Born and raised in Malaysia, Mazlan is proud of his Malaysian and Asian heritage and likes to share its mysteries, culture & current issues.
Children Bedtime Story - Malaysian Folklore
The story of mouse deer and a crocodile is one of my favorite Malaysian Folklore. It is also one of the favorite bedtime stories for many Malaysian kids.
The mouse deer or Sang Kancil (kancil is mousedeer in the Malay language, and Sang means revered), is considered the most intelligent animal in the forest. It is also a humble and cunning animal. Despite its small size, it always managed to trick and outwit his enemy.
So, many animals will come to seek advice and help from Kancil who is always ready to help his fellow animals.
There are several stories that revolve around Sang Kancil. This story of mouse deer and crocodile tells the tale of how Kancil outsmarts a crocodile, not once but twice.
Mouse Deer and Crocodile
Once upon a time, there lived a clever mouse deer named Sang Kancil. He lives in the great forest and has many animal friends. But he also has enemies - animals that are not so friendly, animals who want to harm him or even eat him. So, he has to watch out for these animals.
One day while walking along the riverbank, he saw some delicious and yummy fruits on the other side of the river. As he was about to cross the river, his very good friend the fish quickly swam near Kancil and warn him of the crocodile. The crocodile, Sang Buaya, is not a friendly animal. He is always on the lookout for Sang Kancil, to catch and eat him.
Kancil is aware of that, so he has to think hard about how to cross over safely. Finally, he came out with a brilliant idea.
The Mouse Deer Brilliant Idea
Sang Kancil shouted for the crocodile "Sang Buaya, Sang Buaya!' The crocodile, hearing the mouse deer slowly swim nearer to the river bank and asked "Yes Kancil, what can I do for you. Eat you?"
"Ha ha ha, that's funny" replied Kancil.
"Sorry, not today," he adds.
'The king is organizing a grand feast and he has asked me to invite all the animals in the forest. I need to know how many crocodiles will be attending this grand feast.'
'Oh...OK. I will tell the rest of my fellow crocodiles and will let you know later" said Sang Buaya.
"I can't wait that long, I need to know the answer now. Please call all of them. Ask them to line up from this side of the river to the other side, so I can count all of you" said Sang Kancil
Kancil Crossing the River
Sang Buaya wasn't sure if that's a good idea but the thought of being invited by the king was too exciting. So, he called all the crocodiles in the river to line up as instructed by the mouse deer.
"OK, we are all here. You can count us now" said Sang Buaya.
'But not until you promise not to eat me. Otherwise, I won't be able to inform the king on the number of animals including you, the crocodiles that will be attending the feast' said the mouse deer.
"OK you have our promise' said Sang Buaya.
Sang Kancil quickly jumped onto the crocodile's back, counting the number as he jumped from one crocodile to the next crocodile. He keeps jumping and counting until he reached the other side of the river.
The Crocodile Fooled Again
'Are you done?' asked the crocodile.
'Yes, and there is no feast, ha ha ha!' laughed Kancil as he quickly ran into the forest, towards the fruit trees.
Sang Kancil once again managed to outwit his enemy, Sang Buaya, who is now so angry that he is even more determined to eat Kancil the next time he comes to the river.
More Stories for Kids on Sang Kancil, the Mouse Deer
If you enjoyed this story of mouse deer and the crocodile, there are many more short bedtime stories for kids based on his antics. You can read my version of Mouse Deer and Tiger here, and how he witted a farmer Mouse Deer and the Farmer here.
Footnote - Facts on Mouse Deer
Mouse Deer is the smallest hoofed animal in the world. It is slightly bigger than a cat with legs and tail of a deer. The body and the face resembled that of a mouse.
The smallest species, Lesser Mouse Deer, measure about 18 inches and weighs 4.4 lbs. The biggest species 'Greater Mouse Deer' measure between 2.3 to 2.5 feet and weighs between 11 to 18 lbs.
Mouse deer can be found in the tropical rain-forest of central Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and the southern part of Thailand and India. With poaching activities and the current rate of deforestation that results in loss of its natural habitat, will slowly turn mouse deer into an endangered animal.
Link to My Other Stories for Kids
Do you know how the Chinese New Lunar Years were named after animals? Then, read Chinese Zodiac Story A Bedtime Story to find out more.
Do you know that Crabs were once fighting the Sea Wave? Read to find out why.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Mazlan
Your Comments Please
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on February 15, 2013:
@peachpurple It's good to know that your kids are reading stories of Sang Kancil. These are good folklore and if not introduced to the young, they will not know of the cultures and traditions. Thanks for visit and vote.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 21, 2013:
i love this story, I had been reading sand kancil and the buaya since I was young. now my kids are reading them too. Voted interesting
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 18, 2012:
@Annemari, thanks for taking time to read and the compliment
Annemari from Tiny part of the World on May 18, 2012:
I publish hubs too. Please visit Annemari