil asked The Snail to run first because he was so lame. After the snail run first, Kancil started to run too. He run faster and did not realized that there was a well there, so he felt into that well. Kancil asked for help and The Elephant heard Kancil’s voice so he came to see Kancil. However, Kancil said to the elephant that actually he was not screaming for help and he was there in the well because the sky was going to fall. The Elephant was so surprised so he decided to joined Kancil hide in the well. After The Elephant was arrived in the well , Kancil suddenly jumped into the back of the The Elephant to help him get out of the well. After he could escape from the well he apologized to The Elephant because actually he was lying to him, and after that he walk away from there. Remember that he was still in the race against The Snail, Kancil run faster again. In his way, he stopped to checked where was The Snail. Surprisingly, The Snail was right in front of him, he did not know that this was the other snail. Therefore, he run faster and faster and periodically stopped to checked where was The Snail but The Snail was always in front of him. At the end of the race, Kancil was so tired and could not run again. Finally, he recognized that he could not win against The Snail. As what Kancil promised before that he would be The Snail’s student if he lose, he asked what The Snail want for him. The Snail asked Kancil to learn and do Tapa Ngarame , which means Kancil must help each others no matter who they are. Since that day, Kancil realized that he live in the wrong way and started from that day, he would help each other like what his master had asked for.
Like others literary works, the story of Kancil and The Snail here also has a message and implicit meaning that want to be shared to others. The story does not just the racing between Kancil and The Snail, but it gives a lot of moral values that can be learned from this story.
From the story above, I think that Kancil’s story is a good story for Kindergarten children. Although in this story, Kancil is described as a smart animal who usually tricks its friends to get what it want, but from the story the children can learn to not do the same thing. The story its self is not only focuses on how bad the Kancil when he tricks on the elephant or mocking the snail, but there are also a consequences that Kancil gets after he tricks on others. Also, the lessons that are given by the snail which are said “We should not being arrogant of anything that we have got. If we are sharp we must not hurt others. If we are fast, we must not outpace others. If we are big, we must not step on others.”  will affect children’s mind. In this case, the children can learn how to treat other. Childhren will also understand that if they act like Kancil, they will get punishment. The way The Snail use his strategy to win can also be learned by children. They will know that even though The Snail is so lame and so small, he could beat Kancil. It means that everything’s in this world are equal, The Snail maybe is not as fast and strong as Kancil, but The Snail is dominant with its number. The story can build children’s character that they can learn from the other’s mistake so that they do not do the same mistake.
The story also tells the children to not mocking each others because we are all the same. The message that is given by The Snail also shows how the teacher should be a good model for his/her student. Furthermore, the children can learn that they should not ran away from their promises. They can also try not to shy to recognize their fault and apologize.
The story of Kancil and The Snail is not just as ordinary story, it brings a lot of message to delivered to its reader or listener, especially for children. It shows the children how to live and have relationship with others. It also gives them message not to step on others because we are all the same, no one stronger than others. The story also can build children’s character especially for always admitting their mistakes and apologize if they are wrong or make a mistake.
 Kuoni - Far East, A world of difference. Published 1999 by Kuoni Travel & JPM Publications. p. 88
 Lechner, Judith V.Allyn & Bacon. Anthology of Traditional Literature. Boston: Pearson Education. 2004
 Nurgiyantoro, Burhan. Sastra Anak: Pengantar Pemahaman Dunia Anak. Gadjah Mada University Press:Yogyakarta, 2005.p.12