Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Stories : Dragon Princess oif Komodo

Getting to Komodo by Kay Goon

What of the famous dragons ? Well, I saw my fill - on the islands of Rinca and Komodo itself. They roam freely but are smart enought to keep their distance from humans as much as we humans kept our distance from them. I had a wondeful session ( this was one occasion when i was thankful that i paid attention in my Bahasa classes in school ) one morning ( whilst the rest of the group went on a 2nd hike ) with a wood carver cum story teller called Isaka Mansur - a wizened but active villager with a twinkle in his eye who delighted in telling me the legend of Komodo - a wonderful story that the inhabitants believe in and follow to protect their island home. It tells of Putri Naga Komoda a princess who came to Komodo and married a human . She bore him a son and unknown to him at the same time she also laid an egg. She hid the egg safely with a protector to look after it. Her son Si Gerong, grew up and one day as the young man went hunting he saw a large dragon and was about to kill it when his Princess Mother appeared and stopped him saying the dragon was in fact his sister, hatched from the egg that she hid. The legend continues that as long as there is a balance between man and dragons and they live in harmony, Komodo will survive and be prosperous. I was quite fascinated. As he was telling me the tale in the raised wooden cafeteria on the island, a large dragon walked up to just a few feet below where we were sitting and proceeded to drink from the drain outside the makeshift toilet that visitors use. It eyed me suspiciously when i went up to take a photo and was none too pleased with the flash, flciking its huge tongue at me. I was able to have my picture taken crouching behind it safely watched by the park ranger !!!!