A quiet calm day in the Warompen village, Irian Barat suddenly heard a loud voice, “Help! Help… My father!” cried a boy as he ran into the village on the bank of the Yeripol River.
The people came out of their houses and gathered around the boy. “What happened to your father, boy?” they all asked.
“It’s….. It’s..... Ro….. Ropokai!”
“What? Ropokai?” There were all frightened when they hear the name. “I’m sorry, boy,” one of the people said, “I don’t think we can do anything for your father…..” The boy was very sad.
Ropokai was a very big snake that lived in the Yeripol River. It came up when it was hungry, and no one knew when it would come. When it did, it ate anything it found, people or animals.
“Was your father alone?” the people of the village asked the boy.
“No. There were four other people with him.”
“What happened to them?”
“They are all dead. Ropokai ate them all. My father tried to swim to the bank, but the last time I saw him Ropokai was behind him!” The boy cried again.
“This must stop,” one of the older men said. “Let’s ask Ambonai to help us.”
Ambonai was a famous hunter. He was one of the best hunters in Irian Barat. He was bigger, taller and stronger than any other men in Irian. All the bad animals in the forest were afraid of him.
The people of Warompen decided to ask him to help them. They sent someone to talk to Ambonai. Ambonai agreed to help the people of Warompen.
So Ambonai came to the village. He asked when Ropokai usually came up, but no one could tell him. He waited and waited, but Ropokai did not appear. He met one of the Warompen girls, and
fell in love with her. The girl loved him also, so they got married.
All of the time that Ambonai was waiting, the people were afraid. So Ambonai decided to try a plan. One day he called all the village people together and told them to build a very big boat.
“What for?” the people asked.
“Because,” Ambonai explained, “it seems that Ropokai doesn’t want to come up yet. I want all of you to leave Warompen in the boat, and then I’ll kill Ropokai for you. If you stay here he may hurt some of you before I can kill it. And now is the best time to leave the village. I will stay behind and fight Ropokai. When I have killed the snake you can all return and live in peace.”
“But what if Ropokai kills us when we try to leave Warompen?”
“I told you to build a very big ship that can carry all of you. It’ll be too big for Ropokai’s mouth. And if it tries to attack you when you’re getting on the boat, I’ll be there to protect you.”
While the people of Warompen were busy preparing building the boat, Ambonai and his wife were also busy preparing to fight Ropokai. They cut down a tall tree and made it into a very big club. They also gathered a lot of big stones.
One day the ship was finished, and all of the people of Warompen got on it and left. Ambonai and his wife stayed behind. Ropokai did not appear that day.
Two days after the people of Warompen left, Ropokai was hungry again. It came up, but it saw nobody, nothing! It waited for a while but still nobody came. Ropokai was very hungry, and now it was angry, too. It left the rifer and crawled into the village.
“Why is the village so quiet?” Ropokai thought.
“Who are you looking for, wicked one!” Ropokai was surprised to hear this. He turned his head and saw Ambonai. The hunter was holding the big club.
“Aha, there’s someone that I can eat,” Ropokai thought. “He’s big, too. Hm, this is really good.”
Ropokai crawled quickly toward Ambonai and opened his big mouth. The snake was going to attack Ambonai when suddenly Ambonai threw his club at it. It went into its mouth and stopped there. Ropokai cried and beat his tail. He could not close his mouth.
Ambonai did not wait along. He and his wife, who came to help him, began to throw the stones that they had gathered into Ropokai’s open mouth. Soon the snake could not move his head any more, but his tail still beating about dangerously.
“Now we’ll pour the hot water on him!” Ambonai said to his wife.
Ropokai struggled for some time, and then he was quiet. The wicked snake was dead.
When the people of Warompen knew that Ropokai was dead, they were very happy and they returned to their village.