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How the Cockerels Lost his Horn, Stories From Borneo - Long, long ago,cockerels had horns and could fly long dis­tances. They were very fierce and would fly to fight any man or animal anywhere in Borneo.

Because the cockerels usually won their fights, they be­came very proud. They were proud of their fighting, and they were proud of their fine horns. They thought they were the strongest and most handsome creatures in the world.

The cockerels were too proud to speak to the other ani­mals, and soon the other animals became angry. The animals went to see Singalong Burong, the Dayak god of war. They told him how the cockerels fought all the time. They told him that the cockerels thought they were better than anyone else.

The god of war listened to these complaints. Then he asked the cockerels to visit him..

The cockerels cleaned their feathers and polished their horns. They looked very handsome when they went to call on Singalong Burong.

“You fight all the time,” said the god of war. “You fight strong animals, and you fight the Dayaks.”

“We are brave fighters, sir,” said the cockerels.

“You also fight small, weak animals. You fight when no one has hurt you. Is thatvery brave? Is that the way brave warriors should behave

“We are the bravest warriors in the world,” said the cockerels. The duty of warriors is to fight, and we win everyfight. How we win is our own business.”

Having said this, the cockerels flew away. Singalon Burong was very angry. He went to see his friend, the king of the dragons, who lived high on a mountain.

The king of the dragons was happy to see SingalongBurong. He gave the god of war food and drink and listened pa­tiently to the story of the cockerels. Singalong Burong told his friend everything.

The king of the dragons agreed that the cockerels were rude. He agreed that they would kill most of the other animals if they were not stopped. When the god of war finished talking, the king of the dragons said, “Good friend, I shall send my own young warriors to teach the cockerels a lesson.”

A day for the battle was set. It was to take place on a wide field near the Rajang River. The cockerels laughed when they saw the dragon warriors. The dragons couldn’t be very strong, thought the cockerels, because they had no horns and only very short wings. Although the dragons breathed smoke and flames, the cockerels were not at all afraid.

The battle went on all day. Many of the dragons were hurt by the cockerels” horns, but they burned the cockerels with their fiery breath, and in the end the dragons won the fight.

As a prize, the god of war gave the dragons the cockerels” horns, and took away the gift of long flight from the cockerels. And that is why dragons now have horns and cockerels can only fly short distances.

But the cockerels are still proud and they still walk grandly around the barnyard crying “cock-a-doodle-doo!”

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