Cinderella: Three Hundred and Forty-five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap O' Rushes, abstracted and tabulated UNDER CONSTRUCTION | Annotated Tale

69. Kajong and Haloek

Landes, A., Contes Tjames. Saigon, 1887. No. X, pp. 79-93.



Fishing competition to decide priority of Haloek or foster-sister Kajong. Haloek steals heroine's fish. Heroine puts one fish in well; shares her rice with it daily--Heroine tends goats--(Slaying of helpful animal). Haloek cooks and eats fish--Help in dream: fish bids heroine bury its bones at cross-roads-- (Revivified bones)--They turn into gold shoes. Crow carries off one (Lost shoe) and drops it at palace; King finds it. Heroine keeps fellow shoe--Shoe marriage test--Ill-treated heroine (by foster- mother and sister)--Task (to disentangle thread)--Task-performing animals (ants) --Task (grain animals (birds, and various insects)--Heroine goes to palace; is timid, and hides; is brought forth, and shoe fits her--Happy Marriage--Foster begs King to spare bride for a few days; takes her home; ill-treats her-- Haloek makes heroine climb palm to pick cocoa-nuts; cuts palm down, throwing heroine into lake. Heroine transformed into golden turtle--Mother takes Haloek to marry King--King finds gold turtle; pets it-- Haloek cooks and eats turtle, throwing away carapace, which turns into bamboo shoot. King finds it and cares for it -- Haloek eats bamboo. The peel turns into bird, which comes at King's call-- Haloek eats bird. Feathers turn into moekya tree-- Old woman picks up its one fruit and takes it home. Kajong comes out of fruit and provides all kinds of food against old woman's return. Old woman hides, and discovers Kajong, who bids her invite King to feast. King thinks cakes like Kajong's-- She appears before him--They return to palace-- Haloek dismayed, feigns joy--Villain Nemesis--She plunges into boiling water, hoping to become beautiful as heroine. Her flesh is salted and sent to mother, who eats nearly all before finding hand with Haloek's ring.


(1) Mother cannot tell whether Kajong, [1] her adopted daughter, or Haloek, her own daughter, is the elder. Neither girl will consent to give priority to the other. Mother takes two baskets, gives one to each girl, and sends them fishing. Whichever catches most fish shall be considered the elder. Girls go to pool containing all manner of fish in great numbers. Kajong gets into the water and catches thirteen fish, half a basketful. Haloek does not care to go into water, and only catches ten krwak. Kajong is tired, leaves her basket and rests on the bank. Haloek steals her fish, so that she has many and Kajong few. She denies having done so, and Kajong fears to return home, lest her foster-mother should beat her. She tries to catch more fish, but only gets one tjarok. She gets home after Haloek, and puts her fish (tjarok) in the well to nourish it, to be her brother, because, like herself, it is solitary, and takes the other three (tjarek) into the house. Mother says Haloek shall be considered the elder.-- (2) Mother sends Kajong to mind the goats. In passing well she talks to fish, calling it her brother. At noon she takes rice to feed fish, and every day shares her rice with it. Haloek, noticing that she always takes her rice away, goes to spy. Next day the goats begin to crop the cotton, and, being busy in fetching them back, she omits to visit fish. Haloek takes her rice to feed fish, who comes when called, thinking it is Kajong, but is caught, taken into the house, cut in two, cooked, and eaten by Haloek.-- (3) Next day Kajong seeks for fish in vain, and weeps day and night. She dreams that fish comes to her and bids her not weep, and tells her what Haloek has done: that she has put the bones in a bamboo-tube and buried them beside the water-jar. "If you love me," says the fish, "take my bones, put them in a cocoa-nut shell, and bury them at cross-roads. Then, when you drive your goats, I shall see your face, my sister. If you do thus, visit me every hour of the day." Kajong weeps, and next day does all that fish bade her.-- (4) On the following morning she finds a gold shoe at the spot where she buried the bones. A crow had carried oft the fellow-shoe and dropped it in the palace, where the king picked it up. The bones were transformed into these golden shoes. Kajong takes shoe home and hides it.-- (5) In two or three days king proclaims in every village that all girls, big and little, are to come to the palace to try on the shoe. If it fits any girl exactly, the king will marry her. Mother sends Haloek to palace, but will not give Kajong leave.-- (6) Kajong weeps, and mother, seeing this, takes a bunch of tangled thread and tells her to disentangle it whilst mother goes to palace. Kajong weeps, and Heaven sends a number of ants to disentangle the cotton.-- (7) She gives it to mother, who then takes a measure of sesame and a measure of maize, and bids Kajong pour them into a sieve and sort them. When she has done so she may go to palace. Kajong weeps. The lord Alwah [2] commands all birds of the forest, termites, ants, scorpions, centipedes, yellow cockroaches, and yellow cockroaches to come and help her pick up and sort the grain. This done, the mother allows her to go to try shoe.-- (8) Kajong prepares betel-leaves and wraps them in her handkerchief, attires herself, takes with her the shoe that she had hidden, and goes alone to palace, arriving after all the others. Reflecting on her solitary lot, she weeps as she goes. Then she has not courage to try shoe like all the others, but hides behind palace. None can wear the shoe. King asks if there is no one left who has not yet tried, and is told of Kajong. Servants fetch her in, and the shoe fits her exactly. King orders servants to have her bathed, and then bring her back as his bride. He learns from Kajong that her parents died during her infancy, and that she has lived with foster-mother. He asks if she has a shoe like the one he found, and she shows its fellow. He sees that she was destined to be his wife.-- (9) Meanwhile Haloek returns home and tells mother that of all the beautiful girls who flocked to palace not one could wear the shoe, and Kajong has become queen. Mother is very jealous. She goes to palace, and with mock servility begs king to allow Kajong to retorts home for two or three days, promising to bring her back. King consents, and bids Kajong dress in her finest clothes and go home with foster-mother. It is night when they arrive.-- (10) Mother and Haloek go indoors to eat their rice, and leave Kajong without, and give her nothing to eat. She is full of sadness. They give her no mat to lie down on, and she sleeps on a bamboo-screen. Next morning Haloek takes her to pick cocoa-nuts. She persuades Kajong to climb the cocoa-palm whilst she remains beneath; then she takes a hatchet to cut tree down. Kajong jumps on to the next, and Haloek then tries to cut this one down. Kajong asks why she is so unkind to her. "When you get home, tell your mother to take you and marry you to my husband." Just as she sees the cocoa-palm about to fall, Kajong throws herself into the lake hard by, and is transformed into a golden turtle.-- (11) Haloek goes home, tells mother that she has cut down tree, and that Kajong is drowned. They rejoice over it. Mother takes Haloek to palace, tells king that Kajong has run away, and she cannot find her, but that she brings her own daughter for him to marry. King accepts her; but he is very sad about Kajong, and gets no sleep.-- (12) He tells his servants to take him to hunt deer and roebuck. They come to lake where Kajong is. He is heavy with grief, and tests by the lake, telling servants to sound it. They do so, and take a golden turtle. King presses it to his bosom, takes it home, and puts it in golden basin. He goes for a walk, and Haloek cooks and eats the golden turtle. She throws the carapace behind the house, and a bamboo-shoot springs front it.-- (13) King returns, misses turtle, and questions Haloek, who says she has not seen it. He sends for his astrologers to recover it by divination. Haloek confesses the truth, making excuse for her craving to eat turtle. King says nothing. A few days afterwards he is walking behind house, and sees little bamboo growing, and is pleased with it and handles it. Then when he is absent Haloek picks the bamboo, cooks and eats it. King finds it has disappeared, questions Haloek, and she tells of her longing to eat it.-- (14) The husk of the bamboo is transformed into a bird (bêk), which comes and moans before the palace. King hears its moans, and says, "If you are really Kajong, come and sit on my sleeve." Bird perches on his arm. In a few days Haloek cooks and eats the bed. She throws the feathers into the road outside palace; they turn into a moekya [3] tree.-- ( 15) King asks for bird, and Haloek says that it fell into pot of soup and perished. She put it aside, but the dogs ran off with it. King says nothing. He does nothing but mourn for this bid. The nu tree bears but one fruit, which, when ripe, acquires a peculiar perfume. People passing beneath the tree look up, but the fruit is invisible. An old Annamite woman with ratjam (pancakes) for sale passes by. She smells the ripe fruit, looks up and sees it. Whilst saying how much she would like to get it to eat, she sees it fall to the ground, picks it up, puts it in her basket, takes it home and puts it in her rice-pot. Then she goes to sell her ratjam leaving house empty.-- (16) Kajong comes out of the fruit, and causes to appear rice, tea, betel, arec, and all kinds of cake, then returns into the moekya. Old woman comes home, is surprised to see all these things, wonders if anyone wishes to bespell her, but pronounces a wish, and eats rice and cakes without ill consequences. This happens again two or three days. Then old woman hides, and sees that it is a beautiful young girl who brings her the things. He rushes to take her by the hand. Kajong begins to laugh, and tells old woman that she lives in the moekya, and old woman looks and finds it is only empty peel.-- (17) Kajong bids her go and invite king. If he asks what for, she can say she is giving a feast. Old woman hesitates about bringing king to such a wretched house. Kajong says, when she returns it will be a fine mansion. Old woman goes to palace; dogs bark at her. She sends message to king, who orders his palanquin. When they carry him outside they find a carpet spread from the palace to old woman's house, which she is surprised to see so grand. King enters; Kajong bids old woman hand him basket of cakes. He eats them, and finds they are like those Kajong used to make, and asks old woman who made them. She does not know. He chews some betel, and finds it just like Kajong's. He sighs, and Kajong sighs too.-- (18) He hears the sigh, sees Kajong, and embraces her, weeping. He recompenses old woman with gold and silver, and takes Kajong back to palace. Haloek is much concerned at seeing her, but feigns welcome. Kajong tells king all that has happened to her: how Haloek cut down palm so that she fell into lake, and all that followed. -- (19) Next day Haloek talks to Kajong. She asks what she does to make her skin so fair. Kajong says in joke that she plunges into boiling water. Haloek does so, and is scalded to death. Kajong tells servants to cut up body and salt it, then take it to mother, and if she asks what it is, say that it is some salt fish which Haloek sends her, and that Haloek invites her to come and see her. Servants obey. Mother goes to palace, and is puzzled to see Kajong instead of Haloek. She is ashamed before Kajong, and returns home. She has eaten nearly all the salted food when she comes upon a hand wearing ring, which she recognises as Haloek's. The truth is clear to her.



[1]: Heroine of this story is called sometimes Jong, sometimes Kajong. I have called her Kajong throughout in my translation.-- Ed.

[2]: Alwak, or Aw Lwah, might be a corruption of Allah. The story comes from heathen Tjames, who claim that their Mussulman congeners adore Allah.

[3]: Moekya = Diospiros ebenaster (Cay hi its Annamite). The fruit of this tree has a strong odour. The seed bears a resemblance to the outline of a woman.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 69. Kajong and Haloek
Tale Author/Editor: Landes, A.
Book Title: Cinderella: Three Hundred and Forty-five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap O' Rushes, abstracted and tabulated UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Book Author/Editor: Cox, Marian Roalfe
Publisher: David Nutt for the Folklore Society
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1893
Country of Origin: Vietnam
Classification: ATU 510A: Cinderella

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