Princes Bunga and the Prince of Fish

Folklore from East Java


PUTRI Bunga was a kind girl. She lived with her uncle and aunt. Her parents died when she was a baby. She was an orphan.

"Aunty, I have done the chores, sweeping and mopping. Now I want to go to the river to clean the dirty plates, spoons, forks, and the cooking pot," said Putri Bunga to her aunt.

"Yes, Dear. But please be careful. And don't spend too much time there. After you have finished, go home immediately," said the aunt.

"I will, Aunty," said Putri Bunga.

Putri Bunga then rushed to the river. Her aunt watched her go.

On the way to the river, Putri Bunga sang a song. She was a truly polite girl. She greeted people she met nicely. In return, people greeted her back warmly. Everybody in the village knew her. Putri Bunga was a beautiful girl.

When arrived at the riverside, she immediately cleaned all the dirty kitchen utensils. They put them on the riverside. One by one she cleaned the plates, spoons, forks, and the last one was the cooking pot.

When she was cleaning the forks, a golden fish was rushed by the water and went into the cooking pot. Putri Bunga did not see the fish; she was too busy cleaning the forks.

Suddenly, she heard someone called her name and asked for help.

"Putri Bunga, please help me!"

Putri Bunga looked around. She did not see anyone in the riverside. She then continued cleaning the forks.

"Putri Bunga, please help me. I'm inside the cooking pot."

Putri Bunga did not believe what she heard. But she was so curious. She then looked inside the cooking pot.

"A golden fish? Why is it inside the cooking pot?" She then took the fish up. She wanted to throw the fish back to the river.

Before she did that, the fish turned into a handsome man.

"Don't be afraid, Putri Bunga. I'm the golden fish you helped. I'm the prince of fish. I was rushed by the water and accidentally went inside your cooking pot."

The man then continued, "Putri Bunga, I have known you for a long time. Every time you go to the riverside, I always watch you. Putri Bunga, you are very beautiful. I'm in love with you. Will you marry me?"

Putri Bunga was surprised. She never thought that a prince of fish would propose her. She then said, "I will marry you. But you have to live with me and my uncle and aunt on the land. You also have to make us happy," said Putri Bunga.

The prince of fish agreed. Then they got married and lived happily ever after.