SA VAGE MALA YS OF SELANGOR
The Python whose cheeks with fat are swollen,
The Python whose head is like a ladle,
And on whose head the scales are golden,
That walks on ribs one hundred and forty,
Whose body is big as the stem of the coco-palm. The hungering Python that swallows the wild-boar, Swallows the wild-boar and seizes the mouse-deer, Swallows the mouse-deer and seizes the sambhur, Swallows the sambhur and seizes the tiger.
The silk-skinned Python, the bediamonded Python, The silk-skinned Python that groweth sacred,
The Python that came from the springs of water, Whose body is big as the stem of the coco-palm.
5Tis he that we call the Horned Serpent.
5Tis the silk-skinned Python that crept down seawards, And fought against the old Sea-Python,1 Until the broad seas turned to narrow.
The old Land-Python since timeas beginning,
That is the Python that was defeated,
The old Land-Python that fights no longer,
The old Land-Python that craved for pardon,
aTis he, that came from the land, was vanquished,
And he, that came from the sea, was victor,
aTwas he that possessed the stauncher spirit.
But the dead Land-Python ascended skywards,
And turned to the Fire we call the Rainbow,
For his horn was taaen by the old Sea-Python.
Watch very carefully, step not over it,
For if you do, youall be crushed as a rebel,
Round your limbs will twine the Python-sickness.
Be sure that you this in your soul remember. To-morrow and ever may Fruit be plentiful!
Tortoise ! Tortoise ! Tortoise !
Tortoise whose fore-paws are bent out sideways, Tortoise whose hind-feet are shaped like adzes, Tortoise whose head is sharp and pointed,
Tortoise whose back is like a spice-block,
Tortoise whose liver is black of the blackest,
Tortoise whose fat is green of the greenest.
Rise up, oho ! now, Mamat the First-born,
And take your knife and your bamboo blowpipe,
And take your throwing-spear 2 to roam the forest,
1 This battle of two snakes, serpents or dragons, is one of the most fruitful themes in Oriental art. In China it appears as two dragons fighting for a pearl. In the Malay region it is sometimes a couple of dragons as in China, and sometimes a couple of snakes engaged in fighting for a magical snake-stone. It is also common in
India and elsewhere, see, e.g., aThe Legend of Merlin,a by Dr. M. Gaster (Folklore* xvi. 414, 422). In the present case it furnishes us with this fine Jakun myth of the origin of the rainbow.
2 I.e. the pointed hardwood stick or asquailera used for killing small game.2 I.e. the pointed hardwood stick or a squailera used for killing small game.