English Story: The Magic Crocodile of the Tami River

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In the past, in Sawjatami Village, which is located on the banks of the Tami River, Jayapura, Papua, there lived a man named Towjatuwa. He lives with his wife in a honai (traditional Papuan house). At that time, the wife was heavily pregnant, the time of her birth was only a few days away.

On the expected day, the wife also showed signs of giving birth. She suddenly started shivering for no apparent reason, as a sign of early birth, and started bleeding. However, for hours the blood kept coming out, the baby in her womb never came out. Towjatuwa panicked and was confused about what to do. So, he went to the house of a shaman in the village.

“Grandma, help my wife,” asked Towjatuwa, “She is going to give birth.”

“Okay, you go home first, I’ll follow you soon,” said the grandmother of the midwife.

Towjatuwa rushed back to his house. Meanwhile, the dukun prepares the birthing apparatus, then leaves for Towjatuwa’s house. When he got there, he found Towjatuwa’s wife screaming in pain.

“Grandma, help me. My stomach really hurts,” groaned Towjatuwa’s wife.

“Calm down, my grandson,” said the shaman.

The shaman grandmother immediately checked the condition of Towjatuwa’s wife. Towjatuwa looked increasingly restless, he was very afraid that something would happen to his wife.

“How’s it going, Grandma? Why hasn’t my wife given birth yet?” asked Towjatuwa.

“Sorry, Towjatuwa. Looks like your wife is in trouble. The baby inside your wife’s womb is too big so it’s hard to get out,” said the shaman.

Baca juga: Story: Asal Usul Burung Cendrawasih

“Then, how to help him, Grandma?” asked Towjatuwa.

“I need water grass from the Tami River,” answered the old shaman.

Towjatuwa immediately ran towards the Tami River. Arriving there, he immediately looked for the water grass that was meant by the shaman’s grandmother. He had searched here and there, but he had not found the water grass yet. When he was about to continue his search, suddenly a groan came from behind him.

“Hey, what’s that sound!” he exclaimed in shock.

As soon as Towjatuwa looked back, he saw a large crocodile behind him. Surprisingly, the crocodile’s back was overgrown with cassowary feathers. The crocodile looked very scary. Towjatuwa who was scared wanted to run away before he was eaten by the crocodile. However, when he was about to leave that place, suddenly his steps were stopped by a voice of rebuke.

“Wait a minute, Towjatuwa!” cried the voice.

Towjatuwa stopped his steps and then turned towards the crocodile.

“Was it you who called me?” asked Towjatuwa surprised.

“That’s right, Towjatuwa. I was the one who called you,” replied the crocodile, “My name is Watuwe, the ruler of this Tami River.”

How surprised Towjatuwa was when he heard the answer from the crocodile. It was as if he could not believe that the crocodile could speak like a human. The crocodile suddenly groaned in pain. Apparently, the crocodile’s tail was wedged in a large rock. Towjatuwa, who felt sorry for the crocodile’s plight, immediately helped by removing the large rock that was clamping Watuwe’s tail.

After that, Towjatuwa intends to leave to continue his search for water grass. However, Watuwe again stopped his steps.

“Just a moment, Towjatuwa! If I may ask, what are you looking for in this place?” asked Watuwe.

“I’m looking for water grass to help my wife’s birth. But, I haven’t found it yet,” Towjatuwa replied.

“Don’t worry, Towjatuwa,” said Watuwe, “Since you have helped me, I will help you too. Wait for me at your house tonight.”

“Thank you in advance, Watuwe,” Towjatuwa said happily.

Baca juga: English Story: The Legend of Lake Batur

It’s already evening. Towjatuwa rushed back to his house. In the evening, the Watuwe crocodile came to Towjatuwa’s house. Towjatuwa’s wife still looks sick on the bed. Gradually, the magic crocodile approached to treat him. As a result, with his miraculous power, Towjatuwa’s wife gave birth to a son safely. The baby was named Narrowra.

“Thank you, Watuwe,” said Towjatuwa and his wife.

“You’re welcome, Towjatuwa. I also thank you because you have helped me, “said Watuwe as he said goodbye.

Before leaving the house, Watuwe said something to Towjatuwa about his son.

“Know, Towjatuwa. Someday your children will grow up to be skilled hunters,” said Watuwe, “However, I’m ordering you, please don’t ever kill and eat me. If one day I die, take my urine bag and take it to Mount Sankria. There, the heavenly people are waiting for you and will give you instructions on what to do.”

Towjatuwa and his wife are very grateful to Watuwe for helping the birth of their child.

“My wife, even though Watuwe is in the form of an animal, he is very kind and loving. I don’t know what we can do to repay his kindness to us,” said Towjatuwa to his wife.

“It’s the only way we can repay the favor”

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