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Why Goat Eats Grass

Why Goat Eats Grass


By : Murti Bunanta

A folktale in the Dawan language from East Nusa Tenggara

   Once upon a time there lived a monkey named Bae Kean Belo and a goat named Bae Kean Bibi. They were good friends. Bae Kean is a friendship term in the Dawan language, which is used by people in Tautpah Village.
One day the friends were walking at the edge of a big river. There grew a cluster of banana trees with ripe fruit.
Bae Kean Bibi saw the banana trees. At first he tried to keep them secret from Bae Kean Belo. He wanted to cat the bananas himself, but since he didn’t know how to pick them, he had to tell the monkey, Bae Kean Belo, about them.
They then came to an agreement. Bae Kean Belo had the task of climbing and picking. He would get the fruits and Bae Kean Bibi, the goat, would get the banana skins.
In a second. Bae Kean Belo was already on the banana tree. But then his bad intentions appeared. He kept eating the fruits voraciously without thinking of his best friend. Bae Kean Bibi. who was wailing for the banana skins. His saliva streamed down. Bae Kean Belo didn't care. He didn’t throw the banana skins down.
Bae Kean Bibi was annoyed and left. Apparently Bae Kean Belo was not his best friend anymore. He then hid in a hole in a hollow log, restraining his hunger and anger, to observe the wiliness of his best friend.
Finally Bae Kean Belo took pity on the goat. He went down and brought a bunch of bananas for Bae Kean Bibi. But his friend was nowhere in sight. Bae Kean Belo whistled as a sign for Bae Kean Bibi. Until the sun set he could not find his friend.
Each time he saw another animal, he asked for Bae Kean Bibi. Bae Kean Belo regretted his deed, but he could not find his friend again.
Meanwhile Bae Kean Bibi, who was hiding in the hole in a hollow log, could not restrain his hunger. Eventually he had to fill his stomach with green leaves and grass.
The goat, Bae Kean Bibi. took an oath that his offspring would make grass and green leaves their main food.

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