The Legend of Slamet Mountain
( folklore from Central Java )
A long time ago, Slamet Mountain was very high. It was so high that it could reach the sky. People heard that they could take the stars if they were on top of the mountain. But no one dared to go there. The people were afraid that the gods in heaven would be angry if people took the stars.
However, the beauty of the stars made some monkeys dared to go to the top of the mountain. Led by their king, they went there and took some stars. Then, the sky became dark at night. People were sad and the gods were angry!
Batara Guru was the leader of the gods. He held a meeting. He invited Batara Narada, Batara Brama, Batara Bayu, and others. Batara Narada had an idea how to stop the monkeys. They would ask Ki Semar to help them.
Ki Semar was actually one of the gods. He was even older than Batara Guru. But Ki Semar did not live in heaven. He lived on earth with his children, Gareng, Petruk, and Bagong. Ki Semar had a great supernatural power. He could cut the top of the mountain easily. But first, he wanted to give a lesson to the naughty monkeys. They had to be punished for stealing the stars. He then set a plan with his children to trap the monkeys.
Gareng then went to the top of the mountain. He had to attract the monkeys to go down by giving them some bananas. It worked! The monkeys followed Gareng. After the monkeys left the top of the mountain, Ki Semar immediately cut the top of the mountain. He threw the biggest part to Cirebon. It became Ceremai Mountain and the small parts became small mountains, like Clirit Mountain, Tapak Mountain, and others.
After the monkeys left the mountain and followed Gareng, Petruk was ready with some hot water. He planned to pour the hot water over the monkeys. He waited and waited but the monkeys never came to him. He did not know that while the monkeys chased Gareng, they met a giant dragon.
The monkeys had a fight with the dragon. It was so terrible that both the monkeys and the dragon finally died. Because of tired waiting for the monkeys, Petruk then left the place. He did not bring his hot water and left it there. People then named the place where Petruk left his hot water as Guci. It is about 50 kilometers from Tegal, Central Java. It is famous for its hot water.