Bawang Putih was a name of a woman who lived in a small village with her father. Her mother passed away when she was still a little baby. In order to make Bawang Putih happy and not feeling lonely, her father decided to marry another woman. Bawang Putih’s stepmother had a daughter named Bawang Merah.
Both Bawang Merah and her mother were jealous of Bawang Putih’s beauty though in front of the father, they always threated her nicely. But since Bawang Putih’s father was a merchant, he traveled a lot and often left her at home with her stepmother and stepsister. When the father was not around. Bawang Merah and her mother would treat Bawang Putih cruelly. Bawang Putih loved her father so dearly that she kept all her stepmother and stepsister’s bad threatment inside her heart.
As the days went by, the hatred of Bawang Merah and her mother towards Bawang Putih grew. That morning, Bawang Merah asked her mother to cook her delicious food. The mother asked Bawang Putih to buy all the ingredients at the market without giving her any money. She even threatened her that if she could not get what she wanted, Bawang Putih was not allowed to return home.
Bawang Putih was so scared and hopeless that the only thing she could do was crying on the river bank. Magically, a goldfish appeared in front of her and talked to her. The fish asked why she was crying. Bawang Putih shared her story to the fish, and the fish agreed to help. He asked Bawang Putih to put her basket in the river water and just in a second, the basket was filled with all the food she needed to buy. Bawang Putih was so happy to she it. The fish even promised to help Bwang Putih whenever she came by the river and called for his help.
When Bawang Putih came home, her stepmother and stepsister where disappointed to she that Bawang Putih had gotten everything that they had asked. The next morning, Bawang Putih’s stepmother asked her to do the same thing again: shopping without any money. Bawang Putih went to the river again and called the fish to help her. Again, she came home with food and her stepmother and stepsister were disappointed.
This made the stepmother and Bawang Merah curious. How could Bawang Putih buy everything without any money? One morning, they decided to follow Bawang Putih quietly. When they saw what happened, they were furious. All along, it was the goldfish that had been helping Bawang Putih.
The next morning, the stepmother asked Bawang Putih to catch a big goldfish in the river. She wanted to cook it for her daughter, Bawang Merah. Bawang Putih was very shocked to hear her stepmother’s request. If she could not give a goldfish to her stepmother, she would not be allowed to return home and meet her father anymore.
Bawang Putih cried and cried telling goldfish what had happened. The goldfish only smiled to her and asked her to catch him and bring him to the stepmother. With a reluctant heart, Bawang Putih put the goldfish in the basket and brought it home. The stepmother quickly cooked and ate it together with Bawang Merah. Bawang Putih refused to eat her dear helper and friend. When they finished eating the fish, Bawang Putih collected the fish bones and buried them at the backyard of her house. She was in tears when she said her prayer and apology for the goldfish.
Magic happened the next morning. A tree was growing right at the place where Bawang Putih had buried the bones. It was not an ordinary tree for it had golden fruit on its branches. All the villagers soon found out about this tree and together they visited Bawang Putih’s house to witness the miracle. Bawang Merah and her mother claimed to be the owner of the magic tree, and were proud to admit so.
The news spread far and wide until the King himself heard about this magic tree. So, he decided to visit the place and witness it himself. Off he went with his soldiers and when he arrived there, he was very amazed by the golden fruit. He quickly asked Bawang Merah and her mother to pick one of the fruit as they claimed to be the owners of the tree. But just when Bawang Merah and her mother climbed the tree, a giant snake suddenly appeared and bith them right on their ankles. Within second, they both fell to the ground and died because of their own greed.
The King proclaimed whoever managed to pick the fruit, if it were a man, the King would make him as his own brother and would give fortune to him. However, if it were a woman, he would make her as the Queen, for the King had not found a wife yet. Bawang Putih came towards the King and said that she would try to get the fruit for the King, because she wanted to give the King the fruit, not because she wanted to be the Queen.
Before climbing the tree, she whispered a prayer to the snake that when the snake heard her, it quickly allowed her to climb the tree. Bawang Putih climbed the tree safely and picked the fruit for the King. The King could see that Bawang Putih was an extraordinary woman. She was not only beautiful, but was also kindhearted and humble indeed. The King immediately proposed Bawang Putih to be her Queen, and so she accepted it. They lived happily ever after.