The Legend of Toba Lake
( North Sumatera )
Once upon a time, there was a man living around the ravine of Pusuk Buhit, the known mystical mountain close to Lake Toba. Nobody knew when he arrived there or where he came from. He lived in a small temporary hut in a farming area by the river surrounded by an oval-shaped hill. He was a fisherman. He also owned a field. Once he found a big fish in his woven rattan fish trap. It was the beginning of his life’s changing. Never had he caught such big fish before that he was so surprised. The fish was an extraordinary one. The man took the fish into his hut and walked outside his hut thinking about the way how to cook the very big fish.
After a little while, he got into his hut. He startled to death because the fish had disappeared and he found another creature, a beautiful human. The fish had turned into a beautiful lady and its scales changed to be beautiful jeweled ornaments fitted in her body dressed so elegantly. She was like a princess.
In an instant, the man fell in love with the princess. He proposed her saying “Will you be my wife?” She nodded obediently and respectfully. The princess agreed to his proposal in one condition that he would never tell anyone that she had been a fish. The man happily approved her condition.
They were very happy and raised their only daughter. The man worked in their field and his wife always asked their daughter to bring her father’s meal into the field. One day, the daughter was sent to bring her father’s meal. On the way to the field, the little girl felt very hungry that she ate up his father’s lunch. Knowing that the little girl had finished his lunch, the father went mad. He shouted angrily ‘you’re really the offspring of fish.’
The man’s wife soon knew that his husband had broken his promise that he would never say that words. She knew it from her daughter who ran home crying ‘mother, why does father say I’m the offspring of fish?’ Her mother was very sad and disappointed. Giving no answer she brought her daughter up to the hill telling her that there’d be a huge disaster.
On the hill, the girl’s mother knelt down and prayed to her God. Soon, there was an earthquake, storms, and springs came out from the ground. The entire place was flooded and water was everywhere that her daughter, husband and she drowned. The woman turned into a fish again and her husband turned into a stone. The story told that their daughter wandered everywhere. The place where they lived turned into Lake Toba with Samosir Island in its centre.