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Si Kelingking

Bangka Belitung - Indonesia
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Belitung, formerly known as Biliton, is the name of an island in Bangka Belitung Province, Indonesia. It lies east of Sumatra Island, and covers the areas of Belitung and East Belitung districts. There is folklore telling about a spouse who tried to kill their son. The spouse tried so many ways to kill him but they failed. How come they wanted to kill their son? Here is the story of Si Kelingking.


As the story goes by, there was a poor spouse living in Belitung Island. Though living in destitute, they lived harmoniously. But, their happiness would not be complete yet as they had no son at the time. Every night they offered a prayer to God for a son would come to them immediately.

“Dear God… Give us a son, even though he will be as big as pinkie,” they wished.

God heard their wishes, just in a short moment, the wife got pregnant. They were so happy to welcome their first son. In several months, the wife gave birth to a son. But, they were shock to know their baby was as big as a pinkie.

“Honey… how come our baby is too small?” The wife asked her husband.

He kept silent hearing his wife asked. He doubted very much about what was going on.

Later on, they remembered their wishes of a son even though as big as a pinkie.

“Honey! Do you remember what we wished? We prayed to be given a son even though he will be as big as a pinkie,” he reminded his wife.

“Oh my God. Now God has already made our wish come true,” the wife responded.

As the time goes by, the son grew older become a six-year boy but nothing changed with his body, he was as big as a pinkie. For that reason, they gave the name Kelingking. In the beginning, they took great care for kelingking but, they felt annoy as he was an eat-too-much boy, contrast with his body. For a meal, he spent about secanting (local term replacing a basin) of rice, even more.

Every day, his parent used to face such problem. They had to meet Kelingking`s need but their earnings would be no longer sufficient. For that reason, they intended to murder Kelingking.

“My husband! How do we kill him?” the wife asked.

“I have a plan” the husband answered.

“What is your plan, honey?” the wife questioned curiously.

“I`ll take him to a forest tomorrow morning,” the husband replied.

“Take him to the forest? What for?” the wife began more curious.

Kelingking`s mother let her husband to take Kelingking to a forest on the next day to look for some woods. His father pruned down a big tree in the forest soon after arriving at the forest.

“Kelingking, just stand at your position now, I`ll cut this tree right now!” Kelingking`s father said.

“Alright dad!” he answered.

Out of his consciousness, his father cut down the tree that was directed to him. His father deliberately cut the tree as such so that the tree would fall to him. The tree fell on him. His father looked at him but, did not seem so sad at all knowing the tree bore down on his son. The father was happy knowing the tree bear down upon his son, Kelingking.

“Go to hell now…! Ha… ha… ha…!” the father shouted up while laughing and walked closer to the tree.

After ensuring that Kelingking had really died, Kelingking`s father went home to his wife. Both looked happy knowing that sound.

“Honey…we can live tranquilly now,” the mother made sure her husband.

However, they heard a little sound outside their house.

“Daddy…daddy…where should I put this timber?” the sound voiced.

“Honey! That voice belongs to Kelingking`s voice. He is died, isn`t he?” the mother questioned.

“Let`s check it!” the father took his wife to check it.

Both were so shock to know Kelingking was still alive. He was carrying on his back a big timber from the forest.

“Daddy….! Where should I put this timber?” Kelingking asked.

“Just put it there!” the father responded.

After shouldering a big timber from the forest, Kelingking immediately ran into his home looking for some foods. He ate too much again after working hard. Both of his parents stood wordlessly did not know what to do after that.

Their lives gradually deteriorated. Kelingking ate too much everyday. Then, one day Kelingking`s parents discussed the best solution for eradicating Kelingking. They planned to kill him again.

“Honey, what to do now?” the wife seemed so confuse.

“I will carry him to a mount to take some stones on the next day,” the father told his wife cheerfully.

“Take it easy honey. I am sure it`s gonna done well,” the husband ensured his wife.

On the next day, Kelingking`s father took him to a mount to seek for big stones on the slope of the mountain.

“Kelingking! Just stand at your position now. I will jack some stones up from the top. Just compile the stones I have lifted up,” the father shouted up from the top of the mount.

“Alright dad!” Kelingking replied.

Kelingking`s father climbed up the mount while bringing a plane of wood to jack some stones up. The father jacked up some small stones, and gradually, he jacked some big stones.

Jacking up the biggest stone, the father pointed it to Kelingking. He wanted to kill Kelingking by befalling the stone on Kelingking. The stone fell down on him. The father walked down the mount ensuring himself that Kelingking had died now.

“Kelingking! Kelingking! Kelingking!” The father called Kelingking.

There was no answer from Kelingking. The father was really sure Kelingking had died. The father pleasantly went home to tell his wife. However, his wife could not believe it at a moment`s notice.

“Are you sure he had really died?” the mother quizzed hesitantly.

“Yes, I am sure! I have killed him by dropped him down a big stone,” he answered.

“Ohh… I hope he had really died thus we could live happily,” she said happily.

In a short moment, there was a sound outside of their house.

“Daddy…Where should I put this stone?” the sound asked.

“Put it out there,” the father responded unconsciously.

Both were so shock and eager to know. They went outside immediately, and saw Kelingking was carrying a big stone. Kelingking then quickly ran into his home looking for some foods as he was really hungry after shouldering a big stone.

Kelingking`s parents gave up completely. Both realized that Kelingking came amongst them from hope after a long term of having no son. They realized that one`s death note is solely owned by God. Thus, whatever they did towards Kelingking in term of killing him, if God doesn`t allow, they would fail. After that, they never did such evil deeds towards Kelingking anymore.

Kelingking, a boy who was as big as a pinkie, obviously had the incredible power than common people. He was a hardworking boy, and helped his father at all times. He did all of his father`s works thus their daily needs could be met.


Here this is a story of Si Kelingking from Bangka-Belitung Province, Indonesia. It is a fairy tale bearing highly moralistic values as follow:

1. Keeping away from tendency to underestimate other people.

It can be seen in the characters of Kelingking`s parents. They solely looked at Kelingking`s physical. They unfairly judged Kelingking as a son who ate too much hence, they wanted to kill him. Out of their minds, Kelingking obviously bore incredible power than common people. Realizing that fact, Kelingking`s parents began to take great care for him. Finally, the story above tells us not to hate other people abundantly since may lead to love the one we hated too much before.

2. The death note of a person is solely owned by God.

Kelingking`s parents could not kill him after times of attempting it. From this, we may draw a moral message that the death note of a person is solely owned by God. No matter how one attempts to kill a person, if God does not allow the person die, thus the person will not pass away.

Syamsuni (sas/78/05-08)

Translated by Irfan Nugroho (ter/08/07-08)


  • Adapted from Salim Y.A. H. and H. Suwardi. 1996. Cerita Rakyat Dari Belitung. Jakarta: Grasindo.
  • Anonym. “Kepulauan Bangka Belitung” (http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepulauan_Bangka_Belitung, retrieved on May 29, 2008.
  • Effendy, Tenas. 2006. Tunjuk Ajar Melayu. Yogyakarta: Balai Kajian dan Pengembangan Budaya Melayu in cooperation with AdiCita Karya Nusa.
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