The Koimala Myth
Long ago there was a king who ruled in Serendib, (which became Sri Lanka.) At times of hardship, when the cattle of the people became thin the king would send his men in to the jungle to gather wild cattle. The men captured the wild cattle and brought them back to the city.
At that time there was a very poor couple living outside the city of Serendib. After suffering for a long time in poverty the husband died. At the time of his death, the wife was 3 months pregnant. After 6 months the woman gave birth to a baby boy, but unfortunately when the boy was only a toddler, his mother also died. Now with no parents, the small boy crawled his way out to the jungle, where he found he was in the middle of a huge herd of cattle. The boy was accepted by a suckling cow and he began scampering around on all fours as if he was a calf.
One day a piercing noise was heard and a large serpent crept out of the jungle disappearing in to a cave in the woods. The little boy made a mark where the cave was. In the meantime the kingsmen set out to herd the cattle back to the city. They saw the boy with the cattle, living as if he was a calf. They returned to the city and told this to their king, who then commanded the capture of the small boy, so he could be brought back to the city. The boy was caught and has a year of treatment by the king’s doctors and he was able to stand straight and walk upright. The king then commanded that the boy be taught to speak . Soon he was able to speak he was brought before the king.
The king asked the boy of the most extraordinary sight he had seen in the jungle. The boy told him about the large serpent he saw when he was living with the cattle. Having heard his tale the king commented that he was like a flower in the jungle. The people then started to call the boy Koimala, which meant “Flower Lad”.