THE GREEDY KING
Foklore from South Kalimantan
ONCE upon a time there was a kingdom in South Kalimantan. The king was Sang Hiyang. He liked to eat. His favorite food was fish intestine. He often asked the palace chef to provide him fish intestine in a big proportion. The King Sang Hiyang would be angry when the chef only gave him a small proportion. The chef did not have any problem preparing the fish intestine because there was a big river near the palace. She always asked the soldiers to catch the fish.
One day, the chef was restless. The soldiers just gave her a few fish. The soldiers said that it was not a good season to catch the fish. The chef immediately cuts and cleaned the fish from the river. She was thinking about the punishment of the king. She was really worried and she did not concentrate when cutting and cleaning the fish. Accidentally, she dropped the fish intestine to the river. The current was very strong. In just a minute, she lost the entire fish intestine!
The chef was really shocked. She talked to her husband about the problem. He had an idea. He dug the land and collected a lot of worms. He gave the worms to his wife and asked her to cook. At first his wiferefused. But the husband convinced her that the worms looked like the fish intestine. The King Sang Hiyang would not recognize the difference.
The chef immediately cooked the worms and prepared it to the king. When it was done, the king ate the worms. He was very happy. He felt that the 'fish intestine' was more delicious. He called the chef and asked her to always provide him the delicious fish intestine.
The chef was very worried. She knew sooner or later the king would find out. She did not want to lie. And finally she told the king about the truth. She did not cook fish intestine, instead she cooked worms!
And after King Sang Hiyang knew the truth, he was not angry. He loved to eat the worms. He asked the chef to always prepare the worms in big proportions.
Everyday the soldiers dug the land to find the worms. Soon, the numbers of worms were decreasing. The king of worms was angry. He was sad to see his people were gone. He asked the worm soldiers to attack King Sang Hiyang.
The worm soldiers went to the palace. They finally found King Sang Hiyang. The king was so scared to see a lot of worms came to him. Amazingly, the King was the only one who could see the worms. Other people could not see the worms. Therefore, they were wondering why the king looked so scared.
The king ran out of the palace. The worms followed him. They slowly chased King Sang Hiyang. The king did not know where to go. He finally found a big tree. He then climbed the tree. Later the worms surrounded the tree. They could not climb the tree. They just waited on the ground. It has happened for many days. And the king was beginning to be frustrated. He just wanted to die. IJe wanted to commit suicide!
King Sang Hiyang tore his shirt and he made it as a rope. He already made up his mind. He wanted to hang himself! And after it happened, the people were shocked. They saw King Sang Hiyang was hanging. They said, "Sang Hiyang tergantung! Sang Hiyang tergantung!" It means Sang Hiyang is hung.
Soon the area of the incident was named Sang Hiyang Tergantung and now it slowly changes into Siang Gantung. It is an area in Sungai Selatan, South Kalimantan.