This assignment requires me to choose a children story that I like and I grow up with and analyze the story. For the sake of the assignment, I chose a Malay fable titled “The Crow & The Peacock” (Cerita Sang Gagak dan Sang Merak). The fable is about a crow and a peacock being best friends in the jungle. Both of the animals do not have any colours like they do now; they were white. Stumbling upon cans of paints in the jungle, they decided to take turns colouring each other with beautiful colours.
The crow was creative and talented and it started to paint the body of the peacock until the peacock looked so magnificent. When the peacock’s turn came, the peacock decided to pour black paint all over the crow because the peacock was lazy and not gifted like the crow. When the crow realized that it had turned black, the crow was so furious and flies around the jungle calling for the peacock. For the Malays, that is the reason why nowadays the crow always make a sound “akk, akk” as a short for ‘merak’. Fable characters are stereotypes with human strengths and weaknesses instead of multidimensional characters.
A fable normally has only a few characters, sometimes just two: a hero and a villain. The main characters of this fable would be the crow and the peacock, as both characters represented their own significance in the story. The first important aspect of both characters is their original colour, which is white. The crow is honest, as we can see that the crow did its best to colour the peacock so that the peacock looked pretty (Sang Gagak yang dikenali sebagai seekor binatang yang kreatif dan berbakat mula melukis corak dan mewarnakan badan sang Merak. . The crow is also considerate, because when it found the cans of paints the crow immediately thought of the peacock because the peacock is the crow’s best friend (Lantas timbullah idea dalam diri Sang Gagak untuk menggunakan cat tersebut untuk mewarnakan dirinya yang tidak berwarna berserta sahabat baiknya. ). The crow is also creative because it can paint on the peacock beautifully.
On the other hand, the peacock is lazy, as mentioned in the story (Tetapi Sang Merak pula dikenali sebagai binatang yang tidak mempunyai bakat dan amat pemalas. as the peacock poured the paint all over the crow instead of trying to paint like the crow did to the peacock even though if the peacock does not have any talent in painting. At the end of the story, it was said that the peacock is proud as the peacock has the most stunning feather after being painted by the crow (Dan Sang Merak terus menyembunyikan diri dari Sang Gagak walaupun dia selalu bermegah-megah dengan kecantikannya. ). The use of very contrasting characters in this story is to create a conflict within the story. . In understanding the story, it is important to first have some knowledge on the crow and the peacock as real animals.
In our life a crow is always associated with dirtiness because of their diet. Crows are omnivorous. They eat whatever is available to them in their habitat including insects, small amphibians and snakes, earthworms, eggs and nestling birds, and clams, mussels, and other salt-water invertebrates. They also scavenge carrion, garbage, and eat wild and cultivated fruit and vegetables. At the same time, crows are considered to be among the most adaptable and intelligent birds in the world because of their ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
Another interesting fact on crows is that crows are known to drop hard-shelled nuts onto a street, and then wait for passing automobiles to crack them. Similarly, along the coast they drop mussels and other shellfish on rocks to crack the shells and expose the flesh. In my opinion, the main idea of the story is to show the differences between the crow and the peacock. As mentioned earlier, on one hand the peacock may has beautiful feathers but it does not reflect that the peacock also has a good manner, for instance the peacock was not a good friend to the crow.
On the other hand, even though the crow is black but the crow has many fine qualities that the peacock does not. The crow actually has a good heart especially towards its best friend. The conflict arises with the attitude of the peacock that is lazy to the extent of dragging others into trouble. This fable has no apparent resolution, but more to answering children’s question on why crows are black and why peacocks are colourful, at the same time inserting values and reminders to all. the story took place in a jungle because that is supposedly the natural habitat of many animals and it does not affect the development of the story.
Back in Raub my mother’s late aunt had a pair of peacocks. I asked my mother a lot about the peacock because it was not a normal sight for a city kid like me, unless if I pay a visit to the zoo. The colours were definitely beautiful and the times where the peacock opens up its trail were amazing. I also question why the peacock looked prettier than the peahen. That is when I first heard about the story of the peacock and the crow, when I was around 8 years old. In my opinion this fable are usually delivered verbally by parents thus making it possible for younger children to benefit from it.
Of course before the story I always think the crows are bad birds because they are black and I always found them perched on a big rubbish bin. It turns out peacocks are worst because they were always chasing people around while crows are scared of people. During the time, I would be in Erikson’s fourth psychosocial stage which is the industry versus inferiority. In this stage, children direct their energy toward mastering knowledge and intellectual skills. The story aids me in reconstructing my idea on these birds, where the appearance of the birds does not reflect the attitude, and that can be said the same for human being.