The Kaak and Tubok

This is a local tale of the Kadazandusun of Sabah and was written by P.S. Shim in Animal Tales of Sabah (2002) as narrated to him by Anthony Galimbang.    

It is an interesting story to be told to the young one as bedtime story or something to share during a rainy day over a cup of coffee…:D    

It was told that when God made the birds, he created two that were different in size and shape but pure white feathers. The larger of the two birds had a very long tail feathers while the smaller bird had much shorter tail feathers. They both envied the colourful plumage of other birds and were tired of the plain white feathers.     

One day, the larger bird manage to talk to the smaller bird into colouring their white feathers so they can be prettier than the other birds. The smaller bird agree and they went all around the forest looking for bright coloured dyes from plants and rocks that they collected.     

Later when they have collected enough dyes, the larger bird suggested that the smaller bird should paint the larger bird’s feathers first. The smaller bird agreed and began outlining the patterns on the long feathers of the larger bird. It then applied beautiful colours on the outlines and as a result the tubok was created. It was then the tubou’s turn to beautify the feathers of the smaller bird. As the tubou started mixing some of the dye, it come to realize that its feathers was extremely beautiful and even more beautiful than the other birds in the forest.     

Tubou became very vain and did not want any other bird to look more beautiful than itself so slowly it took the black dye and tossed it over to the smaller bird! That is then how the kaak got its black suits. Its is because of this incident that the two birds have remained enemies to this day.     

Now, isn’t that a wonderful story? To read more stories from the Kadazandusun community, you can get yourself a copy of the book…you will enjoy it. Plus, it is our heritage, you will be honouring it by making sure it is pass along to the next generation.    


The Argus Great Pheasant

Tubok - after the make-over session 😀


The Crow

Kaak - the poor unfortunate bird 😀


p/s – I still don’t like birds 😛