The tiny mouse deer ( Tragulus javanicus, Tragulus napu ) -- plays the role of trickster in several folk tale traditions of the Malay archipelago. However, the mouse deer stories told by the Penan appear to be unique to their culture.

In the old days there was a fruit that looked like a sevungut fig. When it was ripe it was red. The Penan would go and lie in wait at that sebikih fruit tree, because the mouse deer would go and eat its fruit.

So one of the Penan climbed into a tree with branches and stayed in the branches and waited for a mouse deer to come. Then the voice of a mouse deer was heard up hill from that sebikih fig tree. And it said, "Tell me now, sebikih figs, are you ripe or are you green? If you are green, then don't say a word, and I won't come down to you. If you are ripe, and if I ask you a question, then speak up, so that I will know that you are ripe; if you are ripe I will come and join you. If I should say, 'Say, sebikih figs, are you ripe?' – if I should say that, and if you are ripe, then speak up."

So then the mouse deer that was up the hill from the sebikih figs said, "Say, sebikih figs, are you ripe?" And when the man who was lying in wait there at the sebikih fig tree heard the mouse deer's question, he answered "Yes."

Then the mouse deer said, "Ha ha, you fool, I tricked you. Since when can fruits speak? If something speaks, it must be human. I'm not coming any closer." And off it ran.

The mouse deer did not go up to the sebikih fig tree where the men was lying in wait. If the man there had stayed silent, the mouse deer would certainly have come. The man lying in ambush there didn't have much sense; he spoke up. That was why the mouse deer did not come any closer.

Hun sahau pu'un jah bua layan néh barei bua nonok sevungut. Hun néh mesak bala sak néh. Boh irah Penan tai mejung bua sebikih nah uban pelanok ngelayau tai kuman bua sebikih nah.

Boh irah Penan ri' mukat tong jah kayeu éh pu'un paka' moko tong paka' néh mejung pelanok. Boh pelanok tai poléng ha' sa buhei bua sebikih ri'. Boh éh bara', "Kineu, bua sebikih, mesak ke' atau ko' mata? Hun ko' mata mai ke' kahut. Boh ka' bé' akeu kangai. Hun ko' mesak da' hun ké' neteng ke' kahut ke' ke' ké' jam ke' mesak, hun ko' mesak kangai ku' kon ke'. Hun ké' bara', 'Kineu buah sebikih, mesak ke'?' ha' ké' da', hun ko' mesak pu'un ha' ko'," ha' pelanok.

Boh pelanok ngeradau sa buhei bua sebikih ri', "Kineu bua sebikih, mesak ke'?" ha' pelanok neteng bua sebikih ri'. Boh lakei éh mejung bua ri' bara', "O," ha' lakei éh mejung bua sebikih ri' menéng ha' pelanok neteng éh ri'.

Boh pelanok bara', "Té' té' ko' ha' ké' kenyo. Mah suket bua jam kahut? Boh néh éh kahut nah kelunan néh éh. Bé' akeu kangai," ha' pelanok tio nekedeu kelap.

Bé' lah iah tai tong bua sebikih éh nejung lakei iri'. Né' lakei mejung ri' bé' kahut adang pelanok tai. Lakei éh mejung nah péh bé' jam seruh; iah kahut. Inah maneu pelanok bé' tai lah.
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