Once upon a time, long, long ago, there lived a husband and wife who were very poor and had no children between them. Soon after, the woman wanted to have another man and started a secret love affair.

One day, the husband took his digging hoe and went into the forest to dig up roots such as yams and other kinds of edible tubers. Around noon time, the sun was glaring hot and he was sweaty and tired, so he sought a shady spot to rest and eat lunch.

He saw a man-made wooden shrine that the villagers and travelers set up to perform rituals and pray to the spirits of the forest. The shrine was set up under a big banyan tree with large, heavy branches and thick, green leaves, perfect for a resting place.

After finishing lunch, the man went behind the wall of the shrine to nap and almost fell asleep when he spotted his wife walking towards the shrine. He was curious and wanted to find out what she was up to, so he decided to hide from her and listen behind the wall.

The woman approached the shrine, lit three incense and prayed to the spirits: "Please, almighty spirits of the forest, let my husband die so that I can take my new lover." The husband was shocked but decided to play along, so he disguised his voice as the deep voice of the spirits and replied: "He will die tonight if you boil a whole hen with eggs for him to eat."

The woman answered: "That is easy, almighty spirit. I will do it."

The woman was happy and hastily went home to prepare the hen for her husband.

In the evening the husband came home with lots of roots that he collected during the day. Then he asked his wife: "Wife, what's for dinner?"

The wife answered: "I have a whole boiled hen with eggs for you."

The husband said: "I would like my dinner now because I am very hungry and tired."

After dinner the man went straight to bed and acted like he was very sick and uttered deep moans: "...oh, oh, ooo I am not well...I feel like dying...oo..oo..."

When the woman heard him moan and groan, she was happy and thought the spirit was really acting on the husband. She then opened the door and let in her lover.

The man saw the lover but pretended to be unaware of him. A few minutes later, he got up and called his wife. The lover was afraid the husband had caught him, so he ran and hid himself in an empty water tank. The man saw the lover go into the water tank and told his wife: "I am so cold. Please boil me a big pot of water so I can have a hot bath before I die."

The woman was really happy when she heard he was going to die, so she hastily boiled him a big pot of water.

When the man was ready to take the hot bath, he told the wife to go outside to get equal amounts of cold water to mix with the hot water for his bath. As soon as she went outside the house, the man got up, took the pot and poured the boiling water over the lover in the tank. The lover burned to death.

The man went back to bed and said to his wife: "I have changed my mind. I do not want to take the bath anymore."

The lover's dead body floated to the top of the water and his hair hung over the edge of the tank. When the woman saw the hair, she pushed the body back down, realizing that her husband had killed her lover by burning him with boiling hot water.

Neither husband nor wife said a word to each other afterwards. Both kept silent, never bringing up the subject.

The woman now had a dead man's body in her possession and she was trying to think of a plot to dispose of his body without causing a scandal. She remembered there were four local bandits who always stole the villagers' properties during the dark of night and devised a way to trick these robbers into getting rid of the body for her.

She borrowed her neighbors' many different silk sarongs and silverwares and displayed them in her yard as if to air dry the valued belongings. She wanted to deceive the robbers into believing that those were her valuables. In the evening, she returned all the belongings to their owners, placed a lid on the clay water tank with the dead body in it, tied the tank and lid securely with a strong rope, and placed the tank near the exit door.

The four bandits always kept an eye on the villagers and noticed who had what. When they saw the silk and silverware, they thought to themselves: "Tonight is the night that we should check out her house."

After midnight, the four came as planned and could not find anything except the tightly secured heavy clay tank. They thought to themselves, "This must be it." Together they hauled up the tank, carried it all the way into the forest, and tried to untie the knots. When it was half open, one man eagerly put his hand in to feel the contents. He touched the hair and said, "I feel silk threads." The other man put his hand in and touched the nose, the mouth, the eyes and alarmingly exclaimed, "It's a dead body!"

When they knew that they had been tricked by the woman to get rid of the dead body for her, the four bandits collectively vowed to one day destroy her.

A month later, the woman was walking by herself to a far away town and the four bandits happened to see her from afar. They waited for her to approach and jumped at her.

"You tricked us into carrying the corpse for you. Now you will pay for your trick."

The woman said: "I am on my way to meet my lover, the ship tradesman who just came into town from trading. He is waiting to give me some of his gold. Why don't you all come with me and we can all share my gold."

The bandits were greedy and wanted to have her gold so they agreed to accompany her into town. Once they approached the ship, the woman said to the bandits: "Please wait for me here. I have to go in alone, otherwise the shipowner will not give me the sum. I will wave to you as a sign that everything is alright, then you all can come." The bandits agreed and all stood on the high ground watching the woman as she approached the ship.

On the ship, the woman talked to the tradesman who was the owner and told him that she had four slaves waiting ashore good to be sold. She told the tradesman to tie them up as soon as they came in because otherwise they would run away.

After she got the money from selling the merchandise, she waved to the bandits as a signal for them to come aboard. The bandits saw her hand signal as planned and they happily followed her instructions. The tradesman also followed her words to tie them up as soon as they walked in.

So the men were all tied up and imprisoned in the bottom deck of the ship. The woman took her money and began the journey on foot back home.

Along the way, it began to get dark. As the woman still had a long way to go and was very tired, she decided to rest for the night on top of the branches of a big tree she saw beside the road.

As for the four bandits, somehow they fought the ship's crew and escaped from their captivity. They took the same road home as the woman, came to the same big tree, and also decided to sleep in the branches. They were still furious with the woman who had again used their own greed against them.

Three of the bandits chose to stay on the lower braches, while the fourth went further up the tree and encountered the woman. When she knew that it was one of the bandits who she had earlier sold to the shipman, she quickly covered his mouth with her hand to prevent him from squealing her identity to his companions.

She said to him: "This is our gold. I will give it all to you and take you as my lover. Please do not let the others know. We will live together forever."

The bandit was overjoyed when he heard her proposition. He said: "Do you really love me?"

She lied: "Yes. If you do not trust me, I will kiss your tongue and you can kiss mine."

The bandit was lured by his lust and let the woman kiss his face and then his tongue, whereupon she forcefully bit his tongue into halves with her teeth and pushed him off the tree.

The fallen bandit screamed in pain and tried to tell his friends that the woman was up in the tree. But without his tongue, he could not pronounce any words clearly. All he could do was make indistinct sounds that noone could understand.

The three bandits in the lower branches thought it was a crewman from the merchant's ship looking for them, so they all scampered off in separate directions and never looked back.

In the morning the woman came safely down from the tree top, took the money to her husband, and lived happily ever after.