Filipino Popular Tales
Collected and Edited with Comparative Notes
By Dean S. Fansler, Ph. D.
Lancaster, PA., and New York:
Published by the American Folk-Lore Society.
G. E. Stechert & Co., New York, Agents.
The folk-tales in this volume, which were collected in the Philippines during the years from 1908 to 1914, have not appeared in print before. They are given to the public now in the hope that they will be no mean or uninteresting addition to the volumes of Oriental Märchen already in existence. The Philippine archipelago, from the very nature of its geographical position and its political history, cannot but be a significant field to the student of popular stories. Lying as it does at the very doors of China and Japan, connected as it is ethnically with the Malayan and Indian civilizations, Occidentalized as it has been for three centuries and more, it stands at the junction of East and West. It is therefore from this point of view that these tales have been put into a form convenient for reference. Their importance consists in their relationship to the body of world fiction.
The language in which these stories are presented is the language in which they were collected and written down,—English. Perhaps no apology is required for not printing the vernacular herewith; nevertheless an explanation might be made. In the first place, the object in recording these tales has been a literary one, not a linguistic one. In the second place, the number of distinctly different languages represented by the originals might be baffling even to the reader interested in linguistics, especially as our method of approach has been from the point of view of cycles of stories, and not from the point of view of the separate tribes telling them. In the third place, the form of prose tales among the Filipinos is not stereotyped; and there is likely to be no less variation between two Visayan versions of the same story, or between a Tagalog and a Visayan, than between the native form and the English rendering. Clearly Spanish would not be a better medium than English: for to-day there is more English than Spanish spoken in the Islands; besides, Spanish never penetrated into the very lives of the peasants, as English penetrates to-day by way of the school-house. I have endeavored to offset the disadvantages [xi]of the foreign medium by judicious and painstaking directions to my informants in the writing-down of the tales. Only in very rare cases was there any modification of the original version by the teller, as a concession to Occidental standards. Whatever substitutions I have been able to detect I have removed. In practically every case, not only to show that these are bona fide native stories, but also to indicate their geographical distribution, I have given the name of the narrator, his native town, and his province. In many cases I have given, in addition, the source of his information. I am firmly convinced that all the tales recorded here represent genuine Filipino tradition so far as the narrators are concerned, and that nothing has been “manufactured” consciously.
But what is “native,” and what is “derived”? The folklore of the wild tribes—Negritos, Bagobos, Igorots—is in its way no more “uncontaminated” than that of the Tagalogs, Pampangans, Zambals, Pangasinans, Ilocanos, Bicols, and Visayans. The traditions of these Christianized tribes present as survivals, adaptations, modifications, fully as many puzzling and fascinating problems as the popular lore of the Pagan peoples. It should be remembered, that, no matter how wild and savage and isolated a tribe may be, it is impossible to prove that there has been no contact of that tribe with the outside civilized world. Conquest is not necessary to the introduction of a story or belief. The crew of a Portuguese trading-vessel with a genial narrator on board might conceivably be a much more successful transmitting-medium than a thousand praos full of brown warriors come to stay. Clearly the problem of analyzing and tracing the story-literature of the Christianized tribes differs only in degree from that connected with the Pagan tribes. In this volume I have treated the problem entirely from the former point of view, since there has been hitherto a tendency to neglect as of small value the stories of the Christianized peoples. However, for illustrative material I have drawn freely on works dealing with the non-Christian tribes, particularly in the case of stories that appear to be native; and I shall use the term “native” to mean merely “existent in the Islands before the Spaniards went there.”
In the notes, I have attempted to answer for some of the tales the question as to what is native and what imported. I have not been able to reach a decision in the case of all, because [vii]of a lack of sufficient evidence. While the most obvious sources of importation from the Occident have been Spain and Portugal, the possibility of the introduction of French, Italian, and even Belgian stories through the medium of priests of those nationalities must not be overlooked. Furthermore, there is a no inconsiderable number of Basque sailors to be found on the small inter-island steamers that connect one end of the archipelago with the other. Even a very cursory glance at the tales in this collection reveals the fact that many of them are more or less close variants and analogues of tales distributed throughout the world. How or when this material reached the Philippines is hard to say. The importation of Arabian stories, for example, might have been made over many routes. The Hindoo beast-tales, too, might have quite circled the globe in their progress from east to west, and thus have been introduced to the Filipinos by the Spaniards and Portuguese. Again, the germs of a number of widespread Märchen may have existed in the archipelago long before the arrival of the Europeans, and, upon the introduction of Occidental civilization and culture, have undergone a development entirely consistent with the development that took place in Europe, giving us as a result remarkably close analogues of the Western tales. This I suspect to have been the case of some of our stories where, parallel with the localized popular versions, exist printed romances (in the vernacular) with the mediaeval flavor and setting of chivalry. To give a specific case: the Visayans, Bicols, and Tagalogs in the coast towns feared the raids of Mindanao Mussulmans long before white feet trod the shores of the Islands, and many traditions of conflicts with these pirates are embedded in their legends. The Spaniard came in the sixteenth century, bringing with him stories of wars between Christians and Saracens in Europe. One result of this close analogy of actual historical situation was, I believe, a general tendency to levelling: that is, native traditions of such struggles took on the color of the Spanish romances; Spanish romances, on the other hand, which were popularized in the Islands, were very likely to be “localized.” A maximum of caution and a minimum of dogmatism, then, are imperative, if one is to treat at all scientifically the relationship of the stories of a composite people like the Filipinos to the stories of the rest of the world.
[viii]A word might be added as to the nature of the tales. I have included only “hero tales, serious and droll,” beast stories and fables, and pourquoi or “just-so” stories. Myths, legends, and fairy-tales (including all kinds of spirit and demon stories) I have purposely excluded, in order to keep the size of the volume within reasonable limits. I have, however, occasionally drawn upon my manuscript collection of these types to illustrate a native superstition or custom.
I. HERO TALES AND DROLLS.
1. (a) Suan’s Good Luck 1
(b) Suan Eket 2
2. The Charcoal-Maker who became King 10
3. The Story of Carancal 17
4. (a) Suac and his Adventures 29
(b) The Three Friends,—the Monkey, the Dog, and the Carabao 31
5. (a) How Suan became Rich 35
(b) The King’s Decisions 37
6. (a) The Four Blind Brothers 42
(b) Juan the Blind Man 43
(c) Teofilo the Hunchback, and the Giant 46
(d) Juan and the Buringcantada 47
(e) The Manglalabas 49
7. (a) Sagacious Marcela 53
(b) King Tasio 55
8. (a) The Story of Zaragoza 64
(b) Juan the Peerless Robber 69
9. The Seven Crazy Fellows 75
10. (a) Juan Manalaksan 79
(b) Juan the Poor, who became Juan the King 81
11. (a) Lucas the Strong 89
(b) Juan and his Six Companions 92
(c) The Story of King Palmarin 98
12. (a) The Three Brothers 116
(b) Three Brothers of Fortune 118
(c) Pablo and the Princess 120
(d) Legend of Prince Oswaldo 122
13. (a) The Rich and the Poor 137
(b) Lucas the Rope-Maker 140
14. (a) The King and the Dervish 144
(b) The Mysterious Book 145
15. The Miraculous Cow 150[x]
16. The Clever Husband and Wife 152
17. The Three Brothers 155
18. Juan and his Adventures 171
19. Juan wearing a Monkey’s Skin 178
20. (a) How Salaksak became Rich 183
(b) Clever Juan and Envious Diego 186
(c) Ruined because of Invidiousness 188
(d) The Two Friends 190
(e) Juan the Orphan 192
21. Is he the Crafty Ulysses? 197
22. The Reward of Kindness 207
23. Pedro and Satan 211
24. The Devil and the Guachinango 214
25. Juan Sadut 223
26. An Act of Kindness 227
27. The Indolent Husband 231
28. Cecilio, the Servant of Emilio 237
29. Chonguita 244
30. The Golden Lock 248
31. Who is the Nearest Relative? 257
32. With One Centavo Juan marries a Princess 262
33. (a) The Three Humpbacks 265
(b) The Seven Humpbacks 267
34. (a) Respect Old Age 271
(b) The Golden Rule 271
35. Cochinango 276
36. Pedro and the Witch 279
37. The Woman and her Coles Plant 285
38. A Negrito Slave 287
39. Alberto and the Monsters 291
40. Juan and Maria 295
41. The Enchanted Prince 301
42. The Prince’s Dream 304
43. The Wicked Woman’s Reward 309
44. The Magic Ring 310
45. (a) Maria and the Golden Slipper 314
(b) Abadeja 316
46. Juan the Poor 319
47. The Fate of an Envious Woman 323
48. (a) The Monkey and Juan Pusong Tambi-Tambi 326
(b) Andres the Trapper 332
49. Juan the Fool 338[xi]
50. Juan and his Painted Hat 353
51. Juan and Clotilde 355
52. The Poor Man and his Three Sons 359
53. The Denied Mother 361
54. Tomarind and the Wicked Datu 363
II. FABLES AND ANIMAL STORIES.
55. The Monkey and the Turtle (three versions) 366
56. The Monkey and the Crocodile (two versions) 374
57. The Monkeys and the Dragon-Flies 379
58. The Monkey, the Turtle, and the Crocodile 382
59. The Iguana and the Turtle 383
60. (a) The Trial among the Animals 385
(b) The Pugu’s Case 386
(c) Why Mosquitoes hum and try to get into the Holes of our Ears 387
(d) A Tyrant 388
61. The Greedy Crow 391
62. The Humming-Bird and the Carabao 393
63. The Camanchile and the Passion 394
64. Auac and Lamiran 395
III. “JUST-SO” STORIES.
65. Why the Ant is not so Venomous as the Snake 398
66. Why Locusts are Harmful 399
67. How Lansones became Edible 401
68. Why Cocks fight One Another 403
69. Why Bats fly at Night 404
70. Why the Sun shines more brightly than the Moon 404
71. (a) Why the Culing has a Tonsure 407
(b) The Culeto and the Crow 407
(c) The Hawk and the Coling 408
72. (a) Why the Cow’s Skin is Loose on the Neck 410
(b) The First Loose-Skinned Cow and the First Tight-Skinned Carabao 411
73. Why the Monkey is Wise 412
74. (a) The Lost Necklace 414
(b) The Cock and the Sparrow-Hawk 415
75. The Story of our Fingers 416
76. Why Snails climb up Grass 417
77. Why the Cuttlefish and Squids produce a Black Liquid 419
78. Why Cocks have Combs on their Heads 420[xii]
79. (a) How the Crow became Black 420
(b) Why the Crow is Black 421
(c) The Dove and the Crow 422
80. Why the Ocean is Salty 425
81. (a) Why the Sky is Curved 426
(b) Why the Sky is High 426
82. An Unequal Match; or, Why the Carabao’s Hoof is split 428
Filipino Stories given in the Notes.
[Only stories from my own manuscript collection are listed here. Titles of those given in full are printed in Roman; of those given merely in abstract, in Italics. A “(C)” after a title indicates that the story is taken from one of the native corridos, or metrical romances printed in the vernacular.]
Pedro’s Fortunes 15
Greedy Juan 23
Juan Tapon 23
How Piro became Rich 41
The Cripple and the Blind Man 51
Marcela outwits the King 56
Cay Calabasa (C) 57
Rodolfo (C) 60
Juan and his Six Friends 78
Edmundo (C) 87
The Three Brothers 127
The Priest and his Pupil 148
Abu-Hasan (C) 154
Don Agustin, Don Pedro, and Don Juan (C) 169
The Adarna Bird (C) (two versions) 169
Pedro and the Giants 175
The Monkey becomes King 182
Juan the Ashes-Trader 195
Colassit and Colaskel 195
Juan the Poor 202
Juan Bachiller (C) 202
Mabait and the Duende 217[xiii]
The Fortunes of Andoy, an Orphan 241
Peter the Violinist 241
Duke Almanzor (C) 251
The Seven Hunchbacked Brothers 268
Juan and his Father 275
Pugut Negro (C) 280
Juan Tiñoso (C) 283
Juan and Maria (C) 298
The Wonderful Tree 318
King Asuero and Juan the Poor (C) 322
Ricardo and his Adventures 347
Juan and the Robbers 348
The Adventure of Two Robbers 349
Juan Sadut 351
Juan Loco 352
The Monkey and the Crocodile 377
The Battle between the Birds and the Beasts 381
The Bacuit’s Case 389
Why the Ant is not so Venomous as the Snake 399
The Origin of Locusts 399
The Origin of Locusts 400
The Adam and Eve of the Tagalogs 402
How Lanzones became Edible 402
The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars 405
The Sun and the Moon 406
Origin of the Monkey 413
The First Monkey 413
The Deer and the Snail 429
[The following list includes only such works as are referred to in abbreviated form in the notes throughout the volume.]
Aarne, Antti. Vergleichende Märchenforschungen. Helsingfors, 1908.
Arabian Nights’ Entertainments. Translated by Sir Richard Burton. 10 vols., 1885. Supplemental Nights, 6 vols., 1886–88.
Bahar-i-Danush. Translated from the Persian by Jonathan Scott. 3 vols. Shrewsbury, 1799.
Bain, R. Nisbet. Russian Fairy Tales. From the Skazki of Polevoi. New York, N.D.
Basile, G. Pentamerone. Translated by Sir Richard Burton. 2 vols. London, 1893.
Bateman, G. W. Zanzibar Tales. Chicago, 1901.
Benfey, Theodor. Pantschatantra: fünf Bücher indischer Fabeln, Märchen und Erzählungen. Aus dem Sanskrit übersetzt, mit Einleitung und Anmerkungen. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1859.
Blumentritt, Ferdinand. Diccionario mitológico (in Retana’s Archivo del bibliófilo filipino, Vol. 2, Madrid, 1896).
Bolte (Johannes) und Polívka (Georg). Anmerkungen zu den Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1913, 1915. (Cited Bolte-Polívka.)
Bompas, C. H. Folklore of the Santal Parganas. London, 1909.
Burton, Sir Richard. See Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, and Basile.
(Busk.) Sagas from the Far East; or Kalmouk and Mongolian Traditionary Tales. London, 1873. (Compiled by Rachel Harriette Busk.)
Caballero, Fernan. Cuentos y poesias populares Andaluces. Leipzig, 1866. See also Ingram.
Campbell, A. Santal Folk-Tales. Pokhuria, India, 1891.
Campbell, J. F. Popular Tales of the West Highlands. 4 vols. 1890.
Campbell, Killis. The Seven Sages of Rome. Boston, 1907.
Child, Francis J. English and Scottish Popular Ballads. 5 vols. in 10 parts. Boston, 1882–98.
Clouston, W. A. Book of Noodles. London, 1888. (Cited Clouston 1.)
—A Group of Eastern Romances. 1889. Privately printed. (Cited Clouston 2.)[xvi]
—Popular Tales and Fictions. 2 vols. London, 1888. (Cited Clouston 3.)
Cole, Fay-Cooper. Traditions of the Tinguian. Chicago, 1915. (Cited Cole.)
Cole, Mabel Cook. Philippine Folk Tales. Chicago, 1916. (Cited M. C. Cole.)
Comparetti, D. Novelline Popolari Italiane. Rome, 1875.
Cosquin, Emmanuel. Contes Populaires de Lorraine. 2 vols. Paris (1887).
Crane, Thomas F. Italian Popular Tales. Boston, 1885.
Crooke, W. Religion and Folklore of Northern India. 2 vols. Westminster, 1896.
Dähnhardt, Oskar. Natursagen. Eine Sammlung naturdeutender Sagen, Märchen, Fabeln und Legenden. 4 vols. Leipzig, 1907–12.
Dasent, G. W. Popular Tales from the Norse. London, N.D. (The London Library.)
Dayrell, Elphinstone. Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria, West Africa. London, 1910.
Dracott, Alice E. Simla Village Tales. London, 1906.
Dunlop, John Colin. History of Fiction. Edited by H. Wilson. 2 vols. London, 1896.
Evans, Ivor H. N. Folk Stories of the Tempassuk and Tuaran Districts, British North Borneo (in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 43  : 422–479). (Cited Evans.)
Fansler, Harriott E. Types of Prose Narratives. Chicago, 1911.
Fleeson, Katherine Neville. Laos Folk-Lore of Farther India. Chicago, 1899.
Folk-Lore Journal. Folk-Lore Society. 7 vols. London, 1883–89. (Cited FLJ.)
Folk-Lore: A Quarterly Review, current since 1890. (Cited FL.)
Frere, M. Old Deccan Days, or Hindoo Fairy Legends Current in Southern India. London, 1868.
Gerould, G. H. The Grateful Dead. (Folk-Lore Society.) London, 1907.
Gesta Romanorum. Translated by the Rev. Charles Swan. Revised edition. London, 1906.
Gonzenbach, Laura. Sicilianische Märchen. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1870.
Grimm, The brothers. Household Tales: with the Author’s Notes. Translated from the German, and edited by M. Hunt. With an Introduction by Andrew Lang. 2 vols. London, 1884.
Groome, F. H. Gypsy Folk Tales. London, 1899.
Hahn, J. G. Von. Griechische und albanesische Märchen. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1864.[xvii]
Hartland, E. S. Science of Fairy Tales. London, 1891.
Honeÿ, James A. South African Folk Tales. New York, 1910.
Hose (Charles) and McDougall (William). The Pagan Tribes of Borneo. 2 vols. London, 1912. (Cited Hose-McDougall.)
Indian Antiquary—A Journal of Oriental Research in Archaeology, History, Literature, Languages, Philosophy, Religion, etc. Bombay (current).
Ingram, J. H. Spanish Fairy Tales. Translated from Fernan Caballero. New York, N.D.
Jacobs, Joseph. Indian Fairy Tales. New York and London, 1913. (Cited Jacobs 1.)
—The Fables of Æsop. I. History of the Æsopic Fable. London, 1889. (Cited Jacobs 2.)
Jātaka, or Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births. Translated from the Pāli by various hands. Edited by E. B. Cowell. 6 vols. Cambridge, V.D.
Journal of American Folk-Lore. (Cited JAFL.)
—Bayliss, Clara K., Tagalog Folk-Tales (JAFL 21 : 45–53).
—Benedict, Laura W., Bagobo Myths (JAFL 26 : 13–63).
—Chamberlain, A. F., Notes on Tagal Folk-Lore (JAFL 15 : 196–198).
—Gardner, Fletcher, Tagalog Folk-Tales (JAFL 20 : 104–116, 300–310).
—Maxfield, B. L., and Millington, W. H., Visayan Folk-Tales (JAFL 19 : 97–112; 20 : 89–103, 311–318).
Journal of Philology.
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, N.S. (Cited JRASB.) Kathā-sarit-sāgara. See Somadeva.
Kingscote, Mrs. Howard. Tales of the Sun, or Folklore of Southern India. London, 1890.
Kittredge, George L. Arthur and Gorlagon (in Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature).
Knowles, the Rev. J. H. Folk-Tales of Kashmir. 2d ed. London, 1893.
Kohler, Reinhold. Kleinere Schriften. I. Zur Märchenforschung. Edited by J. Bolte. Weimar, 1898. (Cited Köhler-Bolte.)
Lal Behari Day. Folk-Tales of Bengal. London, 1883.
Lang, Andrew. Custom and Myth. 2d ed. London, 1885.
Legrand, E. Recueil de contes populaires grecs. Paris, 1881.
Macculloch, J. A. The Childhood of Fiction: A Study of Folk Tales and Primitive Thought. London, 1905.
Mcculloch, William. Bengali Household Tales. London, 1912.
Meier, E. Deutsche Volksmärchen aus Schwaben. Stuttgart, 1852.[xviii]
Metelerkamp, Sanni. Outa Karel’s Stories: South African Folk-Lore Tales. London, 1914.
Mijatovies, Mme. Serbian Folk-Lore. London, 1874.
Orient und Occident, insbesondere in ihren gegenwärtigen Beziehungen, etc. 3 vols. Göttingen, 1860–64.
Pantschatantra. See Benfey.
Panzer, Friedrich. Studien zur germanischen Sagengeschichte. I. Beowulf. München, 1910.
Persian Tales: The 1001 Days. Translated by Ambrose Phillips. 2 vols. London, 1722. (References are to the 6th edition.)
Pitrè, G. Fiabe, Novelline e Racconti Popolari Siciliane. 4 vols. Palermo, 1875.
Pröhle, H. Kinder- und Volksmärchen. Leipzig, 1853.
Radloff, W. Proben der Volkslitteratur der Turkischen Stämme Sud-Sibiriens. 6 vols. St. Petersburg, 1866–86.
Ralston, W. R. S. Russian Folk Tales. London, 1873. (Cited Ralston 1.)
—Tibetan Tales. London, 1882. (Cited Ralston 2.)
Retana, Wenceslao. Aparato Bibliográfico. 3 vols. Madrid, 1906.
Rittershaus, Adeline. Die Neuisländischen Volksmärchen. Halle, 1902.
Riviere, J. Recueil de contes populaires de la Kabylie. Paris, 1882.
Romancero General. 2 vols. Ed. Duran.
Romania: Recueil trimestriel. Ed. par P. Meyer et G. Paris. Paris, current since 1872.
Rondallayre. Lo Rondallayre. Quentos populars catalans, colleccionats per Fr. Maspons y Labros. Barcelona, 1875.
Roth, H. Ling. The Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo. 2 vols. London, 1896.
Rouse, W. H. D. The Talking Thrush and Other Tales from India. London, 1899.
Schiefner, Anton Von. See Tibetan Tales.
Schleicher, August. Litauische Märchen, Sprichworte, Rätsel und Lieder. Weimar, 1857.
Schneller, C. Märchen und Sagen aus Wälschtirol. Innsbruck, 1867.
Schott, Arthur und Albert. Walachische Maerchen. Stuttgart, 1845.
Scott, Jonathan. See Bahar-i-Danush.
Sellers, C. Tales from the Land of Nuts and Grapes. London, 1888.
Skeat, W. W. Fables and Folk-Tales from an Eastern Forest. Cambridge, 1901. (Cited Skeat 1.)[xix]
Skeat, W. W. Malay Magic. London, 1900. (Cited Skeat 2.)
Somadeva. Kathā-sarit-sāgara. Translated into English by C. H. Tawney. 2 vols. Calcutta, 1880, 1884.
Steel (F. A.) and Temple (R. C.). Wideawake Stories = Tales of the Punjab. London, 1894. (Cited Steel-Temple.)
Steere, E. Swahili Tales. London, 1870.
Stokes, Maive. Indian Fairy Tales. London, 1880.
Straparola, Giovan F. Tredici piacevoli Notti. The Nights, now first translated into English by W. G. Waters. 2 vols. London, 1894.
Tawney, C. H. See Somadeva.
Thornhill, Mark. Indian Fairy Tales. London, 1888.
Thorpe, B. Yule-Tide Stories. London, 1853.
Thousand and One Nights. See Arabian Nights’ Entertainment.
Tibetan Tales. Translated from the Tibetan of the Kah-Gyur by F. Anton Von Schiefner. Done into English from the German, with an Introduction, by W. R. S. Ralston. London, 1882. (Cited Ralston 2.)
Tootinameh; or Tales of a Parrot. Persian text with English translation. Calcutta, 1792.
Waldau, A. Böhmisches Märchenbuch. Prag, 1860.
Wardrop, M. Georgian Folk Tales. London, 1894.
Webster, Wentworth. Basque Legends. London (2d ed.), 1879.
Wratislaw, A. H. Sixty Slavonic Folk-Tales. Boston, 1890.
Wuk. Volksmärchen der Serben. Berlin, 1854.
Filipino Popular Tales.
Hero Tales and Drolls.
Suan’s Good Luck.
Narrated by Macaria Garcia. The story is popular among the Pampangans.
There was once an old woman who had an only son named Suan.1 Suan was a clever, sharp-witted boy. His mother sent him to school. Instead of going to school, however, Suan climbed up the tree that stood by the roadside. As soon as his mother had passed by from the market, Suan hurried home ahead of her. When she reached home, he cried, “Mother, I know what you bought in the market to-day.” He then told her, article by article. This same thing happened so repeatedly, that his mother began to believe in his skill as a diviner.
One day the ring of the datu’s2 daughter disappeared. All the people in the locality searched for it, but in vain. The datu called for volunteers to find the lost ring, and he offered his daughter’s hand as a prize to the one who should succeed. Suan’s mother heard of the proclamation. So she went to the palace and presented Suan to the datu.
“Well, Suan, to-morrow tell me where the ring is,” said the datu.
“Yes, my lord, I will tell you, if you will give your soldiers over to me for to-night,” Suan replied.
“You shall have everything you need,” said the datu.
That evening Suan ordered the soldiers to stand around him in a semicircle. When all were ready, Suan pointed at each one of them, and said, “The ring is here, and nowhere else.” It so happened that Suan fixed his eyes on the guilty soldier, who trembled and became pale. “I know who has it,” said Suan. Then he ordered them to retire.
Late in the night this soldier came to Suan, and said, “I will get the ring you are in search of, and will give it to you if you will promise me my safety.”
“Give it to me, and you shall be safe,” said Suan.
Very early the next morning Suan came to the palace with a turkey in his arms. “Where is the ring?” the datu demanded. “Why, sir, it is in this turkey’s intestines,” Suan replied. The turkey was then killed, and the ring was found inside it.
“You have done very well, Suan. Now you shall have my daughter’s hand,” said the datu. So Suan became the princess’s husband.
One day the datu proposed a bet with any one who wished to prove Suan’s skill. Accordingly another datu came. He offered to bet seven cascos3 of treasure that Suan could not tell the number of seeds that were in his orange. Suan did not know what to do. At midnight he went secretly to the cascos. Here he heard their conversation, and from it he learned the number of seeds in the orange.
In the morning Suan said boastfully, “I tell you, your orange has nine seeds.” Thus Suan won the whole treasure.
Hoping to recover his loss, the datu came again. This time he had with him fourteen cascos full of gold. He asked Suan to tell him what was inside his golden ball. Suan did not know what to say. So in the dead of night he went out to the cascos, but he could learn nothing there. The next morning Suan was summoned into the presence of the two datus. He had no idea whatever as to what was in the ball; so he said scornfully, “Nonsense!”
“That is right, that is right!” shouted a man. “The ball contains nine cents.” Consequently Suan won the fourteen cascos full of gold. From now on, nobody doubted Suan’s merit.
Narrated by Manuel Reyes, a Tagalog from Rizal province. He heard the story from his grandfather.
Many years ago there lived in the country of Campao a boy named Suan. While this boy was studying in a private school, it was said that he could not pronounce the letter x very well—he called it “eket.” So his schoolmates nick-named him “Suan Eket.”
Finally Suan left school, because, whenever he went there, the other pupils always shouted at him, “Eket, eket, eket!” He went home, and told his mother to buy him a pencil and a pad of paper. “I am the wisest boy in our town now,” said he.
One night Suan stole his father’s plough, and hid it in a creek near their house. The next morning his father could not find his plough.
“What are you looking for?” said Suan.
“My plough,” answered his father.
“Come here, father! I will guess where it is.” Suan took his pencil and a piece of paper. On the paper he wrote figures of various shapes. He then looked up, and said,—
Na na nakawes
Ay na s’imburnales,”—
which meant that the plough had been stolen by a neighbor and hidden in a creek. Suan’s father looked for it in the creek near their house, and found it. In great wonder he said, “My son is truly the wisest boy in the town.” News spread that Suan was a good guesser.
One day as Suan was up in a guava-tree, he saw his uncle Pedro ploughing. At noon Pedro went home to eat his dinner, leaving the plough and the carabao4 in the field. Suan got down from the tree and climbed up on the carabao’s back. He guided it to a very secret place in the mountains and hid it there. When Pedro came back, he could not find his carabao. A man who was passing by said, “Pedro, what are you looking for?”
“I am looking for my carabao. Somebody must have stolen it.” “Go to Suan, your nephew,” said the man. “He can tell you who stole your carabao.” So Pedro went to Suan’s house, and told him to guess who had taken his carabao.
Suan took his pencil and a piece of paper. On the paper he wrote some round figures. He then looked up, and said,
Ay na sa bundokes,”—
which meant that the carabao was stolen by a neighbor and was hidden in the mountain. For many days Pedro looked for it in the mountain. At last he found it in a very secret place. He then went to Suan’s house, and told him that the carabao was truly in the mountain. In great wonder he said, “My nephew is surely a good guesser.”
One Sunday a proclamation of the king was read. It was as follows: “The princess’s ring is lost. Whoever can tell who stole it shall have my daughter for his wife; but he who tries and fails, loses his head.”
When Suan’s mother heard it, she immediately went to the palace, and said, “King, my son can tell you who stole your daughter’s ring.”
“Very well,” said the king, “I will send my carriage for your son to ride to the palace in.”
In great joy the woman went home. She was only ascending the ladder5 when she shouted, “Suan Suan, my fortunate son!”
“What is it, mother?” said Suan.
“I told the king that you could tell him who stole the princess’s ring.”
“Foolish mother, do you want me to die?” said Suan, trembling.
Suan had scarcely spoken these words when the king’s carriage came. The coachman was a courtier. This man was really the one who had stolen the princess’s ring. When Suan was in the carriage, he exclaimed in great sorrow, “Death is at hand!” Then he blasphemed, and said aloud to himself, “You will lose your life now.”
The coachman thought that Suan was addressing him. He said to himself, “I once heard that this man is a good guesser. He must know that it was I who stole the ring, because he said that my death is at hand.” So he knelt before Suan, and said, “Pity me! Don’t tell the king that it was I who stole the ring!”
Suan was surprised at what the coachman said. After thinking for a moment, he asked, “Where is the ring?”
“Here it is.”
“All right! Listen, and I will tell you what you must do in order that you may not be punished by the king. You must catch one of the king’s geese to-night, and make it swallow the ring.”
The coachman did what Suan had told him to do. He caught a goose and opened its mouth. He then dropped the ring into it, and pressed the bird’s throat until it swallowed the ring.
The next morning the king called Suan, and said, “Tell me now who stole my daughter’s ring.”
“May I have a candle? I cannot guess right if I have no candle,” said Suan.
The king gave him one. He lighted it and put it on a round table. He then looked up and down. He went around the table several times, uttering Latin words. Lastly he said in a loud voice, “Mi domine!”
“Where is the ring?” said the king.
“Singsing na nawala
Ninakao ang akala
Ay nas’ ’big ng gansa,”—
which meant that the ring was not stolen, but had been swallowed by a goose. The king ordered all the geese to be killed. In the crop of one of them they found the ring. In great joy the king patted Suan on the back, and said, “You are truly the wisest boy in the world.”
The next day there was a great entertainment, and Suan and the princess were married.
In a country on the other side of the sea was living a rich man named Mayabong. This man heard that the King of Campao had a son-in-law who was a good guesser. So he filled one of his cascos with gold and silver, and sailed to Campao. He went to the palace, and said, “King, is it true that your son-in-law is a good guesser?”
“Yes,” said the king.
“Should you like to have a contest with me? If your son-in-law can tell how many seeds these melons I have brought here contain, I will give you that casco filled with gold and silver on the sea; but if he fails, you are to give me the same amount of money as I have brought.”
The king agreed. Mayabong told him that they would meet at the public square the next day.
When Mayabong had gone away, the king called Suan, and said, “Mayabong has challenged me to a contest. You are to guess how many seeds the melons he has contain. Can you do it?” Suan was ashamed to refuse; so, even though he knew that he could not tell how many seeds a melon contained, he answered, “Yes.”
When night came, Suan could not sleep. He was wondering what to do. At last he decided to drown himself in the sea. So he went to the shore and got into a tub. “I must drown myself far out, so that no one may find my body. If they see it, they will say that I was not truly a good guesser,” he said to himself. He rowed and rowed until he was very tired. It so happened that he reached the place where Mayabong’s casco was anchored. There he heard somebody talking. “How many seeds has the green melon?” said one. “Five,” answered another. “How many seeds has the yellow one?”—“Six.”
When Suan heard how many seeds each melon contained, he immediately rowed back to shore and went home.
The next morning Suan met Mayabong at the public square, as agreed. Mayabong held up a green melon, and said, “How many seeds does this melon contain?”
“Five seeds,” answered Suan, after uttering some Latin words.
The melon was cut, and was found to contain five seeds. The king shouted, “We are right!”
Mayabong then held up another melon, and said, “How many does this one contain?”
Seeing that it was the yellow melon, Suan said, “It contains six.”
When the melon was cut, it was found that Suan was right again. So he won the contest.
Now, Mayabong wanted to win his money back again. So he took a bottle and filled it with dung, and covered it tightly. He challenged the king again to a contest. But when Suan refused this time, because he had no idea as to what was in the bottle, the king said, “I let you marry my daughter, because I thought that you were a good guesser. Now you must prove that you are. If you refuse, you will lose your life.”
When Mayabong asked what the bottle contained, Suan, filled with rage, picked it up and hurled it down on the floor, saying, “I consider that you are all waste to me.”6 When the bottle was broken, it was found to contain waste, or dung. In great joy the king crowned Suan to succeed him. Thus Suan lived happily the rest of his life with his wife the princess.
Two other printed variants are—
(c) “Juan the Guesser” (in H. E. Fansler’s Types of Prose Narratives [Chicago, 1911], pp. 73–77).
(d) “Juan Pusong” (JAFL 19 : 107–108).
This story seems to be fairly widespread among the Filipinos: there is no doubt of its popularity. The distinguishing incidents of the type are as follows:—
A¹ Lazy son decides that he will go to school no longer, and (A²) with his ABC book or a pencil and pad of paper, he has no trouble in making his parents think him wise. (A³) He tells his mother that he has learned to be a prophet and can discover hidden things. (A⁴) He spies on his mother, and then “guesses” what she has prepared for supper.
B He hides his father’s plough (cattle), and then finds it for him. (B¹) Plays similar trick on his uncle, thereby establishing his reputation as a diviner.
C King’s daughter loses ring, and the king sends for Juan to find it under penalty of death if he fails, or (C¹) his mother volunteers her son’s services. (C²) He accidentally discovers the thief by an ejaculation of sorrow, or (C³) shrewdly picks out the guilty one from among the soldiers.
In either case he causes the ring to be hid in a secret place or swallowed by a goose (turkey), in whose body it is found the next day.
D Juan marries the princess.
E By overhearing a conversation, Juan is able to tell the number of seeds in an orange (melon), and to win a large sum of money from a neighboring king who has come to bet with hero’s father-in-law.
F Hero required to accept another bet, as to the contents of three jars. (Method as in E,—swimming out to neighboring king’s casco and overhearing conversation.)
G Ejaculation guess as to contents of golden ball (bottle).
H Afraid of being called on for further demonstration of his skill, hero burns his “magic” book.
These incidents are distributed among the four forms of the story as follows:—
Version a A¹A⁴C¹C³DEG
Version b A¹A²BB¹C¹C²DEG
Version c A¹A²BCC²DE(accidentally hears answer)FH
Version d A¹A³A⁴EB
A concluding adventure is sometimes added to version c, “Juan the Guesser.” King and queen of another country visit palace of Juan’s father-in-law and want their newly-born child baptized. Juan is selected to be godfather. When called upon to sign the baptism certificate, he instantly dies of shame, pen in hand: he cannot write even his own name.
A connection between our story and Europe at once suggests itself. “Dr. Knowall” (Grimm, No. 98) is perhaps the best-known, though by no means the fullest, Western version. Bolte and Polívka (2  : 402) give the skeleton of the cycle as follows:—
A¹ A peasant with the name of Crab (Cricket, Rat), who buys a physician’s costume and calls himself Dr. Knowall, or (A²) who would like to satiate himself once with three days’ eating, (B) discovers the thieves who have stolen from a distinguished gentleman a ring (treasure), by calling out upon the entrance of the servants (or at the end of the three days), “That is the first (second, third)!” (C) He also guesses what is in the covered dish (or closed hand) while commiserating himself, “Poor Crab (Cricket, Rat)!” (D¹) Through a purgative he by chance helps to find a stolen horse, or (D²) he discovers the horse that has previously been concealed by him. (E) He gets a living among the peasants, upon whom he has made an impression with a short or unintelligible sermon or through the crashing-down of the pulpit, which has previously been sawed through by him.
Bolte lists over a hundred and fifty stories containing one or more incidents of this cycle. The discovery of the ring inside a domestic fowl (sometimes animal) is found in most of the European versions, as is likewise the “ejaculation guess” (our C³ and G).
These two details, however, are also found in Oriental forms of the story, which, as a whole, have some peculiarly distinctive traits. These (see Bolte-Polívka, 2 : 407) are (1) the rôle of the wife, (2) the collapsing of the room, (3) the burning of the magic book. The appearance in the Philippine versions of two of these motifs (one in modified form), together with a third (the betting-contest between the two kings, which is undoubtedly Eastern in origin), leads us to believe that our story of “Juan the Guesser” is in large measure descended directly from Oriental tradition, though it may owe something to Occidental influence.
In two of our variants it is the mother who in her fond pride places her son in jeopardy of losing his head. As the hero is a young bachelor when the story opens, the exploitation of his prowess would naturally devolve upon his mother. The burning of the magic book is found in version c, though the incident of the collapsing of the room or house is lacking in all our variants. The most characteristic episode, however, in the Philippine members of this cycle, is the betting-contest between the two kings. It is introduced five times into the four tales. Its only other occurrence that I know of in this cycle is in an Arabian story cited by Cosquin (2 : 192), which follows.
One day, when the king was boasting of his conjurer before some other kings, they said to him, “We too have some diviners. Let us compare their wits with the wisdom of your man.” The kings then buried three pots,—one filled with milk, another with honey, and the third with pitch. The conjurers of the other kings could not say what was in the pots. Then Asfour (the hero) was called. He turned to his wife, and said, “All this (trouble) comes of you. We could have left the country. The first (time) it was milk; the second, honey; the third, pitch.” The kings were dumfounded. “He has named the milk, the honey, and the pitch without hesitation,” they said, and they gave him a pension.
The close resemblance between this detail and the corresponding one (F) in “Juan the Guesser” is immediately evident. The fact that the difficulty in Juan’s career is overcome, not by an “ejaculation guess,” but by a providential accident (much the same thing, however), does not decrease the significance of the two passages.
That the betting-contest between the two kings is an Oriental conception (very likely based on actual early custom) is further borne out by its appearance in a remarkable group of Eastern stories of the “Clever Lass” type (see Child, English and Scottish Ballads, 1 : 11). “The gist of these narratives,” writes Professor Child, “is that one king propounds tasks to another; in the earlier ones, with the intent to discover whether his brother-monarch enjoys the aid of such counsellors as will make an attack on him dangerous; in the later, with the demand that he shall acquit himself satisfactorily, or suffer a forfeit: and the king is delivered from a serious strait by the sagacity either of a minister . . . or of the daughter of his minister, who came to her father’s assistance …. These tasks are always such as require ingenuity of one kind or another, whether in devising practical experiments, in contriving subterfuges, in solving riddles, or even in constructing compliments.”
One other Oriental variant of this story may be cited because of its similarity to two of our tales (cf. our episodes C and C²). This is an Anamese version, printed in the “Chrestomathie cochin-chinoise” (Paris, 1872), 1 : 30:—
There was once a man who, being qualified for nothing, and not knowing how to earn a living, made up his mind one day to become a diviner. As luck had many times served him, the public came to believe in his oracles…. He amassed a good round sum, and day by day his success made him more bold and boastful. Once a golden tortoise disappeared from the palace of the king. As all searches for it resulted in nothing, some one mentioned the diviner to the king, and begged permission to summon him. The king ordered his litter prepared, the escort and the umbrellas of honor, and sent to have the conjurer fetched. When the conjurer learned what was the matter, he was very much disturbed, but he could not resist the commands of the king. Accordingly he dressed himself, entered the litter, and set out. Along the road the poor diviner continually bemoaned his fate. Finally he cried out, “What is the use of groaning? The stomach (bung) has caused it all; the belly (da) will suffer for it” (an Anamese proverb). Now, it happened that the two litter-bearers were named Bung and Da, and it was they who had stolen the king’s gold tortoise. When they heard the exclamation of the diviner, they believed that they had been discovered. They begged him to have pity on them; they confessed that they had stolen the tortoise and had hidden it in the gutter. “Very well,” said the diviner, “I will spare you; I will say nothing; reassure yourselves.” When he reached the palace, he went through some magical performances, found the tortoise, and was overwhelmed by the king with rewards and honors.—COSQUIN, 2 : 192.
It is entirely possible that this story and our two stories containing the same situation are connected. Trading between Manila and Indo-China has been going on for centuries.
The history of the Philippine story has probably been something like this: To an early narrative about a wager between two neighboring kings or datus, in which the winner was aided by the shrewdness of an advisor (originally having a considerable amount of real ability), were added other adventures showing how the advisor came to have his post of honor. The germ of this story doubtless came from India via the Malay migrations; the additional details possibly belong to a much later period.
It is, moreover, not impossible that this whole cycle of the lucky “anti-hero” grew up as a conscious antithesis to the earlier cycle of the genuinely “Clever Lass” (see No. 7 in this collection).
In conclusion I might call attention to Benfey’s treatment of this droll in “Orient und Occident” (1 : 371 et seq.). Benfey traces the story from the Orient, but considers that its fullest form is that given in Schleicher’s Lithuanian legends. The tale is also found in “Somadeva,” Chapter XXX (Tawney, 1 : 272–274).
1A common nickname for “Juan,” equivalent to the English “Jack.”
2Datu, old native name for “village chieftain.”
3Casco, a commodious wooden cargo-boat commonly used in rivers and propelled by poling.
4Carabao, a gray water-buffalo used throughout the Archipelago as a draught-animal.
5The usual means of getting into a native grass house is a bamboo ladder.
6This is a common Tagalog expression, and means, “I consider that you are all inferior to me in every respect.”
The Charcoal-maker Who Became King.
Narrated by José R. Perez, a Tagalog living in Manila, who heard the story when a boy from his nurse.
Once upon a time there lived a king who had one beautiful daughter. When she was old enough to be married, her father, as was the custom in ancient times, made a proclamation throughout his kingdom thus: “Whosoever shall be able to bring me ten car-loads of money for ten successive days shall have the hand of my beautiful daughter and also my crown. If, however, any one undertakes and fails, he shall be put to death.”
A boy, the only son of a poor charcoal-maker, heard this announcement in his little town. He hurried home to his mother, and said that he wanted to marry the beautiful princess and to be king of their country. The mother, however, paid no attention to what her foolish son had said, for she well knew that they had very little money.
The next day the boy, as usual, took his hatchet and went to the forest to cut wood. He started to cut down a very huge tree, which would take him several days to finish. While he was busy with his hatchet, he seemed to hear a voice saying, “Cut this tree no more. Dip your hand into the hole of the trunk, and you will find a purse which will give you all the money you wish.” At first he did not pay any attention to the voice, but finally he obeyed it. To his surprise, he got the purse, but found it empty. Disappointed, he angrily threw it away; but as the purse hit the ground, silver money rolled merrily out of it. The youth quickly gathered up the coins; then, picking up the purse, he started for home, filled with happiness.
When he reached the house, he spread petates1 over the floor of their little hut, called his mother, and began shaking the purse. The old woman was amazed and delighted when she saw dollars coming out in what seemed to be an inexhaustible stream. She did not ask her son where he had found the purse, but was now thoroughly convinced that he could marry the beautiful princess and be king afterwards.
The next morning she ordered her son to go to the palace to inform his Majesty that he would bring him the money he demanded in exchange for his daughter and his crown. The guard of the palace, however, thought that the youth was crazy; for he was poorly dressed and had rude manners. Therefore he refused to let him in. But their talk was overheard by the king, who ordered the guard to present the youth before him. The king read the announcement, emphasizing the part which said that in case of failure the contestant would be put to death. To this condition the charcoal-maker agreed. Then he asked the king to let him have a talk with his daughter. The meeting was granted, and the youth was extremely pleased with the beauty and vivacity of the princess.
After he had bidden her good-by, he told the king to send the cars with him to get the first ten car-loads of money. The cars were sent with guards. The drivers and the guards of the convoy were astonished when they saw the poor charcoal-maker fill the ten cars with bright new silver dollars. The princess, too, at first was very much pleased with such a large sum of money.
Five days went by, and the youth had not failed to send the amount of money required. “Five days more, and I shall surely be married!” said the princess to herself. “Married? Yes, married life is like music without words. But will it be in my case? My future husband is ugly, unrefined, and of low descent. But—he is rich. Yes, rich; but what are riches if I am going to be wretched? No, I will not marry him for all the world. I will play a trick on him.”
The next day the guard informed her that the riches of the young man were inexhaustible, for the purse from which he got his money seemed to be magical. When she heard this, she commanded the guard to tell the young man that she wished to see him alone. Filled with joy because of this sign of her favor, the youth hastened to the palace, conducted by the guard. The princess entertained him regally, and tried all sorts of tricks to get possession of the magical purse. At last she succeeded in inducing him to go to sleep. While he was unconscious, the deceitful princess stole the purse and left him alone in the chamber.
When he awoke, he saw that the princess had deserted him and that his purse was gone. “Surely I am doomed to die if I don’t leave this kingdom at once,” said he to himself. “My purse is gone, and I cannot now fulfil my contract.” He at once hurried home, told his parents to abandon their home and town, and he himself started on a journey for another kingdom. After much travelling, he reached mountainous places, and had eaten but little for many a day.
By good luck he came across a tree heavily laden with fruits. The tree was strange to him; but the delicious appearance of its fruit, and his hunger, tempted him to try some. While he was eating, he was terrified to find that two horns had appeared on his forehead. He tried his best to pull them off, but in vain. The next day he saw another tree, whose fruit appeared even more tempting. He climbed it, picked some fruits, and ate them. To his surprise, his horns immediately fell off. He wrapped some of this fruit up in his handkerchief, and then went back to find the tree whose fruit he had eaten the day before. He again ate some of its fruit, and again two horns grew out of his head. Then he ate some of the other kind, and the horns fell off. Confident now that he had a means of recovering his purse, he gathered some of the horn-producing fruits, wrapped them in his shirt, and started home. By this time he had been travelling for nearly two years, and his face had so changed that he could not be recognized by his own parents, or by his town-mates who had been hired by the king to search for him for execution.
When he reached his town, he decided to place himself in the king’s palace as a helper of the royal cook. As he was willing to work without pay, he easily came to terms with the cook. One of the conditions of their agreement was that the cook would tell him whatever the king or the king’s family were talking about. After a few months the charcoal-maker proved himself to be an excellent cook. In fact, he was now doing all the cooking in the palace; for the chief cook spent most of his time somewhere else, coming home only at meal times.
Now comes the fun of the story. One day while the cook was gone, the youth ground up the two kinds of fruit. He mixed the kind that produced horns with the king’s food: the other kind, which caused the horns to fall off, he mixed with water and put into a jar. The cook arrived, and everything was ready. The table was prepared, and the king and his family were called to eat. The queen and the king and the beautiful princess, who were used to wearing golden crowns set with diamonds and other precious stones, were then to be seen with sharp ugly horns on their heads. When the king discovered that they all had horns, he summoned the cook at once, and asked, “What kind of food did you give us?”
“The same food that your Highness ate a week ago,” replied the cook, who was terrified to see the royal family with horns.
“Cook, go and find a doctor. Don’t tell him or any one else that we have horns. Tell the doctor that the king wants him to perform an operation,” ordered the king.
The cook set out immediately to find a doctor; but he was intercepted by the charcoal-maker, who was eager to hear the king’s order. “Where are you going? Say, cook, why are you in such a hurry? What is the matter?”
“Don’t bother me!” said the cook. “I am going to find a doctor. The king and his family have horns on their heads, and I am ordered to find a doctor who can take them off.”
“I can make those horns fall off. You needn’t bother to find a doctor. Here, try some of this food, cook!” said the helper, giving him some of the same food he had prepared for the king. The cook tried it, and it was good; but, to his alarm, he felt two horns on his head. To prevent rumors from reaching the ears of the king, the youth then gave the cook a glass of the water he had prepared, and the horns fell off. While the charcoal-maker was playing this trick on the cook, he related the story of his magical purse, and how he had lost it.
“Change your clothes, then, and get ready, and I will present you to the king as the doctor,” said the cook.
The helper then dressed himself just like a doctor of surgery, and was conducted by the cook into the king’s presence.
“Doctor, I want you to do all you can, and use the best of your wisdom, to take off these horns from our heads. But before doing it, promise me first that you will not unfold the matter to the people; for my queen, my daughter, and I would rather die than be known to have lived with horns. If you succeed in taking them off, you shall inherit one-half of my kingdom and have the hand of my fair daughter,” said the king.
“I do promise. But listen, O king! In order to get rid of those horns, you must undergo the severest treatment, which may cause your death,” replied the doctor.
“It is no matter. If we should die, we would rather die hornless than live with horns,” said the king.
After the agreement was written out, the doctor ordered the treatment. The king and the queen were to be whipped until they bled, while the princess was to dance with the doctor until she became exhausted. These were the remedies given by the doctor.
While the king and queen were being whipped, the doctor who, we must remember, was the cook’s helper—went to the kitchen to get the jar of water which he had prepared. The cruel servants who were scourging the king and the queen took much delight in their task, and did not quit until the king and queen were almost lifeless. The doctor forgot the royal couple while he was dancing with the princess, and found them just about to die. He succeeded, however, in giving them some of the fruit-water he had made ready, and the horns fell off. The princess, exhausted, also asked for a drink when she stopped dancing, and the horns fell off her head too.
A few days afterwards the king and the queen died, and the doctor succeeded to the throne, with the beautiful princess as his wife. Then the doctor told her that he was the poor charcoal-maker who had owned the magic purse that she had stolen from him. As soon as he was seated on the throne, he made his friend the cook one of his courtiers. Although the new king was uneducated and unrefined, he welcomed all wise men to his palace as his counsellors, and his kingdom prospered as it had never done under its previous rulers.
Another Tagalog version, called “Pedro’s Fortunes” and narrated by Facundo Esquivel of Nueva Ecija, represents the hero as inheriting the inexhaustible purse from his father.
Pedro, with his wealth, soon attracts the notice of the princess, who slyly wheedles his purse away from him. Bent on revenge, he sets out travelling. Hunger soon drives him to eat some beautiful blossoms he finds on a strange tree in the mountains. No sooner has he eaten, however, than horns grow out of his forehead. At first in despair, but later becoming philosophical, he eats some of the leaves of the tree. Horns disappear. Taking blossoms and leaves with him, he goes on. He finds another tree with blossoms similar to the first. He eats: fangs from upper jaw. Eats leaves from the same tree: fangs disappear. Takes with him specimens of both flowers and leaves. Third tree: blossoms tail-producing. When he reaches home, he makes a decoction of the three kinds of flowers, then goes to the palace and sells “lemonade from Paradise.” King, queen, and princess drink: horns, fangs, tails. All efforts to remove them vain. Proclamation that princess’s hand will be given to whoever can cure the royal family. Disguised as a doctor, Pedro cures king, queen, and princess with a decoction of the three kinds of leaves, first, however, demanding and getting back his purse. Pedro is married to princess.
These two stories (No. 2 and the variant) belong to the type in which the hero loses a magic article (or three magic articles) through the trickery of a princess, but recovers it (them) again by the aid of fruits (blossoms) which, if eaten, cause bodily deformity,—leprosy, horns, a tail, a long nose, transformation into an animal, or the like. The princess, a victim of one of these fruits, which the hero causes her to eat unwittingly, can be restored to her former beauty only by eating of another fruit which the hero, disguised as a physician, supplies on condition that the magic articles first stolen be given up. A detailed study of this cycle has been made by Antti Aarne (pp. 85–142). Aarne names the cycle “The Three Magic Articles and the Wonderful Fruit.” After an examination of some hundred and forty-five variants of the story, all but four of which are European, he concludes that the tale arose among the Celts (British Isles and France) and spread eastward (p. 135), and that the farther we go from these two lands, the more freely are the original details of the story handled (p. 137).
The prototype of this folk-tale Aarne reconstructs as follows (pp. 124–125):—
There are three brothers, soldiers. Each comes into the possession of a specific magic article. One obtains a purse which is never empty; the second, a horn which when blown raises an army; and the third, a mantle which transports its owner wherever he commands it to go. (The owner of the purse begins to lead such a luxurious life, that he becomes acquainted with the king and his family.) The king’s daughter deprives the hero of his magic purse. He gets from his brother the second magic article, but the same thing happens again: the princess steals the horn likewise. A third time the hero goes to the princess, taking the mantle given him by his brother. With the help of this, the hero succeeds in punishing the princess by transporting her to a distant island. But she cheats him again. In the magic mantle she wishes herself home, leaving him on the island. He happens upon an apple-tree. He eats some of the fruit, but notices with dismay that horns have grown from his head. After a time he finds other apples; and when he has eaten them, the horns disappear, and he regains his original form. Unrecognized, the youth sets out to sell to the king’s daughter some of the first apples. Without suspecting any evil, she eats them, and horns appear on her head. No one is able to cure her. Then the hero appears as a foreign physician at the court of the king, and makes ready his cure. He gives the princess enough of the good apple to cause the horns to decrease in size. In this way he compels her to give him back the stolen articles.
The Tagalog versions of the story differ considerably from this archetype. No brothers of the hero are mentioned. There is but one magic object, an inexhaustible purse: hence there is no magic flight to an island. In none of Aarne’s variants do we find blossoms producing horns which may be removed only by leaves from the same tree, as in our variant. The tail-producing fruit is found in nine European versions (five Finnish, two Russian, two Italian), but the fang-producing blossom is peculiar only to our variant; likewise the “lemonade from Paradise” method of dispensing the extract. In thirty-five of the Finnish and Russian forms of the story the hero whips the princess to make her give up the stolen articles, or introduces whipping as a part of the cure (cf. No. 2). Both Filipino versions end with the marriage of the hero to the princess, a detail often lacking in the other versions.
It is impossible to say when or whence this tale reached the Philippines. The fact that the story does not seem to be widespread in the Islands suggests that its introduction was recent, while the separate incidents point to some Finnish or Russian version as source. The only crystallized elements found in the Philippines are the poor hero’s obtaining a magic purse, his aspiring to the hand of the princess, her theft of the magic object, and its recovery by means of horn-producing fruits. The complete story (2) seems to be more native and less “manufactured” than the variant.
Besides Aarne, for a general discussion of this cycle see Cosquin, 1 : 123–132; R. Köhler’s notes to Gonzenbach’s No. 31, and his variants of this story in Zeitschrift des Vereins für Volkskunde (1896); Von Hahn, 2 : 246–247; Grimm, notes to No. 122, “Donkey Cabbages” (in Tales [ed. Hunt], 2 : 419–423). F. H. Groome’s “The Seer” (No. 23), a part of which resembles very closely the literary form of the story in the Gesta Romanorum (ch. 120), seems to have been overlooked by Aarne.
1Petate (Sp.-Mexican), a sleeping-mat made of woven straw.
The Story of Carancal.
Narrated by José P. Caedo, a Tagalog from Batangas, Batangas.
Once upon a time there lived a couple who had long been married, but had no child. Every Sunday they went to church and begged God to give them a son. They even asked the witches in their town why God would not give them a child. The witches told them that they would have one after a year, but that when born he would be no longer than a span. Nevertheless the couple gave thanks.
After a year a son was born to them. He was very small, as the witches had foretold, but he was stronger than any one would expect such a small child to be. “It is strange,” said a neighbor. “Why, he eats more food than his stomach can hold.” The boy grew larger and larger, and the amount of food he ate became greater and greater. When he became four feet tall, his daily requirements were a cavan1 of rice and twenty-five pounds of meat and fish. “I can’t imagine how so small a person can eat so much food,” said his mother to her husband. “He is like a grasshopper: he eats all the time.”
Carancal, as the boy was called, was very strong and very kind-hearted. He was the leader of the other boys of the town, for he could beat all of them in wrestling.
After a few years the family’s property had all been sold to buy food for the boy. Day after day they became poorer and poorer, for Carancal’s father had no other business but fishing. So one day when Carancal was away playing, the wife said to her husband, “What shall we do with Carancal? He will make us as poor as rats. It is better for us to tell him to go earn his living, for he is old enough to work.”
“No, it is a shame to send him off,” said the father, “for we asked God for him. I will take him to the forest and there kill him; and if the neighbors ask how he died, we will say that an accident befell him while cutting trees.”
Early the next morning his father led Carancal to the forest, and they began to cut down a very big tree. When the tree was about to fall, Carancal’s father ordered the son to stand where the tree inclined; so that when it fell, Carancal was entirely buried. The father immediately went home, thinking that his son had surely been killed; but when he and his wife were talking, Carancal came home with the big tree on his shoulders.
“Father, father, why did you leave me alone in the forest?” said the obedient boy.
The father could not move or speak, for shame of himself. He only helped his son unload the heavy burden. The mother could not speak either, for fear Carancal might suspect their bad intentions toward him. Accordingly she and her husband planned another scheme.
The next day Carancal was invited by his father to go fishing. They rowed and rowed until they were far out into the blue sea. Then they put their net into the water. “Carancal, dive down and see that our net is sound,” said the father. Carancal obeyed. In about a minute the water became red and began to foam. This made the old man think that his son had been devoured by a big fish, so he rowed homeward. When he reached home, his wife anxiously asked if Carancal was dead; and the husband said, “Yes.” They then cooked their meal and began to eat. But their supper was not half finished when Carancal came in, carrying a big alligator. He again asked his father why he had left him alone to bring such a big load. The father said, “I thought you had been killed by a large fish.” Carancal then asked his mother to cook him a cavan of rice, for he was tired from swimming such a long distance.
The couple were now discouraged; they could not think of any way by which to get rid of Carancal. At last the impatient woman said, “Carancal, you had better go out into the world to see what you can do toward earning your own living. You know that we are becoming poorer and poorer.” . . .
“Mother,” interrupted the boy, “I really did not wish to go away from you; but, now that you drive me as if I were not your son, I cannot stay.” He paused for a moment to wipe the tears from his cheeks. “You know that I love you; but you, in turn, hate me. What shall I do? I am your son, and so I must not disobey you. But before I depart, father and mother, please give me a bolo,2 a big bolo, to protect myself in case of danger.”
The parents willingly promised that he should have one, and after two days an enormous bolo five yards long was finished. Carancal took it, kissed the hands of his parents,3 and then went away with a heavy heart.
When he had left his little village behind, he did not know which way to go. He was like a ship without a rudder. He walked and walked until he came to a forest, where he met Bugtongpalasan.4 Carancal asked him where he was going; and Bugtongpalasan said, “I am wandering, but I do not know where to go. I have lost my parents, and they have left me nothing to inherit.”
“Do you want to go with me?” said Carancal.
“Yes,” said Bugtongpalasan.
“Let us wrestle first, and the loser will carry my bolo,” said Carancal as a challenge. They wrestled; and Bugtongpalasan was defeated, so he had to carry the big bolo.
Then they continued their journey until they met Tunkodbola,5 whom Carancal also challenged to a wrestling-match. Tunkodbola laughed at Carancal, and said, “Look at this!” He twisted up a tree near by, and hurled it out of sight.
“That is all right. Let us wrestle, and we will see if you can twist me,” said Carancal scornfully. So they wrestled. The earth trembled, trees were uprooted, large stones rolled about; but Tunkodbola was defeated.
“Here, take this bolo and carry it!” said Carancal triumphantly; and they continued their journey.
When they reached the top of a mountain, they saw a big man. This was Macabuhalbundok.6 Carancal challenged him; but Macabuhalbundok only laughed, and pushed up a hill. As the hill fell, he said, “Look at this hill! I gave it only a little push, and it was overthrown.”
“Well, I am not a hill,” said Carancal. “I can balance myself.” They wrestled together, and Carancal was once more the winner.
The four companions now walked on together. They were all wandering about, not knowing where to go. When they were in the midst of a thick wood, they became hungry; so Carancal, their captain, ordered one of them to climb a tall tree and see if any house was nigh. Bugtongpalasan did so, and he saw a big house near the edge of the forest. They all went to the house to see if they might not beg some food.
It was a very large house; but all the windows were closed, and it seemed to be uninhabited. They knocked at the door, but no one answered. Then they went in, and found a table covered with delicious food; and as they were almost famished, they lost no time in devouring what seemed to have been prepared for them. After all had eaten, three of them went hunting, leaving Bugtongpalasan behind to cook more food for them against their return.
While Bugtongpalasan was cooking, he felt the earth tremble, and in a short time he saw a big giant ascending the stairs of the house, saying, “Ho, bajo tao cainco,”7 which means “I smell a man whom I will eat.” Bugtongpalasan faced him, but what could a man do to a big giant? The monster pulled a hair out of his head and tied Bugtongpalasan to a post. Then he cooked his own meal. After eating, he went away, leaving his prisoner in the house.
When the three arrived, they were very angry with Bugtongpalasan because no food had been prepared for them; but they untied him, and made him get the meal. Tunkodbola was the next one left behind as cook while the others went hunting, but he had the same experience as Bugtongpalasan. Then Macabuhalbundok; but the same thing happened to him too.
It was now the turn of Carancal to try his wit, strength, and luck. Before the three left, he had them shave his head. When the giant came and saw that Carancal’s head was white, he laughed. “It is a very fine thing to have a white head,” said the giant. “Make my head white, too.”
“Your head must be shaved to be white,” said Carancal, “and it is a very difficult thing to shave a head.”
“Never mind that! I want to have my head shaved,” said the giant impatiently.
Carancal then got some ropes and wax. He tied the giant tightly to a post, and then smeared his body with wax. He next took a match and set the giant’s body on fire. Thus the giant was destroyed, and the four lived in the house as if it were their own.
Not long afterwards a rumor reached their ears. It was to this effect: that in a certain kingdom on the other side of the sea lived a king who wanted to have a huge stone removed from its place. This stone was so big that it covered much ground. The prize that would be given to the one who could remove it was the hand of the king’s prettiest daughter.
The four set out to try their strength. At that time there were no boats for them to sail on, so they had to swim. After three weeks’ swimming, they landed on an island-like place in the sea, to rest. It was smooth and slippery, which made them wonder what it could be. Carancal, accordingly, drew his bolo and thrust it into the island. How fast the island moved after the stroke! It was not really an island, but a very big fish. Fortunately the fish carried the travellers near the shores of the kingdom they were seeking.
When the four arrived, they immediately presented themselves to the king, and told him that they would try to move the stone. The king ordered one of his soldiers to show them the stone. There a big crowd of people collected to watch the four strong men.
The first to try was Bugtongpalasan. He could hardly budge it. Then Tunkodbola tried, but moved it only a few yards. When Macabuhalbundok’s turn came, he moved the great stone half a mile; but the king said that it was not satisfactory. Carancal then took hold of the rope tied to the stone, and gave a swing. In a minute the great stone was out of sight.
The king was very much pleased, and asked Carancal to choose a princess for his wife. “I am not old enough to marry, my lord,” said Carancal sadly (sic!). “I will marry one of my companions to your daughter, however, if you are willing.” The king agreed, and Bugtongpalasan was made a prince.
The three unmarried men lived with Bugtongpalasan. By this time they were known not only throughout the whole kingdom where they were, but also in other countries. They had not enjoyed a year’s hospitality in Bugtongpalasan’s home when a letter addressed to the four men came. It was as follows:—
I have heard that you have superhuman strength, which I now greatly need. About a week ago a monster fish floated up to the shore of my town. It is decaying, and has a most offensive odor. My men in vain have tried to drag the fish out into the middle of the sea. I write to inform you that if you can rid us of it, I will let one of you marry my prettiest daughter.
After Carancal had read the letter, he instantly remembered the fish that had helped them in travelling. The three companions made themselves ready, bade Bugtongpalasan good-by, and set out for Walangtacut’s kingdom. They travelled on foot, for the place was not very far away.
In every town they passed through, the people cried, “Hurrah for the strong men!” The king received them with a banquet, and all the houses of the town were decorated with flags. In a word, every one welcomed them.
After the banquet was over, the three men marched with the king and all his counsellors, knights, dukes, and the common people to where the decaying fish lay. In this test, too, Carancal was the only successful one. Again he refused to marry; but as the princess was very anxious to have a strong man for her husband, Tunkodbola was chosen by Carancal, and he became her husband.
The fame of the strong men was now nearly universal. All the surrounding kings sent congratulations. The heroes received offers of marriage from many beautiful ladies of the neighboring kingdoms.
One day when Carancal and Macabuhalbundok were talking together, one of them suggested that they go on another journey. The other agreed, and both of them made preparations. But when they were about to start, a letter from another king came, addressed to Carancal. The king said in his letter that a great stone had fallen in his park. “It is so big that I thought it was the sky that fell,” he wrote. “I am willing to marry you to my youngest daughter if you can remove it from its present place,” said the king.
The two friends accepted the invitation, and immediately began their journey. They travelled by land and sea for many a day. At last they reached the place. There they found the same stone which they had removed before. As he knew that he could not move it far enough, Macabuhalbundok did not make any attempt: Carancal was again the one who did the work.
Once more Carancal refused to marry. “I am too young yet to marry,” he said to the king. “In my place I will put my companion.” So Macabuhalbundok was married.
Carancal remained a bachelor, for he did not wish to have a wife. The three princes considered him as their father, though he was younger than any of them. For a long time Carancal lived with each of them a year in rotation. Not long after the marriage of Macabuhalbundok, the father-in-law of Bugtongpalasan died, and so Bugtongpalasan became the king. Then the following year Tunkodbola’s father-in-law died, and Tunkodbola became also a king. After many years the father-in-law of Macabuhalbundok died, and Macabuhalbundok succeeded to the throne. Thus Carancal was the benefactor of three kings.
One day Carancal thought of visiting his cruel parents and of living with them. So he set out, carrying with him plenty of money, which the three kings had given him. This time his parents did not drive him away, for he had much wealth. Carancal lived once more with his parents, and had three kings under him.
Of this story I have eight variants, as follows:—
(a) “Pusong” (Visayan), narrated by Fermin Torralba.
(b) “Cabagboc” (Bicol), narrated by Pacifico Buenconsejo.
(c) “Sandapal” (Tagalog), narrated by Pilar Ejercito.
(d) “Sandangcal” (Pampangan), narrated by Anastacia Villegas.
(e) “Greedy Juan” (Pampangan), narrated by Wenceslao Vitug.
(f) “Juan Tapon” (Ilocano), narrated by C. Gironella.
(g) “Dangandangan” (Ilocano), narrated by Salvador Reyes.
(h) “Tangarangan” (Ibanag), narrated by Candido Morales.
The incidents of this cycle may be tabulated thus.
A The hero, when born, is only a span in length, and never grows taller than four feet. He early develops an enormous appetite, and by the time he is twelve years old he has eaten his parents out of everything.
B Attempts of parents (or uncle) to get rid of the hero: (B¹) by letting a tree fall on him, (B²) by throwing him into a deep well and then stoning him, (B³) by commanding him to dive into a river to repair a fishing-net, (B⁴) by persuading him to enter wrestling-match with the king’s champion, (B⁵) by pushing him into the sea or by pushing rocks on him at the seashore.
C Hero’s first exploits: (C¹) carrying tree home on his shoulders, (C²) killing crocodile in river, or king of fishes in the sea, (C³) escape from the well, (C⁴) defeating champion.
D The hero now decides to leave home, (D¹) taking with him a strong club, an enormous bolo, or an enormous top, sword, and sheath.
E On his travels he meets two (three) strong men, whom he surpasses in strength-tests; or (E¹) three men, whom he hires. They all journey along together, seeking adventures.
F Tasks of the companions: (F¹) killing of troublesome giant by the hero after the monster has worsted the two other strong men, (F²) removal of large stone from king’s grounds, (F³) removal of enormous decaying fish, (F⁴) killing of two giants, (F⁵) killing seven-headed man, (F⁶) battering, blowing, and running contest with king’s strong men.
G Hero marries off his companions, but remains single himself, and (G¹) returns home to live with his parents, either for good or for only a short time.
These incidents are distributed among the different versions thus:—
No. 3 AB¹B³C¹C²DD¹EF¹F²F³GG¹
Version a AB¹B⁵D
Version b C¹DD¹EF³F⁴F⁵GG¹
Version c AB⁵B¹B⁴C¹C²C⁴
Version d AB¹B²C¹C³DE¹F⁶
Version e AB¹B³C¹C²DG¹
Version f AB⁴B¹C¹C⁴
Version g AB¹B²C¹C³DD¹EF⁴G
Version h AB¹B²C¹C³DD¹
Up to the point where the hero leaves home, these various Filipino stories agree in the main: i.e., the hero is a dwarf of superhuman strength and extraordinary eating-capacity; his parents (or guardian) are driven by poverty to attempt to kill him (usually twice, sometimes thrice), but their efforts are vain; he finally determines to leave home, often taking with him some mighty weapon. From this point on, the narratives differ widely. All are alike in this respect, however: the hero never marries. Obviously this group of stories is connected with two well-known European cycles of folk-tales,—“Strong Hans” and “John the Bear.” The points of resemblance will be indicated below in an analysis of the incidents found in the members of our group. (Variants are referred to by italicized lower-case letters thus: a [Pusong], b [Cabagboc], etc. No. 3 refers to our complete story of “Carancal.”)
A Hero is born as result of childless couple’s unceasing petitions to Heaven (3, a, f, g), and is only a span in length when born (c, d, g). Three of the tales do not mention anything definite about the hero’s birth (b, e, h). In all, however, his name is significant, indicating the fact that he is either a dwarf, or wonderfully strong, or a glutton (3 Carancal, from Tag. dangkal, “a palm;” [a] Pusong, from Vis. puso, “paunch, belly;” [b] Cabagboc, from Bicol, “strong;” [c] Sandapal, from Tag. dapal, “a span;” [d] Sandangcal, from Pampangan dangkal = Tag.; [f] Tapon, Ilocano for “short;” [g] and [h] Tangarangan and Dangandangan, from Ilocano dangan, “a span”). a describes the hero as having “a big head and large stomach,” but as being “very, very strong, he ate a sack of corn or rice every day.” In b the hero “had great strength even when an infant.” Sandangcal (d) required a carabao-liver every meal. In e the hero’s voracious appetite is mentioned. The hero in c “would eat everything in the house, leaving no food for his parents.” Juan Tapon (f), when three years old, “used to eat daily half a ganta of rice and a pound of meat, besides fish and vegetables;” the quantity of food he required increased steadily until, when he was fourteen, his parents could no longer support him. However, he never grew taller than a six-year-old boy. Dangandangan (g) could walk and talk the day he was born. He could eat one cavan of rice and one carabao daily. The hero of h was so greedy that by the time he was a “young man” his father could no longer support him. He is described as a “dwarf” In c and d there is nothing to indicate that the hero was not always a Tom Thumb in size.
Nearly all these details may be found duplicated in Märchen of the “John the Bear” and “Strong Hans” types. For analogues, see Friedrich Panzer’s Beowulf, pp. 28–33, 47–48, 50–52. In Grimm’s story of the “Young Giant” (No. 90) the hero, when born, was only as big as a thumb, and for several years did not grow one hair’s breadth. But a giant got hold of him and suckled him for six years, during which time he grew tall and strong, after the manner of giants. It is interesting to note that none of the nine Filipino versions make any reference to an animal parentage or extraordinary source of nourishment of the hero.
B The poverty of the parents is the motive for their attempts on his life in a, c, d, e, f, h. In a the mother proposes the scheme; in h, the father; in g it is the boy’s uncle, by whom he had been adopted when his parents died. This “unnatural parents” motif is lacking in the European variants.
B¹–⁵ With the various attempts to destroy the hero may be discussed his escapes (C¹–³). The “falling-tree” episode occurs in all the stories but one (b). The events of this incident are conducted in various ways. In a, c, h, the hero is told to “catch the tree when it falls,” so that he can carry it home (in c the hero is pushed clear into the ground by the weight of the tree). In d the father directs his son to stand in a certain place, “so that the tree will not fall on him;” but when Sandangcal sees that he is about to be crushed, he nimbly jumps aside unobserved by his father, who thinks him killed. In f the tree is made to fall on the body of the sleeping hero. In g Darangdarang is told to stand beside the tree being cut: it falls on him. In all the stories but d the hero performs the feat of carrying home a tree on his shoulders (C¹). This episode is not uncommon in the European versions (see Panzer, op. cit., p. 35), but there the hero performs it while out at service. By the process of contamination these two incidents (B¹C¹) have worked their way into another Filipino story not of our cycle,—the Visayan story of “Juan the Student” (see JAFL 19 : 104).
B² Of the other methods of putting an end to the hero’s life, the “well” episode is the most common. In d and h father and son go to dig a well. When it is several metres deep, the father rains stones on the boy, who is working at the bottom, and leaves him for dead. In g the hero is sent down a well to find a lost ring; and while he is there, stones and rocks are thrown on him by his treacherous uncle. In all three the hero escapes, wiser, but none the worse, for his adventure (C³). This incident is very common in European members of the cycle. Bolte and Polívka (2 : 288–292) note its occurrence in twenty-five different stories.
B³ In our story of “Carancal,” as has been remarked, and in e, the father commands his son to dive into deep water to see if the fishing-net is intact. Seeing blood and foam appear on the surface of the water, the father goes home, confident that he is rid of his son at last; but not long afterward, when the parents are eating, the hero appears, carrying on his shoulder a huge crocodile he has killed (C²). Analogous to this exploit is Sandapal’s capture of the king of the fishes, after his father has faithlessly pushed him overboard into the deep sea (c). The hero’s fight under water with a monstrous fish or crocodile, the blood and foam telling the story of a desperate struggle going on, reminds one strongly of Beowulf’s fight with Grendel’s dam.
B⁴ In c, as a last resort, the father takes his son to the king, and has the best royal warrior fight the small boy. Sandapal conquers in five minutes. In f the father persuades his son to enter a wrestling-match held by the king. Juan easily throws all his opponents. With this incident compare the Middle-English “Tale of Gamelyn” (ll. 183–270) and Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” (act i, sc. ii).
B⁵ In a the father, at the instigation of his wife, pushes large rocks from a cliff down upon his son by the seashore; but the son returns home later, rolling an immense bowlder that threatens to crush the house.
D, D¹ Satisfied that he is no longer wanted at home, the hero sets out on adventures (a, g, h), taking along with him as a weapon a bolo five yards long (3), or a mighty bolo his father had given him,—such a one that none but the hero could wield it (g), or a short stout club (h). In b the parents are not cruel to their son. The hero leaves home with the kindest of feeling for his father. He carries along with him an enormous top, so heavy that four persons could not lift it, and which, when spun, could be heard for miles; a long sword made by a blacksmith; and a wooden sheath for it made by the father. In the European versions of the story the weapons of the hero play an important part (see Panzer, 39–43). In c the story ends with the sale of Sandapal to the king. In d, after Sandangcal has escaped from the well, he comes home at night, and, finding his parents asleep, shakes the house. Thinking it is an earthquake, they jump from the windows in terror, and are killed. (This incident is also told as a separate story; see JAFL 20 : 305, No. 17.) After the hero has eaten up all the livestock he had inherited by their death, he sells his property and sets out on his travels. In e the father sells his greedy son to merchants. In f the parents finally give up attempts on their son’s life, and he goes away to join the army.
E The companions—Carancal (3), Cabagboc (b), Sandangcal (d), and Dangandangan (g)—meet with extraordinary men, who accompany them on their travels. Cabagboc surpasses Cabual (“Breaker”) and Cagabot (“Uprooter”) in a contest of skill, and they agree to go with him as his servants. Dangandangan meets two strong men,—Paridis, who uproots forests with his hands; and Aolo,9 the mighty fisher for sharks, whose net is so large that weights as big as mortars are needed to sink it. But neither of these two can turn the hero’s bolo over, hence they become his servants. Sandangcal (d), who nowhere in the story displays any great strength, rather only craftiness and greed, meets one at a time three strong fellows, whom he persuades to go with him by promising to double the sum they had been working for. These men are Mountain-Destroyer, who could destroy a mountain with one blow of his club; Blower, who could refresh the whole world with his breath; and Messenger, whose steps were one hundred leagues apart. This story, which seems to be far removed from the other tales of the group, has obviously been influenced by stories of the “Skilful Companions” cycle (see No. 11), where the hero merely directs his servants, doing none of the work himself. On the other hand, in 3, b, g, the wonderful companions are more or less impedimenta: the hero himself does all the hard work; they are merely his foil. For the “Genossen” in other Märchen of “John the Bear” type, see Panzer, 66–74; Cosquin, 1 : 9, 23–27.
F¹ The adventure with the demon in the house in the forest, related in 3, is not found in the other Filipino versions of the tale. It is found in the Islands, however, in the form of a separate story, two widely different variants of which are printed below (4, [a] and [b]). This incident occurs in nearly all the folk-tales of the “John the Bear” type. Bolte and Polívka, in their notes to Grimm, No. 91 (2 : 301–315), indicate its appearance in one hundred and eighty-three Western and Eastern stories. As Panzer has shown (p. 77) that the mistreatment of the companions by the demon in the woods usually takes place while the one left behind is cooking food for the others out on the hunt, this motif might more exactly be called the “interrupted-cooking” episode than “Der Dämon im Waldhaus” (Panzer’s name for it). For Mexican and American Indian variants, see JAFL 25 : 244–254, 255. Spanish and Hindoo versions are cited by Bolte and Polívka (2 : 305, 314).
It is pretty clear that the episode as narrated in our stories 3 and 4 owes nothing to the Spanish variants mentioned by Bolte.
F²–⁵ The removal of an enormous stone is a task that Carancal has to perform twice. This exhibition of superhuman strength is of a piece with the strong hero’s other exploits, and has nothing in common with the transplanting of mountains by means of magic. (F³) The removal of a monstrous decaying fish is found in b as well as in 3. Cabagboc catches up the fish on the end of his sword, and hurls the carcass into the middle of the ocean. These exploits of the rock and the fish are not unlike the feat of the Santal hero Gumda, who throws the king’s elephant over seven seas (Campbell, 59). (F⁴) In b the task of slaying the man-eating giant falls upon Cabagboc, and his companion Uprooter, as the other comrade, Breaker, has been married to the king’s daughter. The giants are finally despatched by the hero, who cuts off their heads with his sword. In g the two strong men Paridis and Aolo are about to be slain by the man-eating giant against whom they have been sent by the hero to fight, when the hero suddenly appears and cuts off the monster’s head with his mighty bolo. (F⁵) The killing of a seven-headed dragon is a commonplace in folk-tales; a seven-headed man is not so usual. Cabagboc, after both of his comrades have been given royal wives, journeys alone. He comes to a river guarded by a seven-headed man who proves invulnerable for a whole day. Then a mysterious voice tells the hero to strike the monster in the middle of the forehead, as this is the only place in which it can be mortally wounded. Cabagboc does so and conquers. (F⁶) The hero’s wagering his strong men against a king’s strong men will be discussed in the notes to No. 11. The task of Pusong (a) has not been mentioned yet. After Pusong leaves home, he journeys by himself, and finally comes to a place where the inhabitants are feverishly building fortifications against the Moros, who are threatening the island. By lending his phenomenal strength, Pusong enables the people to finish their forts in one night. Out of gratitude they later make him their leader. Months later, when the Moros make their raid, they are defeated by Pusong, and captured with all their slaves. Among the wounded slaves are the parents of Pusong. On recognizing their son, they instantly die of shame for their past cruelty to him. Nor can the hero bear the shock any better than they: he too falls dead.
ADDITIONAL NOTES.—The three weeks’ swim in 3 suggests Beowulf’s swim of a week and his fight with the sea-monsters (Beowulf 535 ff.). The mistaking of a monster fish for an island seems to be an Oriental notion. It occurs in the “1001 Nights” (“First Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor;” see Lane’s note 8 to this story).
G The denouement. Cabagboc finally reaches home, and spends the rest of his life with his parents (b); Sandapal (c) is bought by the king, and amuses the court lords and ladies by his feats of strength; Sandangcal (d) distributes ten billion pesos among his three helpers, and lives the rest of his days feasting on carabao-livers; Greedy Juan (e) comes back home with a magic money-producing goat, which he leaves to his parents, while he by chance finds a wonderful house in the forest with plenty to eat, and there he remains; Juan Tapon (f) joins the king’s army to fight a neighboring monarch; Dangandangan (g) becomes a general in the king’s army; Tangarangan (h) performs marvellous deeds abroad, but never returns home again.
Two other variants remain to be noticed briefly. One of these I have only in abstract, the other is avowedly a confusion of two stories by the narrator. Both are Ilocano tales. The hero’s name in both is Kakarangkang (from kaka, a term of respect given to either a senior or a junior; and dangkang, “a span”). In both, the hero is a great eater and prodigiously strong. The only adventure of Kakarangkang recorded in the abstract is an adventure with a crocodile. Kakarangkang goes fishing and hooks a crocodile; but, while trying to draw it to shore, he is thrown into the air, falls into the reptile’s mouth, and is swallowed. He manages, however, to cut his way out. In the other story, besides some incidents properly belonging to the story of “The Monkey and the Turtle” (cf. also 4 [b]), we find this same adventure with the crocodile, the slaying of a seven-headed giant (F⁵), and the removal of an enormous decaying fish (F³). The diminutive hero receives the hand of the king’s daughter in return for this last service,—an honor which the heroes of our other versions decline. The incident of the small hero being swallowed by an animal and ultimately emerging into the light of day alive, at once suggests Tom Thumb’s adventure in the cow and the wolf. For “swallow” tales in general, see Macculloch, 47–51; Bolte-Polívka, 1 : 395–398; Cosquin, 2 : 150–155. The combination of the “interrupted-cooking” episode (F¹), which properly belongs to the “John the Bear” cycle, with motifs from “The Monkey and the Turtle” and “The Monkey and the Crocodile” stories, will be discussed in the notes to Nos. 4, 55, and 56.
1Cavan, a dry measure used in the Philippines, equal to about 75 quarts.
2Bolo, a cutlass-like knife used by the natives either for agricultural or war purposes.
3The usual Filipino salute of respect for parents or grandparents.
4This name literally means, “only one palasan [a large plant of llana].” The hero was so called because he was the strongest man in his town.
5So called because he used as a cane (Tag. tungkod) the large cylindrical piece of iron used for crushing sugarcane (Tag. bola).
6Literally, “one who can overturn a mountain.”
7For the “Fee-fi-fo-fum” phrase in folk-tales, see Bolte-Polívka, 1 : 289–292.
8Literally, “without fear, fearless.”
9Paridis may possibly be identified with Paderes, the strong man whom Rodrigo de Villas (the Cid) meets in the woods, who uproots a huge tree with which to fight the hero, but who is finally overcome. Paderes and Rodrigo become fast friends. This character occupies a prominent place in the metrical romance entitled “Rodrigo de Villas,” which has been printed in the Pampango, Ilocano, Tagalog, and Bicol dialects. Aolo may be a corruption of Afigalo, represented in Ilocano saga as a great fisherman. Many legends told to-day by the Ilocanos in connection with the Abra River, in northern Luzon, centre about the heroic Afigalo.
Suac and His Adventures.
Narrated by Anastacia Villegas of Arayat, Pampanga, who heard the story from her grandmother.
Once upon a time, in a certain town in Pampanga, there lived a boy named Suac. In order to try his fortune, one day he went a-hunting with Sunga and Sacu in Mount Telapayong. When they reached the mountain, they spread their nets, and made their dogs ready for the chase, to see if any wild animals would come to that place. Not long afterwards they captured a large hog. They took it under a large tree and killed it. Then Sunga and Suac went out into the forest again.
Sacu was left to prepare their food. While he was busy cooking, he heard a voice saying, “Ha, ha! what a nice meal you are preparing! Hurry up! I am hungry.” On looking up, Sacu saw on the top of the tree a horrible creature,—a very large black man with a long beard. This was Pugut.
Sacu said to him, “Aba!1 I am not cooking this food for you. My companions and I are hungry.”
“Well, let us see who shall have it, then,” said Pugut as he came down the tree. At first Sacu did not want to give him the food; but Pugut knocked the hunter down, and before he had time to recover had eaten up all the food. Then he climbed the tree again. When Sunga and Suac came back, Sunga said to Sacu, “Is the food ready? Here is a deer that we have caught.”
Sacu answered, “When the food was ready, Pugut came and ate it all. I tried to prevent him, but in vain: I could not resist him.”
“Well,” said Sunga, “let me be the cook while you and Suac are the hunters.” Then Sacu and Suac went out, and Sunga was left to cook. The food was no sooner ready than Pugut came again, and ate it all as before. So when the hunters returned, bringing a hog with them, they still had nothing to eat.
Accordingly Suac was left to cook, and his companions went away to hunt again. Suac roasted the hog. Pugut smelled it. He looked down, and said, “Ha, ha! I have another cook; hurry up! boy, I am hungry.”
“I pray you, please do not deprive us of this food too,” said Suac.
“I must have it, for I am hungry,” said Pugut. “Otherwise I shall eat you up.” When the hog was roasted a nice brown, Pugut came down the tree. But Suac placed the food near the fire and stood by it; and when Pugut tried to seize it, the boy pushed him into the fire. Pugut’s beard was burnt, and it became kinky.2 The boy then ran to a deep pit. He covered it on the top with grass. Pugut did not stay to eat the food, but followed Suac. Suac was very cunning. He stood on the opposite side of the pit, and said, “I pray you, do not step on my grass!”
“I am going to eat you up,” said Pugut angrily, as he stepped on the grass and fell into the pit. The boy covered the pit with stones and earth, thinking that Pugut would perish there; but he was mistaken. Suac had not gone far when he saw Pugut following him; but just then he saw, too, a crocodile. He stopped and resolutely waited for Pugut, whom he gave a blow and pushed into the mouth of the crocodile. Thus Pugut was destroyed.
Suac then took his victim’s club, and returned under the tree. After a while his companions came back. He related to them how he had overcome Pugut, and then they ate. The next day they returned to town.
Suac, on hearing that there was a giant who came every night into the neighborhood to devour people, went one night to encounter the giant. When the giant came, he said, “You are just the thing for me to eat.” But Suac gave him a deadly blow with Pugut’s club, and the giant tumbled down dead.
Later Suac rid the islands of all the wild monsters, and became the ruler over his people.
The Three Friends,—The Monkey, the Dog, and the Carabao.
Narrated by José M. Hilario, a Tagalog from Batangas, Batangas.
Once there lived three friends,—a monkey, a dog, and a carabao. They were getting tired of city life, so they decided to go to the country to hunt. They took along with them rice, meat, and some kitchen utensils.
The first day the carabao was left at home to cook the food, so that his two companions might have something to eat when they returned from the hunt. After the monkey and the dog had departed, the carabao began to fry the meat. Unfortunately the noise of the frying was heard by the Buñgisñgis in the forest. Seeing this chance to fill his stomach, the Buñgisñgis went up to the carabao, and said, “Well, friend, I see that you have prepared food for me.”
For an answer, the carabao made a furious attack on him. The Buñgisñgis was angered by the carabao’s lack of hospitality, and, seizing him by the horn, threw him knee-deep into the earth. Then the Buñgisñgis ate up all the food and disappeared.
When the monkey and the dog came home, they saw that everything was in disorder, and found their friend sunk knee-deep in the ground. The carabao informed them that a big strong man had come and beaten him in a fight. The three then cooked their food. The Buñgisñgis saw them cooking, but he did not dare attack all three of them at once, for in union there is strength.
The next day the dog was left behind as cook. As soon as the food was ready, the Buñgisñgis came and spoke to him in the same way he had spoken to the carabao. The dog began to snarl; and the Buñgisñgis, taking offence, threw him down. The dog could not cry to his companions for help; for, if he did, the Buñgisñgis would certainly kill him. So he retired to a corner of the room and watched his unwelcome guest eat all of the food. Soon after the Buñgisñgis’s departure, the monkey and the carabao returned. They were angry to learn that the Buñgisñgis had been there again.
The next day the monkey was cook; but, before cooking, he made a pitfall in front of the stove. After putting away enough food for his companions and himself, he put the rice on the stove. When the Buñgisñgis came, the monkey said very politely, “Sir, you have come just in time. The food is ready, and I hope you’ll compliment me by accepting it.”
The Buñgisñgis gladly accepted the offer, and, after sitting down in a chair, began to devour the food. The monkey took hold of a leg of the chair, gave a jerk, and sent his guest tumbling into the pit. He then filled the pit with earth, so that the Buñgisñgis was buried with no solemnity.
When the monkey’s companions arrived, they asked about the Buñgisñgis. At first the monkey was not inclined to tell them what had happened; but, on being urged and urged by them, he finally said that the Buñgisñgis was buried “there in front of the stove.” His foolish companions, curious, began to dig up the grave. Unfortunately the Buñgisñgis was still alive. He jumped out, and killed the dog and lamed the carabao; but the monkey climbed up a tree, and so escaped.
One day while the monkey was wandering in the forest, he saw a beehive on top of a vine.
“Now I’ll certainly kill you,” said some one coming towards the monkey.
Turning around, the monkey saw the Buñgisñgis. “Spare me,” he said, “and I will give up my place to you. The king has appointed me to ring each hour of the day that bell up there,” pointing to the top of the vine.
“All right! I accept the position,” said the Buñgisñgis. “Stay here while I find out what time it is,” said the monkey. The monkey had been gone a long time, and the Buñgisñgis, becoming impatient, pulled the vine. The bees immediately buzzed about him, and punished him for his curiosity.
Maddened with pain, the Buñgisñgis went in search of the monkey, and found him playing with a boa-constrictor. “You villain! I’ll not hear any excuses from you. You shall certainly die,” he said.
“Don’t kill me, and I will give you this belt which the king has given me,” pleaded the monkey.
Now, the Buñgisñgis was pleased with the beautiful colors of the belt, and wanted to possess it: so he said to the monkey, “Put the belt around me, then, and we shall be friends.”
The monkey placed the boa-constrictor around the body of the Buñgisñgis. Then he pinched the boa, which soon made an end of his enemy.
The pugut, among the Ilocanos and Pampangos, is a nocturnal spirit, usually in the form of a gigantic Negro, terrifying, but not particularly harmful. It corresponds to the Tagalog cafre.3 Its power of rapid transformation, however, makes it a more or less formidable opponent. Sometimes it takes the form of a cat with fiery eyes, a minute later appearing as a large dog. Then it will turn into an enormous Negro smoking a large cigar, and finally disappear as a ball of fire. It lives either in large trees or in abandoned houses and ruined buildings.
Buñgisñgis is defined by the narrator as meaning “a large strong man that is always laughing.” The word is derived from the root ñgisi, “to show the teeth” (Tag.). This giant has been described to me as being of herculean size and strength, sly, and possessing an upper lip so large that when it is thrown back it completely covers the demon’s face. The Buñgisñgis can lift a huge animal as easily as if it were a feather.
Obviously these two superhuman demons have to be overcome with strategy, not muscle. The heroes, consequently, are beings endowed with cleverness. After Suac has killed Pugut and has come into possession of his victim’s magic club, he easily slays a man-eating giant (see F⁴ in notes to preceding tale). The tricks played on the Buñgisñgis by the monkey (“ringing the bell” and the “king’s belt”) are found in the Ilocano story “Kakarangkang” and in “The Monkey and the Turtle,” but in the latter tale the monkey is the victim. It would thus seem that a precedent for the mixture of two old formulas by the narrator of “Kakarangkang” already existed among the Tagalogs (cf. the end of the notes to No. 3).
We have not a large enough number of variants to enable us to determine the original form of the separate incidents combined to form the cycles represented by stories Nos. 3, 4, and 55; but the evidence we have leads to the supposition that Carancal motifs ABCDF¹ are very old in the Islands, and that these taken together probably constituted the prototype of the “Carancal” group. I cannot but believe that the “interrupted-cooking” episode, as found in the Philippines, owes nothing to European forms of “John the Bear;” for nowhere in the Islands have I found it associated with the subsequent adventures comprising the “John the Bear” norm,—the underground pursuit of the demon, the rescue of the princesses by the hero, the treachery of the companions, the miraculous escape of the hero from the underworld, and the final triumph of justice and the punishment of the traitors (see No. 17 and notes).
For a Borneo story of a “Deer, Pig, and Plandok (Mouse-Deer),” see Roth, 1 : 346. In this tale, as well as in another from British North Borneo (Evans, 471–473, “The Plandok and the Gergasi”), it is the clever plandok who alone is able to outwit the giant. In the latter story there are seven animals,—carabao, ox, dog, stag, horse, mouse-deer, and barking-deer. The carabao and horse in turn try in vain to guard fish from the gergasi (a mythical giant who carries a spear over his shoulder). The plandok takes his turn now, after his two companions have been badly mishandled, and tricks the giant into letting himself be bound and pushed into a well, because the “sky is falling.” There he is killed by the other animals when they return. With this last incident compare the trick of the fox in the Mongolian story in our notes to No. 48. In two other stories of the cunning of the plandok, “The Plandok and the Tiger” (Evans, 474) and “The Plandok and the Bear” (ibid.), we meet with the “king’s belt” trick and the “king’s gong” trick respectively. For an additional record from Borneo, see Edwin H. Gomes, “Seventeen Years among the Sea Dyaks of Borneo” (Lond., 1911), 255–261.
1Aba! a very common exclamation of surprise. It sometimes expresses disgust.
2We seem here to have a myth element explaining why the Negrito’s hair is kinky. See notes for definition of pugut.
3The root pugut is found in many of the dialects, and has two distinct meanings: (1) “a Negro or Negrito of the mountains;” (2) “decapitated, or with the hands or feet cut off.” Among the Tagalogs, Bicols, and Visayans, the word is not used to designate a night-appearing demon or monster. Tag. cafre, which is equivalent to Iloc. pugut, is Spanish for Kaffir. Blumentritt defines cafre thus: “Nombre árabe (kafir), importado por los Españoles ó Portugueses; lo dan los campesinos Tagalos de la provincia de Tayabas á un duende antropófago, al que no gusta la sal. En las provincias Ilocanas denominan asi los Españoles al Pugot.”
Speaking of the demons and spirits of northern India, W. Crooke writes (1 : 138) that “some of the Bhût [= pugut ?], like the Kâfari [= cafre ?], the ghost of a murdered Negro, are black, and are particularly dreaded.”
How Suan Became Rich.
Narrated by Bonifacio Ynares, a Tagalog living in Pasig, Rizal.
Pedro and Suan were friends. Pedro inherited a great fortune from his parents, who had recently died; but Suan was as poor as the poorest of beggars that ever lived. Early one morning Suan went to his friend, and said, “I wonder if you have a post that you do not need.”
“Yes, I have one,” said Pedro. “Why? Do you need it?”
“Yes, I need one badly, to build my house.”
“Very well, take it,” said Pedro. “Do not worry about paying for it.”
Suan, who had not thought evil of his friend, took the post and built his house. When it was finished, his house was found to surpass that of his friend. This fact made Pedro so envious of Suan, that at last he went to him and asked Suan for the post back again.
“Why, if I take it from its place, my house will be destroyed. So let me pay you for it, or let me look for another post in the town and get it for you!”
“No,” said Pedro, “I must have my own post, for I wish to use it.”
Finally Suan became so greatly annoyed by his friend’s insistence, that he exclaimed, “I will not give you back your post.”
“Take heed, Suan! for I will accuse you before the king.”
“All right! do as you please.”
“We will then go to the king Monday,” said Pedro.
“Very well; I am always ready.”
When Monday came, both prepared to go to the palace. Pedro, who cared for his money more than for anything else, took some silver coins along with him for the journey. Suan took cooked rice and fish instead. Noon came while they were still on the road. Suan opened his package of food and began to eat. Pedro was also very hungry at this time, but no food could be bought on the way. So Suan generously invited Pedro to eat with him, and they dined together.
After eating, the two resumed their journey. At last they came to a river. The bridge over it was broken in the middle, and one had to jump in order to get to the other side. Pedro jumped. Suan followed him, but unfortunately fell. It so happened that an old man was bathing in the river below, and Suan accidentally fell right on him. The old man was knocked silly, and as a consequence was drowned. When Isidro, the son, who dearly loved his father, heard of the old man’s death, he at once made up his mind to accuse Suan before the king. He therefore joined the two travellers.
After a while the three came to a place where they saw Barbekin having a hard time getting his carabao out of the mire. Suan offered to help. He seized the carabao by the tail, and pulled with great force. The carabao was rescued, but its tail was broken off short by a sudden pull of Suan. Barbekin was filled with rage because of the injury done to his animal: so he, too, resolved to accuse Suan before the king.
When they came to the palace, the king said, “Why have you come here?”
Pedro spoke first. “I have come,” he said, “to accuse Suan to you. He has one of my posts, and he won’t return it to me.”
On being asked if the accusation was true, Suan responded with a nod, and said in addition, “But Pedro ate a part of my rice and fish on the way here.”
“My decision, then,” said the king, “is that Suan shall give Pedro his post, and that Pedro shall give Suan his rice and fish.”
Isidro was the next to speak. “I have come here to accuse Suan. While my father was bathing in the river, Suan jumped on him and killed him.”
“Suan, then, must bathe in the river,” said the king, “and you may jump on him.”
When Barbekin was asked why he had come, he replied, “I wish to accuse Suan. He pulled my carabao by the tail, and it was broken off short.”
“Give Suan your carabao, then,” said the king. “He shall not return it to you until he has made its tail grow to its full length.”
The accused and the accusers now took their leave of the king.
“Give me the carabao now,” said Suan to Barbekin when they had gone some distance from the palace.
The carabao was young and strong, and Barbekin hated to give it up. So he said, “Don’t take the carabao, and I will give you fifty pesos.”
“No; the decision of the king must be fulfilled,” said Suan. Barbekin then raised the sum to ninety pesos, and Suan consented to accept the offer. Thus Suan was rewarded for his work in helping Barbekin.
When they came to the bridge, Suan went down into the river, and told Isidro to jump on him. But the bridge was high, and Isidro was afraid to jump. Moreover, he did not know how to swim, and he feared that he would but drown himself if he jumped. So he asked Suan to pardon him.
“No, you must fulfil the decision of the king,” answered Suan.
“Let me off from jumping on you, and I will give you five hundred pesos,” said Isidro.
The amount appealed to Suan as being a good offer, so he accepted it and let Isidro go.
As soon as Suan reached home, he took Pedro’s post from his house, and started for Pedro’s house, taking a razor along with him. “Here is your post,” he said; “but you must lie down, for I am going to get my rice and fish from you.”
In great fright Pedro said, “You need not return the post any more.”
“No,” said Suan, “we must fulfil the decision of the king.”
“If you do not insist on your demand,” said Pedro, “I will give you half of my riches.”
“No, I must have my rice and fish.” Suan now held Pedro by the shoulder, and began to cut Pedro’s abdomen with the razor. He had no sooner done that, than Pedro, in great terror, cried out,—
“Don’t cut me, and you shall have all my riches!”
Thus Suan became the richest man in town by using his tact and knowledge in outwitting his enemies.
The King’s Decisions.
Narrated by José M. Hilario, a Tagalog from Batangas, who heard the story from his father.
Once a poor man named Juan was without relatives or friends. Life to him was a series of misfortunes. A day often passed without his tasting even a mouthful of food.
One day, weakened with hunger and fatigue, as he was walking along the road, he passed a rich man’s house. It so happened that at this time the rich man’s food was being cooked. The food smelled so good, that Juan’s hunger was satisfied merely with the fragrance. When the rich man learned that the smell of his food had satisfied Juan, he demanded money of Juan. Juan refused to give money, however, because he had none, and because he had neither tasted nor touched the rich man’s food. “Let’s go to the king, then,” said Pedro, the rich man, “and have this matter settled!” Juan had no objection to the proposal, and the two set out for the palace.
Soon they came to a place where the mire was knee-deep. There they saw a young man who was trying to help his horse out of a mud-hole. “Hey, you lazy fellows! help me to get my horse out of this hole,” said Manuel. The three tried with all their might to release the horse. They finally succeeded; but unfortunately Juan had taken hold of the horse’s tail, and it was broken off when Juan gave a sudden hard pull.
“You have got to pay me for injuring my horse,” said Manuel.
“No, I will not give you any money, because I had no intention of helping you until you asked me to,” said Juan.
“Well, the king will have to settle the quarrel.” Juan, who was not to be frightened by threats, went with Pedro and Manuel.
Night overtook the three on their way. They had to lodge themselves in the house of one of Pedro’s friends. Juan was not allowed to come up, but was made to sleep downstairs.
At midnight the pregnant wife of the host had to make water. She went to the place under which Juan was sleeping. Juan, being suddenly awakened and frightened, uttered a loud shriek; and the woman, also frightened because she thought there were robbers or ghosts about, miscarried. The next morning the husband asked Juan why he had cried out so loud in the night. Juan said that he was frightened.
“You won’t fool me! Come with us to the king,” said the husband.
When the four reached the palace, they easily gained access to the royal presence. Then each one explained why he had come there.
“I’ll settle the first case,” said the king. He commanded the servant to fetch two silver coins and place them on the table. “Now, Pedro, come here and smell the coins. As Juan became satisfied with the smell of your food, so now satisfy yourself with the smell of the money.” Pedro could not say a word, though he was displeased at the unfavorable decision.
“Now I’ll give my decisions on the next two cases. Manuel, you must give your horse to Juan, and let him have it until another tail grows.—And you, married man, must let Juan have your wife until she gives birth to another child.”
Pedro, Manuel, and the married man went home discontented with the decisions of the king,—Pedro without having received pay, Manuel without his horse, and the other man without his wife.
These two Tagalog stories, together with another, “How Piro became Rich,” which is almost identical with No. 5(a), may possibly be descended directly from an old Buddhist birth-story (“Gāmaṇi-canda-jātaka,” No. 257),—a tale in which W. A. Clouston (see Academy, No. 796, for Aug. 6, 1887) sees the germ of the “pound-of-flesh” incident. An abstract of the first part of this Jātaka will set forth the striking resemblance between our stories and this old Hindoo apologue,1 The part of the Jātaka that interests us is briefly the account of how a man was haled to the king’s tribunal for injuries done unwittingly, and how the king passed judgment thereupon. The abstract follows:—
Gāmaṇi, a certain old courtier of the ruling king’s dead father, decided to earn his living by farming, as he thought that the new king should be surrounded with advisers of his own age. He took up his abode in a village three leagues from the city, and, after the rainy season was over, one day borrowed two oxen from a friend, with which to help him do his ploughing. In the evening he returned the oxen; but the friend being at dinner, and not inviting Gāmaṇi to eat, Gāmaṇi put the oxen in the stall, and got no formal release from his creditor. That night thieves stole the cattle. Next day the owner of the oxen discovered the theft, and decided to make Gāmaṇi pay for the beasts. So the two set out to lay the case before the king. On the way they stopped for food at the house of a friend of Gāmaṇi’s. The woman of the house, while climbing a ladder to the store-room for rice for Gāmaṇi, fell and miscarried. The husband, returning that instant, accused Gāmaṇi of hitting his wife and bringing on untimely labor: so the husband set off with Gāmaṇi’s first accuser to get justice from the king. On their way they met a horse that would not go with its groom. The owner of the horse shouted to G. to hit the horse with something and head it back. G. threw a stone at the animal, but broke its leg. “Here’s a king’s officer for you,” shouted the man; “you’ve broken my horse’s leg.” G. was thus three men’s prisoner. By this time G. was in despair, and decided to kill himself. As soon as opportunity came, he rushed up a hill near the road, and threw himself from a precipice. But he fell on the back of an old basket-maker and killed him on the spot. The son of the basket-maker accused G. of murder and went along with the three other plaintiffs to the king. (I omit here the various questions that persons whom G. meets along the road beg him to take to the king for an answer.)
All five appearing in the presence of the king, the owner of the oxen demanded justice. In answer to the king’s question, he at first denied having seen G. return the oxen, but later admitted that he saw them in the stall. G. was ordered to pay twenty-four pieces of money for the oxen; but the plaintiff, for lying, was condemned to have his eyes plucked out by G. Terrified at the prospect, he threw money to G. and rushed away. The judgment in the case of the second false accuser was this: G. was to take his friend’s wife and live with her until she should bear another son to take the place of the child that miscarried. Again G. was bought off by the plaintiff. In the third case the owner of the horse at first denied having requested G. to hit the beast, but later admitted the truth. Judgment: G. was to pay a thousand pieces (which the king gave him) for the injured animal, but was also to tear out his false accuser’s tongue. The fellow gave G. a sum of money and departed. The fourth decision was as follows: inasmuch as G. could not restore the dead father to life, he was to take the dead man’s widow to his home and be a father to the young basket-maker; but he, rather than have his old home broken up, gave G. a sum of money and hurried away.
It is to be regretted that this Buddhistic birth-story was not known to Theodor Benfey, who, in his exhaustive discussion of our present cycle, particularly from the point of view of the “pound-of-flesh” incident (1 : 393–410), writes, “I may remark that this recital [i.e., of the decisions], which here borders on the comic, is based upon serious traditional legends which have to do with Buddhistic casuistry” (p. 397). Benfey’s fragmentary citations are not very convincing; but this Jātaka proves that his reasoning, as usual, was entirely sound.
An Indo-Persian version called the “Kází of Emessa,” cited by Clouston (op. cit.), might be mentioned here, as it too has close resemblances to our stories.
While a merchant is being taken by a Jew before the king because the merchant will not pay his bond of a pound of flesh, he meets with the following accidents: (1) In attempting to stop a runaway mule, he knocks out one of the animal’s eyes with a stone; (2) while sleeping on a flat roof, he is aroused suddenly by an uproar in the street, and, jumping from the roof, he kills an old man below; (3) in trying to pull an ass out of the mud, he pulls its tail off. The owner of the mule, the sons of the dead man, and the owner of the ass, go along with the Jew to present their cases before the king, whose decisions are as follows: (1′) The owner of the mule, valued at 1000 dínárs, is to saw the animal in two lengthwise, and is to give the blind half to the merchant, who must pay 500 dínárs for it. As the owner refuses, he is obliged to pay the merchant 100 dínárs for bringing in a troublesome suit. (2′) Merchant must stand below a roof and allow himself to be jumped on by the sons of the dead man; but they refuse to take the risk, and are obliged to pay the merchant 100 dínárs for troubling him. (3′) The owner of the tailless ass is compelled to try to pull out the tail of the Kází’s mule. Naturally the animal resents such treatment, and the accuser is terribly bruised. Finally, to avoid further punishment, he says that his own animal never had a tail. Hence he is forced to give the merchant 100 dínárs for bringing in a false suit.
In the “Kathā-sarit-sāgara” (translated by C. H. Tawney, 2 : 180–181) occurs this story:—
One day, when Brahman Devabhúti had gone to bathe, his wife went into the garden to get vegetables, and saw a donkey belonging to a washerman eating them. She took up a stick and ran after the donkey; the animal, trying to escape, fell into a pit and broke its hoof. When the master heard of that, he came in a passion, and beat and kicked the Brahman woman. Accordingly she, being pregnant, had a miscarriage; but the washerman returned home with his donkey. Her husband, hearing of it, went, in his distress, and complained to the chief magistrate of the town. The foolish man, after hearing both sides of the case, delivered this judgment: “Since the donkey’s hoof is broken, let the Brahman carry the donkey’s load for the washerman until the donkey is again fit for work; and let the washerman make the Bráhman’s wife pregnant again, since he made her miscarry.” When the Bráhman and his wife heard this decision, they, in their despair, took poison and died; and when the king heard of it, he put to death that inconsiderate judge.
The Tagalog story of “How Piro became Rich,” which I have not printed here, is identical with “How Suan became Rich,” with this exception, that a horse’s tail, instead of a carabao’s, is pulled off by the hero. And there is this addition: while travelling to the king’s court, Piro hears cries for help coming from the woods. He rushes to the spot, and sees a young lady fighting a swarm of bees. Piro helps kill the bees with his stick, but, in doing so, injures the woman somewhat severely. Her father, angered, joins the accusers, and requests the king that he order Piro to cure his daughter. The king rules that if Piro is to do this, and if the young woman is to get the best care, she must become Piro’s wife. For relinquishing his right to the girl, Piro receives a hundred alfonsos from the father.
All in all, the close agreement between our stories and the three Eastern versions cited above makes it reasonably certain that the “Wonderful Decisions” group in the Philippines derives directly from India.
1For full translation, see Jātaka, ed. by E. B. Cowell (Cambridge University Press, 1895), 2 : 207–215; and FLJ 3 : 337 f. See also C. H. Tawney’s discussion of the story in the Journal of Philology, 12 : 112–119.
The Four Blind Brothers.
Narrated by Eutiqiano Garcia, a Pampangan, who said he heard the story from a boy from Misamis, Mindanao.
There was once a man who had eight sons. Four of them were blind. He thought of sending the children away, simply because he could not afford to keep them in the house any longer. Accordingly one night he called his eight children together, and said, “He who does not provide for the future shall want in the present. You are big enough and are able to support yourselves. To-morrow I shall send you away to seek your fortunes.”
When morning came, the boys bade their father good-by. The blind sons went together in one party, and the rest in another. Now begins the pathetic story of the four blind brothers.
They groped along the road, each holding the hand of the other. After a day of continuous walking, the four brothers were very far away from their town. They had not tasted food during all that time. In the evening they came to a cocoanut-grove.
“Here are some cocoanut-trees,” said one of them. “Let us get a bunch of cocoanuts and have something to eat!”
So the eldest brother took off his camisa china1 and climbed up one of the trees. When he reached the top, the tree broke.
“Bung!” Down came the poor fellow. “One!” cried the youngest brother. “Three more!” shouted the rest.
“Don’t come down until you have dropped four!” they all cried at once. Who would answer them? Their brother lay dead on the ground.
While they were waiting for the second “Bung!” the second brother climbed up the same tree. What had happened to the first happened also to him, and so to the third in turn. As soon as the youngest brother heard the third fall, he thought of looking for his share. He crept about to find the cocoanuts. Alas! he discovered that his three brothers lay dead on the ground. He went away from the place crying very loud.
Now, his crying happened to disturb the patianac,2 who were trying to sleep. They went out to see what was the matter. When they found the poor helpless blind man, they were very much moved, and they gave him food and shelter for the night. They also gave him the tail of a pagui,3 which would help him find his fortune, they said. At daybreak they showed him the way out of the grove.
The blind man walked on and on, until he was hailed by a lame man resting under a shady tree. “Friend, carry me on your shoulders, and let us travel together!” said the lame man to the blind.
“Willingly,” replied the blind man.
They travelled for many hours, and at last came to a big, lonely house. They knocked at the open door, but nobody answered. At last they entered, and found the place empty. While they were searching through the house, the owner came. He was a two-headed giant. The blind man and the lame man were upstairs.
The giant was afraid to enter the house, but he called in a voice of thunder, “Who’s there?”
“We are big men,” answered the two companions.
“How big are you?” asked the giant.
“We are so big that the foundation of the house shakes when we walk,” the two replied.
“Give me a proof that you are really big men!” cried the giant again.
“We will show you one of our hairs,” they answered, and they dropped from the window the tail of the pagui.
The giant looked at it in wonder. He was immediately convinced that they were more powerful than he was. So, picking up the “hair,” the giant went away, afraid to face such antagonists in single combat.
So the prediction of the patianac came true. The house and all the property of the giant fell into the hands of the blind man and the lame man. They lived there happily all the rest of their lives.
Juan the Blind Man.
Narrated by Pedro D. L. Sorreta, a Bicol from Virac, Catanduanes, where the story is common.
Many years ago there lived in a little village near a thick forest eight blind men who were close friends. In spite of their physical defects, they were always happy,—perhaps much happier than their fellow-villagers, for at night they would always go secretly to one of the neighboring cocoanut-groves, where they would spend their time drinking tuba4 or eating young cocoanuts.
One evening a severe typhoon5 struck the little village, and most of the cocoanut-trees were broken off at the top. The next afternoon the joyous party went to the cocoanut-grove to steal fruits. As soon as they arrived there, seven of them climbed trees. Juan, the youngest of all, was ordered to remain below so as to count and gather in the cocoanuts his friends threw down to him. While his companions were climbing the trees, Juan was singing,—
“Eight friends, good friends,
One fruit each eats;
Good Juan here bends,
Young nuts he takes.”
He had no sooner repeated his verse three times than he heard a fall.
“One,” he counted; and he began to sing the second verse:—
“Believe me, that everything
Which man can use he must bring,
No matter at all of what it’s made;
So, friends, a counter you need.”
Crrapup! he heard another fall, which was followed by three in close succession. “Good!” he said, “five in all. Three more, friends,” and he raised his head as if he could see his companions. After a few minutes he heard two more falls.
“Six, seven—well, only seven,” he said, as he began searching for the cocoanuts on the ground. “One more for me, friends—one more, and every one is satisfied.” But it was his friends who had fallen; for, as the trees were only stumps, the climbers fell off when they reached the tops.
Juan, however, did not guess what had happened until he found one of the dead bodies. Then he ran away as fast as he could. At last he struck Justo, a lame man. After hearing Juan’s story, Justo advised Juan not to return to his village, lest he be accused of murder by the relatives of the other men.
After a long talk, the two agreed to travel together and seek a place of refuge, for the blind man’s proposal seemed a good one to the lame man:—
“Blind man, strong legs;
Lame man, good eyes;
Four-footed are pigs;
Four-handed are monkeys.
But we’ll walk on two,
And we’ll see with two.”
So when morning dawned, they started on their journey.
They had not travelled far when Justo saw a horn in the road, and told Juan about it. Juan said,—
“Believe me, that everything
Which man can use he must bring,
No matter at all of what it’s made;
So, friend, a horn too we need.”
The next thing that Justo saw was a rusted axe; and after being told about it, Juan repeated his little verse again, ending it with, “So, friend, an axe too we need.” A few hours later the lame man saw a piece of rope; and when the blind man knew of it, he said,—
“Bring one, bring two, bring all,
The horn, the axe, the rope as well.”
And last of all they found an old drum, which they took along with them too.
Soon Justo saw a very big house. They were glad, for they thought that they could get something to eat there. When they came near it, they found that the door was open; but when they entered it, Justo saw nothing but bolos, spears, and shields hanging on the walls. After a warm discussion as to what they should do, they decided to hide in the ceiling of the house, and remain there until the owner returned.
They had no sooner made themselves comfortable than they heard some persons coming. When Justo saw the bloody bolos and spears of the men, and the big sack of money they carried, he was terrified, for he suspected that they were outlaws. He trembled; his hair stood on end; he could not control himself. At last he shouted, “Ay, here?”
The blind man, who could not see the danger they were in, stopped the lame man, but not before the owners of the house had heard them.
“Ho, you mosquitoes! what are you doing there?” asked the chief of the outlaws as he looked up at the ceiling.
“Aha, you rascals! we are going to eat you all,” answered the blind man in the loudest voice he could muster.
“What’s that you say?” returned the chief.
“Why, we have been looking for you, for we intend to eat you all up,” replied Juan; “and to show you what kind of animals we are, here is one of my teeth,” and Juan threw down the rusted axe. “Look at one of my hairs!” continued Juan, as he threw down the rope.
The outlaws were so frightened that they were almost ready to run away. The chief could not say a single word.
“Now listen, you ants, to my whistle!” said Juan, and he blew the horn. “And to show you how big our stomachs are, hear us beat them!” and he beat the drum. The outlaws were so frightened that they ran away. Some of them even jumped out of the windows.
When the robbers were all gone, Juan and Justo went down to divide the money; but the lame man tried to cheat the blind man, and they had a quarrel over the division. Justo struck Juan in the eyes with the palm of his hand, and the blind man’s eyes were opened so that he could see. Juan kicked Justo so hard, that the lame man rolled toward one corner of the house and struck a post. His lameness was cured, so that he could stand and walk.
When they saw that each had done the other a great service, they divided the money fairly, and lived ever after together as close friends.
Teofilo the Hunchback, and the Giant.
Narrated by Loreta Benavides, a Bicol student, who heard the story from her aunt.
Once there lived a hunchback whose name was Teofilo. He was an orphan, and used to get his food by wandering through the woods. He had no fixed home. Sometimes he even slept under large trees in the forest. His one blind eye, as well as his crooked body, would make almost any one pity his miserable condition.
One day, while he was wandering through the woods looking for something to eat, he found a piece of large rope. He was very glad; for he could sell the rope, and in that way get money to buy food. Walking a little farther, he found a gun leaning against a fence. This gun, he supposed, had been left there by a hunter. He was glad to have it, too, for protection. Finally, while crossing a swampy place, he saw a duck drinking in the brook. He ran after the duck, and at last succeeded in catching it. Now he was sure of a good meal.
But it had taken him a long time to capture the duck. Night soon came on, and he had to look for a resting-place. Fortunately he came to a field, and his eye caught a glimpse of light on the other side. He went towards the light, and found it to come from a house, all the windows of which were open. He knocked at the door, but nobody answered; so he just pushed it open and entered. He then began to feel very comfortable. He prepared his bed, and then went to sleep. He did not know that he was in a giant’s house.
At midnight Teofilo was awakened by a loud voice. He made a hole in the wall and looked out. There in the dark he saw a very tall man, taller even than the house itself. It was the giant. The giant said, “I smell some one here.” He tried to open the door, but Teofilo had locked it.
“If you are really a strong man and braver than I,” said the giant, “let me see your hair!”
Teofilo then threw out the piece of rope. The giant was surprised at its size. He then asked to see Teofilo’s louse, and Teofilo threw out the duck. The giant was terrified, for he had never seen such a large louse before. Finally the giant said, “Well, you seem to be larger than I. Let me hear your voice!”
Teofilo fired his gun. When the giant heard the gun and saw it spitting fire, he trembled, for he thought that the man’s saliva was burning coals. Afraid to challenge his strange guest any more, the giant ran away and disappeared forever.
And so Teofilo the hunchback lived happily all the rest of his days in the giant’s house without being troubled by any one.
Juan and the Buringcantada.
Narrated by Pacifico Buenconsejo, a Bicol, who heard the story from his grandmother.
A long time ago, when the Bicols had not yet been welded into one tribe, there lived a couple in the mountains of Albay who had one son, named Juan. Before the boy was five years old, his father died. As Juan grew up, he became very lazy: he did not like to work, nor would he help his mother earn their daily bread. Despite his laziness, Juan was dearly loved by his mother. She did not want him to work in the field under the hot sun. Because of his mother’s indulgence, he grew lazier and lazier.
Every afternoon Juan used to take a walk while his mother was working. She was a kind-hearted woman, and often told her son to help anybody he met that needed help. One afternoon, while he was walking in a field, he saw two carabaos fighting. One was gored by the other, and was about to die. Juan, mindful of what his mother told him, went between the two animals to help the wounded one. Suddenly the two animals gored him in the back, and he fell to the ground. A man, passing by, found him, and took him to his home. When Juan’s mother learned why her son had been gored, she was greatly distressed that her son was so foolish.
Juan soon recovered, and one day he invited his mother to go with him to look for money. He insisted so hard, that finally she agreed to accompany him. On their way they found an axe, which Juan picked up and took along with him. They had not gone much farther, when they saw a long rope stretching across the road. Juan’s mother did not want him to take it, but he said that it would be of some use to them later. By and by they came to a river, on the bank of which they found a large drum. Juan took this with him, too.
When they had been travelling about a week, they came upon a big house. Juan said that he wanted to go see what was in the house, but his mother told him that he should not go. However, he kept urging and urging, until at last his mother consented, and went with him. When they reached the hall, they found it well decorated with flowers and leaves. They visited all the apartments of the house; and when they came to the dining-room, they saw a large hole in the ceiling. Juan told his mother that they had better hide in the ceiling until they found out who the owner of the house was. The mother thought that the plan was a wise one; so they went to the ceiling, taking with them the axe, the rope, and the drum.
They had not been hiding many minutes, when the Buringcantada, a giant with one eye in the middle of his forehead and with two long tusks that projected from the sides of his mouth, came in with his friends and servants. When the dinner was ready, the servant called his master and his guests into the dining-room. While they were eating, Juan said in a loud voice,—
The Buringcantada was very angry to hear the voice of a man in the ceiling, and he said in a thundering voice, “If you are a big man like me, let me see one of your hairs!”
Juan showed the rope from the hole in the ceiling.
Astonished at the size of the hair, the Buringcantada said again, “Let me see one of your teeth!” Juan showed the axe.
By this time Juan’s mother was almost dead with fear, and she told her son not to move.
After a few minutes the Buringcantada said again, “Beat your stomach, and let me hear the sound of it!” When Juan beat the drum, the Buringcantada and all the guests and servants ran away in fright, for they had never heard such a sound before.
Then Juan and his mother came down from the ceiling. In this house they lived like a rich family, for they found much money in one of the rooms. As for the Buringcantada, he never came back to his house after he left it.
Narrated by Arsenio Bonifacio, a Tagalog, who heard the story from his father.
Once upon a time, in the small town of Balubad, there was a big house. It was inhabited by a rich family. When the head of the family died, the house was gloomy and dark. The family wore black clothes, and was sad.
Three days after the death of the father, the family began to be troubled at night by a manglalabas.7 He threw stones at the house, broke the water-jars, and moved the beds. Some pillows were even found in the kitchen the next day. The second night, Manglalabas visited the house again. He pinched the widow; but when she woke up, she could not see anything. Manglalabas also emptied all the water-jars. Accordingly the family decided to abandon the house.
A band of brave men in that town assembled, and went to the house. At midnight the spirit came again, but the brave men said they were ready to fight it. Manglalabas made a great deal of noise in the house. He poured out all the water, kicked the doors, and asked the men who they were. They answered, “We are fellows who are going to kill you.” But when the spirit approached them, and they saw that it was a ghost, they fled away. From that time on, nobody was willing to pass a night in that house.
In a certain barrio8 of Balubad there lived two queer men. One was called Bulag, because he was blind; and the other, Cuba, because he was hunchbacked. One day these two arranged to go to Balubad to beg. Before they set out, they agreed that the blind man should carry the hunchback on his shoulder to the town. So they set out. After they had crossed the Balubad River, Cuba said, “Stop a minute, Bulag! here is a hatchet.” Cuba got down and picked it up. Then they proceeded again. A second time Cuba got off the blind man’s shoulder, for he saw an old gun by the roadside. He picked this up also, and took it along with him.
When they reached the town, they begged at many of the houses, and finally they came to the large abandoned house. They did not know that this place was haunted by a spirit. Cuba said, “Maybe no one is living in this house;” and Bulag replied, “I think we had better stay here for the night.”
As they were afraid that somebody might come, they went up into the ceiling. At midnight they were awakened by Manglalabas making a great noise and shouting, “I believe that there are some new persons in my house!” Cuba, frightened, fired the gun. The ghost thought that the noise of the gun was some one crying. So he said, “If you are truly a big man, give me some proofs.”
Then Cuba took the handle out of the hatchet and threw the head down at the ghost. Manglalabas thought that this was one of the teeth of his visitor, and, convinced that the intruder was a powerful person, he said, “I have a buried treasure near the barn. I wish you to dig it up. The reason I come here every night is on account of this treasure. If you will only dig it up, I will not come here any more.”
The next night Bulag and Cuba dug in the ground near the barn. There they found many gold and silver pieces. When they were dividing the riches, Cuba kept three-fourths of the treasure for himself. Bulag said, “Let me see if you have divided fairly,” and, placing his hands on the two piles, he found that Cuba’s was much larger.
Angry at the discovery, Cuba struck Bulag in the eyes, and they were opened. When Bulag could see, he kicked Cuba in the back, and straightway his deformity disappeared. Therefore they became friends again, divided the money equally, and owned the big house between them.
A Pampango version, “The Cripple and the Blind Man” (I have it only in abstract), is almost identical with the second part of “The Four Blind Brothers.” A blind man and a cripple travel together, blind man carrying, cripple guiding. Rope, drum, hatchet, etc. But these two companions do not quarrel over the distribution of the wealth: they live peacefully together.
I have printed in full five of the versions, because, while they are members of a very widespread family of tales in which a poor but valiant hero deceives and outwits a giant, ogre, ghost, or band of robbers, they form a more restricted brotherhood of that large family, and the deception is of a very definite special sort. The hero and the outwitted do not meet face to face, nor is there a contest of prowess between them. Merely by displaying as tokens of his size and strength certain seemingly useless articles which he has picked up and carried along with him on his travels, the hero frightens forever from their rich home a band of robbers or a giant or a ghost, and remains in possession of the treasures of the deceived one.
Trolls, ogres, giants, robbers, dragons, are proverbially stupid, and a clever hero with more wits than brawn has no difficulty in thoroughly frightening them. Grimm’s story of “The Brave Little Tailor” (No. 20), with its incidents of “cheese-squeezing,” “bird-throwing,” “pretended carrying of the oak-tree,” “springing over the cherry-tree,” and “escape from the bed,” and opening with the “seven-at-a-blow” episode, is typical of one large group of tales about a giant outwitted. (For an enumeration of the analogues, see Bolte-Polívka, 1 : 148–165; for a fuller discussion of some of them, see Cosquin, 1 : 96–102.) In another group the hero takes service with the giant, dragon, etc., keeps up the deception of being superhumanly strong, but gets the monster to do all the work, and finally wins his way to wealth and release (see Grimm, No. 183; Von Hahn, No. 18 and notes; Crane, 345, note 34; Dasent, Nos. v and xxxii). Then there is the group of stories in which the cannibal witch is popped into her own oven, which she had been heating for her victim (cf. Grimm, No. 15; and Bolte-Polívka, 1 : 123).
Our particular group of stories, however, seems to owe little or nothing to the types just mentioned. It appears to belong peculiarly to the Orient. In fact, I do not know of its occurrence outside of India and the Philippines. That the tale is well known in the Islands at least as far north as central Luzon, our five variants attest; and that it is fairly widespread in India,—I refer particularly to the method of the deception, for on this the whole story turns,—three Hindoo versions may be cited as evidence.
(1) “The Blind Man, the Deaf Man, and the Donkey” (Frere, No. 18) presents many close correspondences to “Juan the Blind Man.” In the Indian tale a blind man and a deaf man enter into partnership. One day, while on a long walk with his friend, the deaf man sees a donkey with a large water-jar on its back. Thinking the animal will be useful to them, they take it and the jar with them. Farther along they collect some large black ants in a snuff-box. Overtaken by storm, they seek shelter in a large, apparently deserted house, and lock the door; but the owner, a terrible Rakshas, returns, and loudly demands entrance. The deaf man, looking through a chink in the wall, is greatly frightened by the appearance of the monster; but the blind man boldly says that he is Bakshas, Rakshas’s father. Incredulous, the Rakshas wishes to see his father’s face. Donkey’s head shown. On his desiring to see his father’s body, the huge jar is rolled with a thundering noise past the chink in the door. Rakshas asks to hear Bakshas scream. Deaf man puts ants into the donkey’s ear: the animal, bit by the insects, brays horribly, and the Rakshas flees in fright… (Rakshas returns the next morning, and seeing the blind man, deaf man, and donkey, laden with treasures, leaving his house, he determines to be avenged; but by a lucky series of accidents the travellers succeed in discomfiting and thoroughly terrifying the Rakshas and his six companions summoned to help him, and travel on). In the division of the spoils, the deaf man attempts to cheat the blind man, who in a rage gives him so tremendous a box on the ear, that his hearing is restored! In return, the deaf man gives his neighbor so hard a blow in the face, that the blind man’s eyes are opened. They are both so astonished, that they become good friends at once, and divide the wealth equally.
(2) “The Brahmin Girl that married a Tiger” (Kingscote, No. x). In this story, three brothers, on their way to rescue their sister who had been married to a tiger, take along with them an ass, an ant, a palmyra-tree, and a big iron washing-tub. The sister hides her brothers and their possessions in a loft. The tiger comes home, and frightens the brothers into making a noise and thus betraying their presence. He asks to hear their voice. Youngest brother puts his ant into the ear of the ass, which, when bit, begins to bawl out horribly. Asking to see their legs, tiger is shown the trunk of the palmyra-tree, and, on asking to see their bellies, is shown the iron tub. Frightened, he runs away, and the sister is rescued.
(3) “Learning and Motherwit” (McCulloch, No. xxvi). Here Motherwit, as in the other stories, deceives a Raghoshi by means of a thick rope (shown for hair), spades (shown for finger-nails), and wet lime (shown for spittle). At last with sharp-pointed hot iron rods, Ulysses fashion, he puts out the monster’s eyes.
In another Bengal story, “The Ghost who was afraid of being Bagged” (Lal Behari Day, No. xx), a barber frightens a ghost with a looking-glass and becomes rich.
An interesting parallel to the incident of the death of the blind brothers by climbing up too high on palm-trees the tops of which have been broken off, is to be found in the Arabian story of “The Blind Thief” (JRASB 3 : 645–660, No. iii). A thief who used to steal dates from off the trees became blind, but he still went on thieving. The people planned to get rid of him. In the presence of the blind man, some one praised the dates of So-and-so. (Now, this tree was withered, and no longer had any leaves.) The covetous thief, with his rope, started to climb the tree that night; but his rope slipped off over the naked top of the palm, and he fell to the ground and was killed.
The situation of a blind man and a lame man joining forces and travelling together, the blind man carrying the lame man, who directs the way, is found in the Gesta Romanorum, tale LXXI.
Certain of the false proofs in the Filipino stories have no parallel in the Indian tales; viz., duck for louse, gun or horn for voice, tail of sting-ray (pagui) for hair. The suggestion for this last comparison may have come from the belief among the Filipinos that the tail of the sting-ray is a very efficacious charm against demons and witches. It is a “specific” against the mangkukulam.9 On the other hand, there are certain details of the Indian versions lacking in the Filipino,—the donkey, the palmyra-tree, the wash-tub. Nevertheless the close agreement, not only of motifs, but of motifs in the same sequence, makes it certain beyond all reasonable doubt that the story as we find it in the Islands (most fully represented by the Bicol “Juan the Blind Man”) goes back directly to southern India, possibly to the parent story of Miss Frere’s old Deccan narrative.
1Camisa china, a thin native coat-shirt worn outside the trousers.
2Patianac, mischievous birth-spirits that live in the woods and fields, and lead travellers astray at night.
3Pagui, the sting-ray, or skate-fish. Its tail is very efficacious against evil spirits and witches, according to native belief.
4Tuba. a wine distilled from the coco and other palm trees.
5Typhoon (Ar. tūfān), a wind of cyclonic force and extraordinary violence.
6Literally, “Give us here in the ceiling some good food.”
7Manglalabas, literally, “the one who appears;” i.e., apparition.
8Barrio, a small collection of houses forming a kind of suburb to a town.
9Mangkukulam, an old woman endowed with the powers of a witch.
Narrated by Lorenzo Licup, a Pampangan.
Long, long before the Spaniards came, there lived a man who had a beautiful, virtuous, and, above all, clever daughter. He was a servant of the king. Marcela, the daughter, loved her father devotedly, and always helped him with his work. From childhood she had manifested a keen wit and undaunted spirit. She would even refuse to obey unjust orders from the king. No question was too hard for her to answer, and the king was constantly being surprised at her sagacity.
One day the king conceived a plan by which he might test the ingenious Marcela. He bade his servants procure a tiny bird and carry it to her house. “Tell her,” said the king, “to make twelve dishes out of that one bird.”
The servants found Marcela sewing. They told her of the order of the king. After thinking for five minutes, she took one of her pins, and said to the servants, “If the king can make twelve spoons out of this pin, I can also make twelve dishes out of that bird.” On receiving the answer, the king realized that the wise Marcela had gotten the better of him; and he began to think of another plan to puzzle her.
Again he bade his servants carry a sheep to Marcela’s house. “Tell her,” he said, “to sell the sheep for six reales, and with the money this very same sheep must come back to me alive.”
At first Marcela could not make out what the king meant for her to do. Then she thought of selling the wool only, and not the whole sheep. So she cut off the wool and sold it for six reales, and sent the money with the live sheep back to the king. Thus she was again relieved from a difficulty.
The king by this time realized that he could not beat Marcela in points of subtlety. However, to amuse himself, he finally thought of one more scheme to test her sagacity. It took him two weeks to think it out. Summoning a messenger, he said to him, “Go to Marcela, and tell her that I am not well, and that my physician has advised me to drink a cup of bull’s milk. Therefore she must get me this medicine, or her father will lose his place in the palace.” The king also issued an order that no one was to bathe or to wash anything in the river, for he was going to take a bath the next morning.
As soon as Marcela had received the command of the king and had heard of his second order, she said, “How easy it will be for me to answer this silly order of the king!” That night she and her father killed a pig, and smeared its blood over the sleeping-mat, blanket, and pillows. When morning came, Marcela took the stained bed-clothing to the source of the river, where the king was bathing. As soon as the king caught sight of her, he said in a voice of thunder, “Why do you wash your stuff in the river when you know I ordered that nobody should use the river to-day but me?”
Marcela replied, “It is the custom, my lord, in our country, to wash the mat, pillows, and other things stained with blood, immediately after a person has given birth to a child. As my father gave birth to a child last night, custom forces me to disobey your order, although I do it much against my will.”
“Nonsense!” said the king. “The idea of a man giving birth to a child! Absurd! Ridiculous!”
“My lord,” said Marcela, “it would be just as absurd to think of getting milk from a bull.”
Then the king, recollecting his order, said, “Marcela, as you are so witty, clever, and virtuous, I will give you my son for your husband.”
Narrated by Leopoldo Faustino, a Tagalog, who says that the story is popular and common among the people of La Laguna province.
Juan was a servant in the palace of King Tasio. One day King Tasio heard Juan discussing with the other servants in the kitchen the management of the kingdom. Juan said that he knew more than anybody else in the palace. The king called Juan, and told him to go down to the seashore and catch the rolling waves.
“You said that you are the wisest man in the palace,” said the king. “Go and catch the waves of the sea for me.”
“That’s very easy, O king!” said Juan, “if you will only provide me with a rope made of sand taken from the seashore.”
The king did not know what to answer. He left Juan without saying anything, went into his room, and began to think of some more difficult work.
The next day he called Juan. “Juan, take this small bird and make fifty kinds of food out of it,” said the king.
“Yes, sir!” said Juan, “if you will only provide me with a stove, a pan, and a knife made out of this needle,” handing a needle to the king, “with which to cook the bird.” Again the king did not know what to do. He was very angry at Juan.
“Juan, get out of my palace! Don’t you let me see you walking on my ground around this palace without my consent!” said the king.
“Very well, sir!” said Juan, and he left the palace immediately.
The next day King Tasio saw Juan in front of the palace, riding on his paragos1 drawn by a carabao.
“Did I not tell you not to stand or walk on my ground around this palace? Why are you here now? Do you mean to mock me?” shouted the king.
“Well,” said Juan, “will your Majesty’s eyes please see whether I am standing on your ground or not? This is my ground.” And he pointed to the earth he had on his paragos. “I took this from my orchard.”
“That’s enough, Juan,” said King Tasio. “I can have no more foolishness.” The king felt very uncomfortable, because many of his courtiers and servants were standing there listening to his talk with Juan.
“Juan, put this squash into this jar. Be careful! See that you do not break either the squash or the jar,” said the king, as he handed a squash and a jar to Juan. Now, the neck of the jar was small, and the squash was as big as the jar. So Juan had indeed a difficult task.
Juan went home. He put a very small squash, which he had growing in his garden, inside the jar. He did not, however, cut it from the vine. After a few weeks the squash had grown big enough to fill the jar. Juan then picked off the squash enclosed in the jar, and went to the king. He presented the jar to the king when all the servants, courtiers, and visitors from other towns were present. As soon as the king saw the jar with the squash in it, he fainted. It was many hours before he recovered.
A third version (c), a Bicol story entitled “Marcela outwits the King,” narrated by Gregorio Frondoso of Camarines, resembles closely the Pampango story of Marcela, with these minor differences:—
The heroine is the daughter of the king’s adviser Bernardo. To test the girl’s wit, the king sends her a mosquito he has killed, and tells her to cook it in such a way that it will serve twelve persons. She sends back a pin to him, with word that if he can make twelve forks from the pin, the mosquito will serve twelve persons. The second and third tasks are identical with those in the Pampango version. At last, satisfied with her sagacity, the king makes her his chief counsellor.
In addition to the three popular tales of the “Clever Lass” cycle, two chap-book versions of the story, containing incidents lacking in the folk-tales, may be mentioned here:—
A Buhay nang isang pastorang tubo sa villa na naguing asaua nang hari sa isang calabasa. (“Life of a Shepherdess who was born in a town, and who became the Wife of a King because of a Pumpkin.”) Manila, 1908. This story is in verse, and comprises sixty-six quatrains of 12-syllable assonanced lines. It is known only in Tagalog, I believe.
B Buhay na pinagdaanan ni Rodolfo na anac ni Felizardo at ni Prisca sa cahariang Valencia. (“Life of Rodolfo, Son of Felizardo and Prisca, in the Kingdom of Valencia.”) Maynila, 1910. Like the preceding, this corrido is known only in Tagalog, and is written in 12-syllable assonanced lines.
Of these two printed versions, I give below a literal translation of the first (A), not only because it is short (264 lines), but also because it will be seen to be closely connected with the folk-tales. For help in making this translation I am under obligation to Mr. Salvador Unson, which I gratefully acknowledge. The second story (B) I give only in partial summary. It is much too long to be printed in full, and, besides, contains many incidents that have nothing to do with our cycle. It will be noticed that “Rodolfo” (B) resembles rather the European forms of the story; while A and the three folk-tales are more Oriental, despite the conventional historical setting of A.
“Cay Calabasa: The Life of a Shepherdess born in a town, who became the Wife of a King because of a Pumpkin.”
1. Ye holy angels in the heavens, help my tongue to express and to relate the story I will tell.
2. In early times, when Adoveneis, King of Borgoña, was still alive, he went out into the plains to hunt for deer, and accidentally became separated from his companions.
3. In his wandering about, he saw a hut, which had a garden surrounding it. A beautiful young maiden took care of the garden, in which were growing melons and pumpkins.
4. The king spoke to the maiden, and asked, “What plants are you growing here?” The girl replied, “I am raising pumpkins and melons.”
5. Now, the king happened to be thirsty, and asked her for but a drink. “We were hunting in the heat of the day, and I felt this thirst come on me.”
6. The maiden replied, “O illustrious king! we have water in a mean jar, but it is surely not fitting that your Majesty should drink from a jar!
7. “If we had a jar of pure gold, in which we could put water from a blest fountain, then it would be proper for your Majesty. It is not right or worthy that you should drink from a base jar.”
8. The king replied to the girl, “Never mind the jar, provided the water is cool.” The maiden went into the house, and presently the king drank his fill.
9. After he had drunk, he handed her back the jar; but when the maiden had received it (in her hands), she suddenly struck it against the staircase. The jar was shattered to bits.
10. The king saw the act and wondered at it, and in his heart he thought that the maiden had no manners. For the impudence of her action, he decided to punish her.
11. (He said) “You see in me, the traveller, a noble king, and (you know) that I hold the crown. Why did you shatter that jar of yours, received from my hands?”
12. The maiden replied, “The reason I broke the jar, long kept for many years by my mother, O king! is that I should not like to have it used by another.”
13. After hearing that, the king made no reply, but returned (back) towards the city, believing in his heart that the woman to whom he had spoken was virtuous.
14. After some time the king one day ordered a soldier to carry to the maiden a new narrow-necked jar, into which she was to put a pumpkin entire.
15. He also ordered the soldier to tell the girl that she should not break the jar, but that the jar and pumpkin should remain entire.
16. Inasmuch as the maiden was clever, her perception good, and her understanding bold, she answered with another problem: she sent him back a jar that already had a pumpkin in it.
17. She delivered it to the soldier, and the upshot of her reply was this: “The pumpkin and the jar are whole. The king must remove the pumpkin without breaking the jar.”
18. The soldier shouldered it and went back to the king, and told him that her answer was that he should take the pumpkin out of the jar, and leave both whole.
19. When the king saw the jar, he said nothing; but he thought in his heart that he would send her another puzzle.
20. Again by the soldier he sent her a bottle, and requested that it be filled with the milk of a bull. (He further added,) that, if the order was not complied with, she should be punished.
21. The girl’s answer to the king was this: “Last night my father gave birth to a child; and even though you order it, it is impossible for me to get (you?) any bull’s milk (to-day?).”
22. Who would not wonder, when he comes to hear of it, at the language back and forth between the king and the girl! For what man can give birth to a child, and what bull can give milk?
23. At a great festival which the king gave, attended by knights and counts, he sent a pipit2 to the girl, and ordered her to cook seven dishes of it.
24. The maiden (in reply) sent the king a needle, and asked him to make a steel frying-pan, knife, and spit out of it, which she might use in cooking the pipit.
25. The king again sent to her with this word: “If you are really very intelligent and if you are truly wise, you will catch the waves and bind them.”
26. The soldier returned at once to the maiden, and told her that the orders of the king were that she should catch and bind the waves.
27. The maiden sent back word by the soldier that it is not proper to disobey a king. “Tell the king to make me a rope out of the loam I am sending.”
28. Again the soldier returned to the palace, and, taking the black earth to the king, he said, “Make her a rope out of this loam, with which she will catch and bind the waves.”
29. After the soldier had delivered his message, the king was almost shaking with rage. “Who under heaven can make a rope out of loam?”
30. Now he ordered the soldier to fetch the maiden. “And for her impudence,” he said, “I will punish her.”
31. He ordered the soldier to make haste and to return at once. The maiden did not resist her punishment, and was placed in a well.
32. Now, this well into which she was cast lay in front of the window of the king, so that whenever he should look out of the window he might see her.
33. One morning, as he looked out and saw her there below him, she asked him to give her fire.
34. The king said to her, “I am a world-famed king, and it is not my desire to descend just because of your request. Go ask fire from the mountain.”
35. The girl made no answer to his jesting reply. Some time later the king held some games, and ordered that the maiden be taken out of the well.
36. The king told her that she was pardoned for all her offences. “But as long as I have visitors (?),” he said, “you are to be my cook.”
37. Then this order was given to the girl: “You are to cook the food. Everything must be well prepared. All the food must be palatable and tasty.”
38. The maiden, however, deliberately left all the food unsalted; but she fastened to the bottom of the plate the necessary salt.
39. When at the table the king and his council were not satisfied with the food, because there was no salt in it, the maiden was again summoned.
40. “I ordered you to cook because you were clever; but you took no care of the cooking. Why am I thus insulted and my honor destroyed before my guests?”
41. The maiden at once returned answer to the council and to his Majesty: “Look underneath the plates; and if there is not the necessary salt, my lord, condemn me as you see fit.”
42. She had those near the king lift their plates, and she had him look under. The salt was found not lacking, and the king ceased from his contention and thought about the matter.
43. Then he said, “If you had mixed in a little with the food, then it would have been good and palatable. Explain to me the significance of your act.”
44. “O great king!” answered the maiden, “I can easily reply to your question. By leaving the salt out, I meant me, and no one else [i.e., she meant to suggest her own case when she was in the well].
45. “You instructed me to get fire from the mountain. Why can you not taste this salt, which is just under the plate?
46. “Because I am an unfortunate person, an unworthy shepherdess from the woods. If I were a city-bred person, even though most ordinary, I should be honored in your presence.”
47. To the reply of the girl the king shook his head, and pressed his forehead (in thought). He had fallen in love, and his heart was oppressed. He determined to marry her.
48. They were married at once, and at once she was clothed as a queen; although she was only a lowly shepherdess, she was loved because of the sweetness of her voice.
49. After living together a long time, they had a quarrel: the king had conceived a dislike for her cleverness.
50. “Return at once to your father and mother,” he said. “Go back to the mountains and live there.
51. “I will allow you to take with you whatever you want,—gold, silver, dresses. Take with you also two maids.”
52. The queen could not utter a word; silently she let her tears fall. She thought that bad fortune had come upon her.
53. To be brief, the king got up from his chair and lay down in his bed. He pretended to go to sleep in order that he might not see the queen depart.
54. When the queen saw that the king was really sleeping, she covered him up (in her sorrow), and summoned the servants.
55. She ordered them to lift him up and carry him to the mountains. “In carrying him, be careful not to wake him until the mountains are reached.”
56. They lifted the bed and took him downstairs; but when they were carrying it out of the palace, the bed struck against the front door. The king awoke in surprise.
57. He said, “What is the reason for carrying away a sleeping man?” He asked them whether they intended to throw away their sovereign.
58. At once he summoned the guards of the palace and ordered the arrest of the servants; but they protested that they were merely obeying the orders of the queen.
59. Then the king asked where the queen was who had ordered that. He had her brought before him, and demanded of her why she wished to cast him away.
60. The queen answered, reminding him thus: “My husband, my beloved, what did you tell me some time ago when you were driving me away?
61. “Did you not tell me to select whatever I might desire, including gold and silver, and take it with me? You are my choice.
62. “Even if I should become very good and very rich, I should still be without honor before God and the people.
63. “It would be shameful to the Divine Word for us married people to separate. You would be taunted by your counsellors for having married some one beneath you.”
64. Her reply reminded the king that whatever might happen, they were married, and should remain together all their lives.
65. “Forgive me, my wife, light of my eyes! Forgive the wrongs I have done! I am to blame for the mistake [i.e., for my thoughtlessness].”
66. From then on, they loved each other the more, and were happy because they never quarrelled further.
The Story of Rodolfo.
Rodolfo was the only son of Felizardo and Prisca, who lived in Valencia. When Rodolfo was seven years old, he was sent to school, and proved to be an apt scholar; but his father died within a few years, and the boy was obliged to abandon his studies because of poverty. At the suggestion of his mother, Rodolfo one day set out for the capital, where he sought a place in the palace as servant. In time he was appointed head steward (mayor-domo) in the royal household. The king became so fond of this trusty servant, whose bravery, executive ability, and cleverness he could not help noticing, that finally he determined to make him his son-in-law by marrying him to the princess Leocadia. When Rodolfo was offered Leocadio’s hand by her father, however, he respectfully declined the honor, saying that though he admired the beauty of the princess, he did not admire her character, and could not take her as his wife. The king was so angry that he ordered Rodolfo cast into prison; but after a few days’ consideration, he had him released, and promised to pardon him for the insult if within a month he could bring before the king as his wife just such a virtuous woman as he had stipulated his wife should be.
Rodolfo left the palace, taking with him only a pair of shoes and an umbrella. On his way he saw an old man, whom he invited to go along with him. Shortly afterwards they saw a funeral procession, and Rodolfo asked his companion whether the man that was to be buried was still alive. The old man did not reply, because he thought that his companion was a fool. Outside the city they met many persons planting highland rice on a mountain-clearing (kaingin). Again Rodolfo spoke, and asked if the rice that the farmers were planting was already eaten; but the old man remained silent. In the course of their journey they reached a shallow river. Rodolfo put on his shoes and waded across. When he reached the other bank, he removed his shoes again and carried them in his hand. Next they passed a great plain. When they became tired from the heat, they rested by the side of the road under a big tree. Here Rodolfo opened his umbrella, which he had not used when they were crossing the hot plain. Once more the old man believed that his companion was crazy.
At last the travellers reached the old man’s house, but the old man did not invite Rodolfo to spend the night with him. Rodolfo went into the house, however, for he saw that a young woman lived in the house. This was Estela, the old man’s daughter, who received the stranger very kindly. That night, when Estela set the table for supper, she gave to her father the head and neck of the chicken, the wings to her mother, the body to Rodolfo, and the legs to herself. After eating their meal, the old man and his wife left Estela and Rodolfo together in the dining-room. Rodolfo expressed his love for her, for he had already recognized her worth. When she found that he was in earnest, she said that she would accept him if her parents consented to the marriage. Then they joined the old couple in the main room; but there the father scolded her for showing hospitality to a visitor whom he considered a fool. He also felt insulted for having been given only the head and neck of the chicken. Accordingly the old man told his daughter how Rodolfo had foolishly asked him if the person to be buried was still alive, and whether the rice that the farmers were planting on the mountain-clearing had already been eaten. He also mentioned the fact that Rodolfo wore his shoes only when crossing the river, and that he had opened his umbrella only when they were in the shade of the tree. Estela, in reply, cleverly explained to her father the meaning of all Rodolfo had said and done. “The memory of a man who has done good during his lifetime will never be forgotten. Rodolfo wished to know whether the man to be buried was kind to his fellow-men. If he was, he will always be remembered, and he is not dead. When Rodolfo asked you whether the rice which the farmers were planting was already eaten, he wished to know if those farmers had borrowed so much rice from their landlords that the next harvest would only be enough to pay it back. In a river it is impossible to see the thorns which may hurt one’s feet, so it is wise to wear shoes while crossing a river. The idea of opening an umbrella under a tree is a very good one, because it forms a protection against falling branches and fruits. I will tell you why I divided the chicken as I did. I gave you the head and neck because you are the head of the family; the wings I gave my mother because she took care of me in my childhood; the body I gave to Rodolfo, because it is courteous to please a visitor; the legs I kept myself, because I am your feet and hands.”
The anger of Estela’s father was pacified by her explanation. He was now convinced that Rodolfo was not a fool, but a wise man, and he invited Rodolfo to live with them. Rodolfo staid and helped with all the work about the house and in the field. At last, when the old man realized that Rodolfo loved Estela, he gave his consent to their marriage; and the next day they became husband and wife.
After his marriage, Rodolfo returned to Valencia, leaving Estela at her home in Babilonia, and reported to the king that he had found and taken as his wife a virtuous woman,—The rest of the story turns on the “chastity-wager” motif, and ends with the establishment of the purity of Rodolfo’s wife. (For this motif, constituting a whole story, see “The Golden Lock,” No. 30.)
An examination of the five representatives of this cycle of the “Clever Lass” in the Philippines reveals at least nine distinct problems (tasks or riddles) to be solved. For most of these, parallels may be found in other Oriental and in Occidental stories.
(1) Problem: catching waves of the sea. Solution: demanding rope of sand for the work. This identical problem and solution are found in a North Borneo story, “Ginas and the Rajah” (Evans, 468–469). In the “Mahā-ummagga-jātaka,” No. 546, a series of nineteen tasks is set the young sage Mahosadha. One of these is to make a rope of sand. The wise youth cleverly sent some spokesmen to ask the king for a sample of the old rope, so that the new would not vary from the old. See also Child, 1 : 10–11, for a South Siberian story containing the counter-demand for thread of sand to make shoes from stone.
(2) Problem: making many kinds of food from one small bird, or twelve portions from mosquito. Solution: requiring king to make stove, pan, and bolo (or twelve forks) from needle (pin). Analogous to this task is Bolte and Polívka’s motif B³ (2 : 349), the challenge to weave a cloth out of two threads. Bolte and Polívka enumerate thirty-five European folk-tales containing their motif B³.
(3) Problem: putting large squash whole into narrow-necked jar. Solution: hero grows squash in the jar (and sometimes demands that king remove the squash without breaking either it or the jar). I know of no other folk-tale occurrences of this task; it is not found in any of the European stories of this cycle, and may be an addition of the Tagalog narrators. It is a common enough trick, however, to grow a squash or cucumber in a small-necked bottle.
(4) Problem: getting milk from bull. Solution: hero tells king that his father has given birth to a child. Compare “Jātaka,” No. 546 (tr. by Cowell and Rouse, 6 : 167–168), in which the king sends his fattened bull to East Market-town with this message: “Here is the king’s royal bull, in calf. Deliver him, and send him back with the calf, or else there is a fine of a thousand pieces.” The solution of this difficulty is the same as above. See also Child, 1 : 10–11, for almost identical situation. This problem and No. 1 are to be found in a Tibetan tale (Ralston 2, 138, 140–141).
(5) Problem: selling lamb for a specified sum of money, and returning both animal and coin. Solution: heroine sells only the wool.
Two of these problems, (3) and (5), are soluble, and belong in kind with the “halb-geritten“ motif, where the heroine is ordered to come to the king not clothed and not naked, not walking and not riding, not in the road and not out of the road, etc. The other three problems are not solved at all, strictly speaking: the heroine gets out of her difficulties by demanding of her task-master the completion of counter-tasks equally hard, or by showing him the absurdity of his demands. (See Bolte-Polívka, 2 : 362–370, for a full discussion of these subgroups.) “In all stories of the kind,” writes Child, “the person upon whom a task is imposed stands acquitted if another of no less difficulty is devised which must be performed first. This preliminary may be something that is essential for the execution of the other, as in the German ballads, or equally well something that has no kind of relation to the original requisition, as in the English ballads.” It will be seen that in the nature of the counter-demands the Filipino stories agree rather with the German than the English.
(6) Hero is forbidden to walk on the king’s ground. To circumvent the king, hero fills a sledge with earth taken from his own orchard, and has himself drawn into the presence of his Majesty. When challenged, the hero protests that he is not on the king’s ground, but his own. This same episode is found in “Juan the Fool,” No. 49 (q. v.).
(7) The stealing of the sleeping king by the banished wife, who has permission to take with her from the palace what she loves best, is found only in A. This episode, however, is very common elsewhere, and forms the conclusion of more than seventy Occidental stories of this cycle. (See Bolte-Polívka, 2 : 349–355.)
(8) The division of the hen, found in B and also at the end of “Juan the Fool” (No. 49), is fully discussed by Bolte and Polívka (2 : 360). See also R. Köhler’s notes to Gonzenbach, 2 : 205–206. The combination of this motif with the “chastity-wager” motif found in “Rodolfo” (B), is also met with in a Mentonais story, “La femme avisée” (Romania, 11 : 415–416).
(9) For wearing of shoes only when crossing rivers, and raising umbrella only when sleeping under a tree, see again “Juan the Fool.” A rather close parallel to this incident, as well as to the seemingly foolish questions Rodolfo asks Estela’s father, and the daughter’s wise interpretation of them, may be found in the Kashmir story, “Why the Fish laughed” (Knowles, 484–490 = Jacob 1, No. XXIV). See also a Tibetan story in Ralston 2 : 111; Benfey in “Ausland,” 1859, p. 487; Spence Hardy, “Manual of Buddhism,” pp. 220–227, 364. Compare especially Bompas, No. LXXXIX, “The Bridegroom who spoke in Riddles.”
Finally mention may be made of two Arabian stories overlooked by Bolte and Polívka, in one of which a woman sends supper to a stranger, and along with the food an enigmatical message describing what she has sent. The Negress porter eats a part of the food, but delivers the message. The stranger shrewdly guesses its meaning, and sends back a reply that convicts the Negress of theft of a part of the gift. The other story opens with the “bride-wager” riddle, and later enumerates many instances of the ingenuity of the clever young wife. See Phillott and Azoo, “Some Arab Folk-Tales from Haẓramaut,” Nos. I and XVII (in JRASB 2  : 399–439).
Benfey (Ausland, 1859, passim) traces the story of the “Clever Lass” back to India. The original situation consisted of the testing of the sagacity of a minister who had fallen into disgrace. This minister aids his royal master in a riddle-contest with a neighboring hostile king. Later in the development of the cycle these sagacity tests were transferred to a wife who helps her husband, or to a maiden who helps her father, out of similar difficulties. (Compare the last part of my note to No. 1 in this collection.) Bolte and Polívka, however (2 : 373) seem to think it probable that the last part of the story—the marriage of the heroine, her expulsion, and her theft of the sleeping king—was native to Europe.
The Filipino folk-tales belonging to this cycle appear to go back directly to India as a source. Incident 4 (see above) seems to me conclusive evidence, as this is a purely Oriental conception, being recorded only in India, Tibet, and South Siberia. The chap-book version (A) doubtless owes much to popular tradition in the Islands, although the anonymous author, in his “Preface to the Reader,” says that he has derived his story from a book (unnamed),—hañgo sa novela. I have not been able to trace his original; there is no Spanish form of the tale, so far as I know.
Compare with this whole cycle No. 38, “A Negrito Slave,” and the notes.
1Paragos, a kind of rude, low sledge drawn by carabaos and used by farmers.
2Pipit, a tiny bird.
The Story of Zaragoza.
Narrated by Teodato P. Macabulos, a Tagalog from Manila.
Years and years ago there lived in a village a poor couple, Luis and Maria. Luis was lazy and selfish, while Maria was hard-working and dutiful. Three children had been born to this pair, but none had lived long enough to be baptized. The wife was once more about to be blessed with a child, and Luis made up his mind what he should do to save its life. Soon the day came when Maria bore her second son. Luis, fearing that this child, like the others, would die unchristened, decided to have it baptized the very next morning. Maria was very glad to know of her husband’s determination, for she believed that the early deaths of their other children were probably due to delay in baptizing them.
The next morning Luis, with the infant in his arms, hastened to the church; but in his haste he forgot to ask his wife who should stand as godfather. As he was considering this oversight, a strange man passed by, whom he asked, “Will you be so kind as to act as my child’s godfather?”
“With all my heart,” was the stranger’s reply.
They then entered the church, and the child was named Luis, after his father. When the services were over, Luis entreated Zaragoza—such was the name of the godfather—to dine at his house. As Zaragoza had just arrived in that village for the first time, he was but too ready to accept the invitation. Now, Zaragoza was a kind-hearted man, and soon won the confidence of his host and hostess, who invited him to remain with them for several days. Luis and Zaragoza became close friends, and often consulted each other on matters of importance.
One evening, as the two friends were conversing, their talk turned upon the affairs of the kingdom. Luis told his friend how the king oppressed the people by levying heavy taxes on all sorts of property, and for that reason was very rich. Zaragoza, moved by the news, decided to avenge the wrongs of the people. Luis hesitated, for he could think of no sure means of punishing the tyrannical monarch. Then Zaragoza suggested that they should try to steal the king’s treasure, which was hidden in a cellar of the palace. Luis was much pleased with the project, for he thought that it was Zaragoza’s plan for them to enrich themselves and live in comfort and luxury.
Accordingly, one evening the two friends, with a pick-axe, a hoe, and a shovel, directed their way towards the palace. They approached the cellar by a small door, and then began to dig in the ground at the foot of the cellar wall. After a few hours of steady work, they succeeded in making an excavation leading into the interior. Zaragoza entered, and gathered up as many bags of money as he and Luis could carry. During the night they made several trips to the cellar, each time taking back to their house as much money as they could manage. For a long time the secret way was not discovered, and the two friends lost no opportunity of increasing their already great hoard. Zaragoza gave away freely much of his share to the poor; but his friend was selfish, and kept constantly admonishing him not to be too liberal.
In time the king observed that the bulk of his treasure was considerably reduced, and he ordered his soldiers to find out what had caused the disappearance of so much money. Upon close examination, the soldiers discovered the secret passage; and the king, enraged, summoned his counsellors to discuss what should be done to punish the thief.
In the mean time the two friends were earnestly discussing whether they should get more bags of money, or should refrain from making further thefts. Zaragoza suggested that they would better first get in touch with the secret deliberations of the court before making another attempt. Luis, however, as if called by fate, insisted that they should make one more visit to the king’s cellar, and then inquire about the unrest at court. Persuaded against his better judgment, Zaragoza followed his friend to the palace, and saw that their secret passage was in the same condition as they had lately left it. Luis lowered himself into the hole; but lo! the whiz of an arrow was heard, and then a faint cry from Luis.
“What is the matter? Are you hurt?” asked Zaragoza.
“I am dying! Take care of my son!” These were Luis’s last words.
Zaragoza knew not what to do. He tried to pull up the dead body of his friend; but in vain, for it was firmly caught between two heavy blocks of wood, and was pierced by many arrows. But Zaragoza was shrewd; and, fearing the consequences of the discovery of Luis’s corpse, he cut off the dead man’s head and hurried home with it, leaving the body behind. He broke the fatal news to Maria, whose grief was boundless. She asked him why he had mutilated her husband’s body, and he satisfied her by telling her that they would be betrayed if Luis were recognized. Taking young Luis in her arms, Maria said, “For the sake of your godson, see that his father’s body is properly buried.”
“Upon my word of honor, I promise to do as you wish,” was Zaragoza’s reply.
Meantime the king was discussing the theft with his advisers. Finally, wishing to identify the criminal, the king decreed that the body should be carried through the principal streets of the city and neighboring villages, followed by a train of soldiers, who were instructed to arrest any person who should show sympathy for the dead man. Early one morning the military procession started out, and passed through the main streets of the city. When the procession arrived before Zaragoza’s house, it happened that Maria was at the window, and, seeing the body of her husband, she cried, “O my husband!”
Seeing the soldiers entering their house, Zaragoza asked, “What is your pleasure?”
“We want to arrest that woman,” was the answer of the chief of the guard.
“Why? She has not committed any crime.”
“She is the widow of that dead man. Her words betrayed her, for she exclaimed that the dead man was her husband.”
“Who is her husband? That remark was meant for me, because I had unintentionally hurt our young son,” said Zaragoza smiling.
The soldiers believed his words, and went on their way. Reaching a public place when it was almost night, they decided to stay there until the next morning. Zaragoza saw his opportunity. He disguised himself as a priest and went to the place, taking with him a bottle of wine mixed with a strong narcotic. When he arrived, he said that he was a priest, and, being afraid of robbers, wished to pass the night with some soldiers. The soldiers were glad to have with them, as they thought, a pious man, whose stories would inspire them to do good. After they had talked a while, Zaragoza offered his bottle of wine to the soldiers, who freely drank from it. As was expected, they soon all fell asleep, and Zaragoza succeeded in stealing the corpse of Luis. He took it home and buried it in that same place where he had buried the head.
The following morning the soldiers woke up, and were surprised to see that the priest and the corpse were gone. The king soon knew how his scheme had failed. Then he thought of another plan. He ordered that a sheep covered with precious metal should be let loose in the streets, and that it should be followed by a spy, whose duty it was to watch from a distance, and, in case any one attempted to catch the sheep, to ascertain the house of that person, and then report to the palace.
Having received his orders, the spy let loose the sheep, and followed it at a distance. Nobody else dared even to make a remark about the animal; but when Zaragoza saw it, he drove it into his yard. The spy, following instructions, marked the door of Zaragoza’s house with a cross, and hastened to the palace. The spy assured the soldiers that they would be able to capture the criminal; but when they began to look for the house, they found that all the houses were similarly marked with crosses.
For the third time the king had failed; and, giving up all hopes of catching the thief, he issued a proclamation pardoning the man who had committed the theft, provided he would present himself to the king within three days. Hearing the royal proclamation, Zaragoza went before the king, and confessed that he was the perpetrator of all the thefts that had caused so much trouble in the court. True to his word, the king did not punish him. Instead, the king promised to give Zaragoza a title of nobility if he could trick Don Juan, the richest merchant in the city, out of his most valuable goods.
When he knew of the desire of the king, Zaragoza looked for a fool, whom he could use as his instrument. He soon found one, whom he managed to teach to say “Si” (Spanish for “yes”) whenever asked a question. Dressing the fool in the guise of a bishop, Zaragoza took a carriage and drove to the store of D. Juan. There he began to ask the fool such questions as these: “Does your grace wish to have this? Does not your grace think that this is cheap?” to all of which the fool’s answer was “Si.” At last, when the carriage was well loaded, Zaragoza said, “I will first take these things home, and then return with the money for them;” to which the fool replied, “Si.” When Zaragoza reached the palace with the rich goods, he was praised by the king for his sagacity.
After a while D. Juan the merchant found out that what he thought was a bishop was really a fool. So he went to the king and asked that he be given justice. Moved by pity, the king restored all the goods that had been stolen, and D. Juan wondered how his Majesty had come into possession of his lost property.
Once more the king wanted to test Zaragoza’s ability. Accordingly he told him to bring to the palace an old hermit who lived in a cave in the neighboring mountains. At first Zaragoza tried to persuade Tubal to pay the visit to the king, but in vain. Having failed in his first attempt, Zaragoza determined to play a trick on the old hermit. He secretly placed an iron cage near the mouth of Tubal’s cave, and then in the guise of an angel he stood on a high cliff and shouted,—
“Tubal, Tubal, hear ye me!”
Tubal, hearing the call, came out of his cave, and, seeing what he thought was an angel, knelt down. Then Zaragoza shouted,—
“I know that you are very religious, and have come to reward your piety. The gates of heaven are open, and I will lead you thither. Go enter that cage, and you will see the way to heaven.”
Tubal meekly obeyed; but when he was in the cage, he did not see the miracle he expected. Instead, he was placed in a carriage and brought before the king. Thoroughly satisfied now, the king released Tubal, and fulfilled his promise toward Zaragoza. Zaragoza was knighted, and placed among the chief advisers of the kingdom. After he had been raised to this high rank, he called to his side Maria and his godson, and they lived happily under the protection of one who became the most upright and generous man of the realm.
Juan the Peerless Robber.
Narrated by Vicente M. Hilario, a Tagalog from Batangas, who heard the story from a Batangas student.
Not many centuries after Charlemagne died, there lived in Europe a famous brigand named Juan. From childhood he had been known as “the deceitful Juan,” “the unrivalled pilferer,” “the treacherous Juan.” When he was twenty, he was forced to flee from his native land, to which he never returned.
He visited Africa, where he became acquainted with a famous Ethiopian robber named Pedro. Not long after they had met, a dispute arose between them as to which was the more skilful pickpocket. They decided to have a test. They stood face to face, and the Ethiopian was first to try his skill.
“Hey!” exclaimed Juan to Pedro, “don’t take my handkerchief out of my pocket!”
It was now Juan’s turn. He unbuckled Pedro’s belt and slipped it into his own pocket. “What’s the matter with you, Juan?” said Pedro after a few minutes. “Why don’t you go ahead and steal something?”
“Ha, ha, ha!” said Juan. “Whose belt is this?”
Pedro generously admitted that he had been defeated.
Although these two thieves were united by strong ties of common interest, nevertheless their diverse characteristics and traits produced trouble at times. Pedro was dull, honorable, and frank; Juan was hawk-eyed and double-faced. Pedro had so large a body and so awkward and shambling a gait, that Juan could not help laughing at him and saying sarcastic things to him. Juan was good-looking and graceful.
While they were travelling about in northern Africa, they heard the heralds of the King of Tunis make the following proclamation: “A big bag of money will be given to the captor of the greatest robber in the country.” The two friends, particularly Juan, were struck by this announcement.
That night Juan secretly stole out of his room. Taking with him a long rope, he climbed up to the roof of the palace. After making a hole as large as a peso1 in the roof, he lowered himself into the building by means of the rope. He found the room filled with bags of gold and silver, pearls, carbuncles, diamonds, and other precious stones. He took the smallest bag he could find, and, after climbing out of the hole, went home quickly.
When Pedro heard Juan’s thrilling report of the untold riches, he decided to visit the palace the following night. Early in the morning Juan went again to the palace, taking with him a large tub. After lowering it into the room, he departed without delay. At nightfall he returned to the palace and filled the tub with boiling water. He had no sooner done this than Pedro arrived. Pedro was so eager to get the wealth, that he made no use of the rope, but jumped immediately into the room when he reached the small opening his treacherous friend had made in the roof. Alas! instead of falling on bags of money, Pedro fell into the fatal tub of water, and perished.
An hour later Juan went to look for his friend, whom he found dead. The next day he notified the king of the capture and death of the greatest of African robbers. “You have done well,” said the king to Juan. “This man was the chief of all the African highwaymen. Take your bag of money.”
After putting his gold in a safe place, Juan went out in search of further adventures. On one of his walks, he heard that a certain wealthy and devout abbot had been praying for two days and nights that the angel of the lord might come and take him to heaven. Juan provided himself with two strong wings. On the third night he made a hole as large as a peso through the dome of the church.
Calling the abbot, Juan said, “I have been sent by the Lord to take you to heaven. Come with me, and bring all your wealth.”
The abbot put all his money into the bag. “Now get into the bag,” said Juan, “and we will go.”
The old man promptly obeyed. “Where are we now?” said he, after an hour’s “flight.”
“We are within one thousand miles of the abode of the blessed,” was Juan’s reply.
Twenty minutes later, and they were in Juan’s cave. “Come out of the bag, and behold my rude abode?” said Juan to the old man. The abbot was astounded at the sight. When he heard Juan’s story, he advised him to abandon his evil ways. Juan listened to the counsels of his new friend. He became a good man, and he and the abbot lived together until their death.
The story of “Zaragoza” is of particular interest, because it definitely combines an old form of the “Rhampsinitus” story with the “Master Thief” cycle. In his notes to No. 11, “The Two Thieves,” of his collection of “Gypsy Folk Tales,” F. H. Groome observes, “(The) ‘Two Thieves’ is so curious a combination of the ‘Rhampsinitus’ story in Herodotus and of Grimm’s ‘Master Thief,’ that I am more than inclined to regard it as the lost original, which, according to Campbell of Islay, ‘it were vain to look for in any modern work or in any modern age.’ ” By “lost original” Mr. Groome doubtless meant the common ancestor of these two very widespread and for the most part quite distinct cycles, “Rhampsinitus” and the “Master Thief.”
Both of these groups of stories about clever thieves have been made the subjects Of investigation. The fullest bibliographical study of the “Rhampsinitus” saga is that by Killis Campbell, “The Seven Sages of Rome” (Boston, 1907), pp. lxxxv–xc. Others have treated the cycle more or less discursively: R. Köhler, “Ueber J. F. Campbell’s Sammlung gälischer Märchen,” No. XVII (d) (in Orient und Occident, 2  : 303–313); Sir George Cox, “The Migration of Popular Stories” (in Fraser’s Magazine, July, 1880, pp. 96–111); W. A. Clouston, “Popular Tales and Fictions” (London, 1887), 2 : 115–165. See also F. H. Groome, 48–53; McCulloch, 161, note 9; and Campbell’s bibliography. The “Master Thief” cycle has been examined in great detail as to the component elements of the story by Cosquin (2 : 274–281, 364–365). See also Grimm’s notes to the “Master Thief,” No. 192 (2 : 464); and J. G. von Hahn, 2 : 178–183.
F. Max Müller believed that the story of the “Master Thief” had its origin in the Sanscrit droll of “The Brahman and the Goat” (Hitopadesa, IV, 10 = Panchatantra, III, 3), which was brought to Europe through the Arabic translation of the “Hitopadesa.” Further, he did not believe that the “Master Thief” story had anything to do with Herodotus’s account of the theft of Rhampsinitus’s treasure (see Chips from a German Workshop [New York, 1869], 2 : 228). Wilhelm Grimm, however, in his notes to No. 192 of the “Kinder- und Hausmärchen,” says, “The well-known story in Herodotus (ii, 121) … is nearly related to this.” As Sir G. W. Cox remarks (op. cit., p. 98), it is not easy to discern any real affinity either between the Hitopadesa tale and the European traditions of the “Master Thief,” or between the latter and the “Rhampsinitus” story. M. Cosquin seems to see at least one point of contact between the two cycles: “The idea of the episode of the theft of the horse, or at least of the means which the thief uses to steal the horse away …. might well have been borrowed from Herodotus’s story … of Rhampsinitus” (Contes de Lorraine, 2 : 277).
A brief analysis of the characteristic incidents of these two “thieving” cycles will be of some assistance, perhaps, in determining whether or not there were originally any definite points of contact between the two. The elements of the “Rhampsinitus” story follow:—
A Two sons of king’s late architect plan to rob the royal treasure-house.
(A¹ In some variants of the story the robbers are a town thief and a country thief.)
A² They gain an entrance by removing a secret stone, a knowledge of which their father had bequeathed them before he died.
B The king discovers the theft, and sets a snare for the robbers.
C Robbers return; eldest caught inextricably. To prevent discovery, the younger brother cuts off the head of the older, takes it away, and buries it.
D The king attempts to find the confederate by exposing the headless corpse on the outer wall of the palace.
D¹ The younger thief steals the body by making the guards drunk. He also shaves the right side of the sleeping guards’ beards.
E King makes second attempt to discover confederate. He sends his daughter as a common courtesan, hoping that he can find the thief; for she is to require all her lovers to tell the story of their lives before enjoying her favors.
E¹ The younger thief visits her and tells his story; when she tries to detain him, however, he escapes by leaving in her hand the hand of a dead man he had taken along with him for just such a contingency.
F The king, baffled, now offers to pardon and reward the thief if he will discover himself. The thief gives himself up, and is married to the princess.
In some of the later forms of the story the king makes various other attempts to discover the culprit before acknowledging himself defeated, and is met with more subtle counter-moves on the part of the thief: (D²) King orders that any one found showing sympathy for the corpse as it hangs up shall be arrested; (D³) by the trick of the broken water-jar or milk-jar, the widow of the dead robber is able to mourn him unsuspected. (D⁴) The widow involuntarily wails as the corpse is being dragged through the street past her house; but the thief quickly cuts himself with a knife, and thus explains her cry when the guards come to arrest her. They are satisfied with the explanation. (E²) The king scatters gold-pieces in the street, and gives orders to arrest any one seen picking them up; (E³) the thief, with pitch or wax on the soles of his shoes, walks up and down the road, and, unobserved, gathers in the money. (E⁴) The king turns loose in the city a gold-adorned animal, and orders the arrest of any person seen capturing it. The thief steals it as in D¹, or is observed and his house-door marked. Then as in E⁶. (E⁵) Old woman begging for “hind’s flesh” or “camel-grease” finds his house; but the thief suspects her and kills her; or (E⁶) she gets away, after marking the house-door so that it may be recognized again. But the thief sees the mark, and proceeds to mark similarly all the other doors in the street. (E⁷) The king puts a prohibitive price on meat, thinking that only the thief will be able to buy; but the thief steals a joint.
However many the changes and additions of this sort (king’s move followed by thief’s move) rung in, almost all of the stories dealing with the robbery of the king’s treasury end with the pardon of the thief and his exaltation to high rank in the royal household. In none of the score of versions of the “Rhampsinitus” story cited by Clouston is the thief subjected to any further tests of his prowess after he has been pardoned by the king. We shall return to this point.
The “Master Thief” cycle has much less to do with our stories than has the “Rhampsinitus” cycle: hence we shall merely enumerate the incidents to be found in it. (For bibliography of stories containing these situations, see Cosquin.)
A Hero, the youngest of three brothers, becomes a thief. For various reasons (the motives are different in Grimm 192, and Dasent xxxv) he displays his skill:—
B¹ Theft of the purse (conducted as a droll: the young apprentice-thief, noodle-like, brings back purse to robber-gang after throwing away the money).
B² Theft of cattle being driven to the fair. This trick is usually conducted in one of four ways: (a) two shoes in road; (b) hanging self; (c) bawling in the wood like a strayed ox; (d) exciting peasant’s curiosity,—“comedy of comedies,” “wonder of wonders.”
B³ Theft of the horse. This is usually accomplished by the disguised thief making the grooms drunk.
B⁴ Stealing of a live person and carrying him in a sack to the one who gave the order. (The thief disguises himself as an angel, and promises to conduct his victim to heaven.)
Other instances of the “Master Thief’s” cleverness, not found in Cosquin, are—
B⁵ Stealing sheet or coverlet from sleeping person (Grimm, Dasent).
B⁶ Stealing roast from spit while whole family is guarding it (Dasent).
We may now examine the members of the “Rhampsinitus” group that contain situations clearly belonging to the “Master Thief” formula. These are as follows:—
Groome, No. II, “The Two Thieves,” B² (d), B⁴.
F. Liebrecht in a Cyprus story (Jahrb. f. rom. und eng. lit., 13 : 367–374 = Legrand, Contes grecs, p. 205), “The Master Thief,” B²(a, c, d).
Wardrop, No. XIV, “The Two Thieves,” B⁴.
Radloff, in a Tartar story (IV, p. 193), B⁴.
Prym and Socin, in a Syriac story (II, No. 42), B⁴.
It seems very likely that the Georgian, Tartar, and Syriac stories are nearly related to one another. The Roumanian gypsy tale, too, it will be noted, adds to the “Rhampsinitus” formula the incident of the theft of a person in a sack. This latter story, again, is connected with the Georgian tale, in that the opening is identical in both. One thief meets another, and challenges him to steal the eggs (feathers) from a bird without disturbing it. While he is doing so, he is in turn robbed unawares of his drawers by the first thief. (Compare Grimm, No. 129; a Kashmir story in Knowles, 110–112; and a Kabylie story, Rivière, 13.)
The number of tales combining the two cycles of the “Master Thief” and “Rhampsinitus’s Treasure-House” is so small compared with the number of “pure” versions of each cycle, that we are led to think it very unlikely that there ever was a “lost original.” There seems to be no evidence whatsoever that these two cycles had a common ancestor. Besides the fact that the number of stories in which the contamination is found is relatively very small, there is also to be considered the fact that these few examples are recent. No one is known to have existed more than seventy-five years ago. Hence the “snowball” theory will better explain the composite nature of the gypsy version and our story of “Zaragoza” than a “missing-link” theory. These two cycles, consisting as they do of a series of tests of skill, are peculiarly fitted to be interlocked. The wonder is, not that they have become combined in a few cases, but that they have remained separate in so many more, particularly as both stories are very widespread; and, given the ingredients, this is a combination that could have been made independently by many story-tellers. Could not the idea occur to more than one narrator that it is a greater feat to steal a living person (B⁴) than a corpse (D¹), a piece of roast meat guarded by a person who knows that the thief is coming (B⁶) than a piece of raw meat from an unsuspecting butcher (E⁷)? All in all, it appears to me much more likely that the droll and certainly later cycle of the “Master Thief” grew out of the more serious and earlier cycle of “Rhampsinitus’s Treasure-House” (by the same process as is suggested in the notes to No. 1 of this present collection) than that the two are branches from the same trunk.
In any case, our two stories make the combination. When or whence these Tagalog versions arose I cannot say. Nor need they be analyzed in detail, as the texts are before us in full. I will merely call attention to the fact that in “Zaragoza” the king sets a snare (cf. Herodotus) for the thief, instead of the more common barrel of pitch. There is something decidedly primitive about this trap which shoots arrows into its victim. Zaragoza’s trick whereby he fools the rich merchant has an analogue in Knowles’s Kashmir story of “The Day-Thief and the Night-Thief” (p. 298).
“Juan the Peerless Robber,” garbled and unsatisfactory as it is in detail and perverted in dénouement, presents the interesting combination of the skill-contest between the two thieves (see above), the treachery of one (cf. the Persian Bahar-i-Danush, 2 : 225–248), and the stealing of the abbot in a sack.
1Why peso, I cannot say. A hole the size of a peso would accommodate a rope, but hardly a man or a large tub. The story is clearly imperfect in many respects.
The Seven Crazy Fellows.
Narrated by Cipriano Seráfica, from Mangaldan. Pangasinan.
Once there were living in the country in the northern part of Luzon seven crazy fellows, named Juan, Felipe, Mateo, Pedro, Francisco, Eulalio, and Jacinto. They were happy all the day long.
One morning Felipe asked his friends to go fishing. They staid at the Cagayan River a long time. About two o’clock in the afternoon Mateo said to his companions, “We are hungry; let us go home!”
“Before we go,” said Juan, “let us count ourselves, to see that we are all here!” He counted; but because he forgot to count himself, he found that they were only six, and said that one of them had been drowned. Thereupon they all dived into the river to look for their lost companion; and when they came out, Francisco counted to see if he had been found; but he, too, left himself out, so in they dived again. Jacinto said that they should not go home until they had found the one who was lost. While they were diving, an old man passed by. He asked the fools what they were diving for. They said that one of them had been drowned.
“How many were you at first?” said the old man.
They said that they were seven.
“All right,” said the old man. “Dive in, and I will count you.” They dived, and he found that they were seven. Since he had found their lost companion, he asked them to come with him.
When they reached the old man’s house, he selected Mateo and Francisco to look after his old wife; Eulalio he chose to be water-carrier; Pedro, cook; Jacinto, wood-carrier; and Juan and Felipe, his companions in hunting.
When the next day came, the old man said that he was going hunting, and he told Juan and Felipe to bring along rice with them. In a little while they reached the mountains, and he told the two fools to cook the rice at ten o’clock. He then went up the mountain with his dogs to catch a deer. Now, his two companions, who had been left at the foot of the mountain, had never seen a deer. When Felipe saw a deer standing under a tree, he thought that the antlers of the deer were the branches of a small tree without leaves: so he hung his hat and bag of rice on them, but the deer immediately ran away. When the old man came back, he asked if the rice was ready. Felipe told him that he had hung his hat and the rice on a tree that ran away. The old man was angry, and said, “That tree you saw was the antlers of a deer. We’ll have to go home now, for we have nothing to eat.”
Meanwhile the five crazy fellows who had been left at home were not idle. Eulalio went to get a pail of water. When he reached the well and saw his image in the water, he nodded, and the reflection nodded back at him. He did this over and over again; until finally, becoming tired, he jumped into the water, and was drowned. Jacinto was sent to gather small sticks, but he only destroyed the fence around the garden. Pedro cooked a chicken without removing the feathers. He also let the chicken burn until it was as black as coal. Mateo and Francisco tried to keep the flies off the face of their old mistress. They soon became tired, because the flies kept coming back; so they took big sticks to kill them with. When a fly lighted on the nose of the old woman, they struck at it so hard that they killed her. She died with seemingly a smile on her face. The two fools said to each other that the old woman was very much pleased that they had killed the fly.
When the old man and his two companions reached home, the old man asked Pedro if there was any food to eat. Pedro said that it was in the pot. The old man looked in and saw the charred chicken and feathers. He was very angry at the cook. Then he went in to see his wife, and found her dead. He asked Mateo and Francisco what they had done to the old woman. They said that they had only been killing flies that tried to trouble her, and that she was very much pleased by their work.
The next thing the crazy fellows had to do was to make a coffin for the dead woman; but they made it flat, and in such a way that there was nothing to prevent the corpse from falling off. The old man told them to carry the body to the church; but on their way they ran, and the body rolled off the flat coffin. They said to each other that running was a good thing, for it made their burden lighter.
When the priest found that the corpse was missing, he told the six crazy fellows to go back and get the body. While they were walking toward the house, they saw an old woman picking up sticks by the roadside.
“Old woman, what are you doing here?” they said. “The priest wants to see you.”
While they were binding her, she cried out to her husband, “Ah! here are some bad boys trying to take me to the church.” But her husband said that the crazy fellows were only trying to tease her. When they reached the church with this old woman, the priest, who was also crazy, performed the burial-ceremony over her. She cried out that she was alive; but the priest answered that since he had her burial-fee, he did not care whether she was alive or not. So they buried this old woman in the ground.
When they were returning home, they saw the corpse that had fallen from the coffin on their way to the church. Francisco cried that it was the ghost of the old woman. Terribly frightened, they ran away in different directions, and became scattered all over Luzon.
I have a Bicol variant, “Juan and his Six Friends,” narrated by Maximina Navarro, which is much like the story of “The Seven Crazy Fellows.”
In the Bicol form, Juan and his six crazy companions go bathing in the river. Episode of the miscounting. On the way home, the seven, sad because of the loss of one of their number, meet another sad young man, who says that his mother is dying and that he is on his way to fetch a priest. He begs the seven to hurry to his home and stay with his mother until he returns. They go and sit by her. Juan mistakes a large mole on her forehead for a fly, and tries in vain to brush it away. Finally he “kills it” with a big piece of bamboo. The son, returning and finding his mother dead, asks the seven to take her and bury her. They wrap the body in a mat, but on the way to the cemetery the body falls out. They return to look for the corpse, but take the wrong road. They see an old woman cutting ferns; and, thinking that she is the first old woman trying to deceive them, they throw stones at her. The story ends with the burial of this second old woman, whom the seven admonish, as they put her into the ground, “never to deceive any one again.”
These two noodle stories are obviously drawn from a common source. The main incidents to be found in them are (1) the miscounting of the swimmers and the subsequent correct reckoning by a stranger (this second part lacking in the Bicol variant); (2) the killing of the fly on the old woman’s face; (3) the loss of the corpse and the burial of the old fagot-gathering woman by mistake.
(1) The incident of not counting one’s self is found in a number of Eastern stories (see Clouston 1, 28–33; Grimm, 2 : 441). For a Kashmir droll recording a similar situation, where a townsman finds ten peasants weeping because they cannot account for the loss of one of their companions, see Knowles, 322–323.
(2) Killing of fly on face is a very old incident, and assumes various forms. In a Buddhist birth-story (Jātaka, 44), a mosquito lights on a man’s head. The foolish son attempts to kill it with an axe. In another (Jātaka, 45) the son uses a pestle. Italian stories containing this episode will be found in Crane, 293–294 (see also Crane, 380, notes 13–15). In a Bicol fable relating a war between the monkeys and the dragon-flies, the dragon-flies easily defeat the monkeys, who kill one another in their attempts to slay their enemies, that have, at the order of their king, alighted on the monkeys’ heads (see No. 57). Full bibliography for this incident may be found in Bolte-Polívka, 1 : 519.
(3) The killing of a living person thought to be a corpse come to life occurs in “The Three Humpbacks” (see No. 33 and notes).
Our story as a whole seems to owe nothing to European forms, though it has some faint general resemblances to the “Seven Swabians” (Grimm, No. 119). All three incidents of our story are found separately in India. Their combination may have taken place in the Islands, or even before the Malay migration.
Narrated by Anicio Pascual of Arayat, Pampanga, who heard the story from an old Pampangan woman.
Once upon a time there lived in a certain village a brave and powerful datu who had only one son. The son was called Pedro. In the same place lived a poor wood-cutter whose name was Juan Manalaksan. Pedro was rich, and had no work to do. He often diverted himself by hunting deer and wild boars in the forests and mountains. Juan got his living by cutting trees in the forests.
One day the datu and his son went to the mountain to hunt. They took with them many dogs and guns. They did not take any food, however, for they felt sure of catching something to eat for their dinner. When they reached the mountain, Pedro killed a deer. By noon they had become tired and hungry, so they went to a shady place to cook their game. While he was eating, Pedro choked on a piece of meat. The father cried out loudly, for he did not know what to do for his dying son. Juan, who was cutting wood near by, heard the shout. He ran quickly to help Pedro, and by pulling the piece of meat out of his throat he saved Pedro’s life. Pedro was grateful, and said to Juan, “To-morrow come to my palace, and I will give you a reward for helping me.”
The next morning Juan set out for the palace. On his way he met an old woman, who asked him where he was going.
“I am going to Pedro’s house to get my reward,” said Juan. “Do not accept any reward of money or wealth,” said the old woman, “but ask Pedro to give you the glass which he keeps in his right armpit. The glass is magical. It is as large as a peso, and has a small hole in the centre. If you push a small stick through the hole, giants who can give you anything you want will surround you.” Then the old woman left Juan, and went on her way.
As soon as Juan reached the palace, Pedro said to him, “Go to that room and get all the money you want.”
But Juan answered, “I do not want you to give me any money. All I want is the glass which you keep in your right armpit.”
“Very well,” said Pedro, “here it is.” When Juan had received the glass, he hurried back home.
Juan reached his hut in the woods, and found his mother starving. He quickly thought of his magic glass, and, punching a small stick through the hole in the glass, he found himself surrounded by giants.
“Be quick, and get me some food for my mother!” he said to them. For a few minutes the giants were gone, but soon they came again with their hands full of food. Juan took it and gave it to his mother; but she ate so much, that she became sick, and died.
In a neighboring village ruled another powerful datu, who had a beautiful daughter. One day the datu fell very ill. As no doctor could cure him, he sent his soldiers around the country to say that the man who could cure him should have his daughter for a wife. Juan heard the news, and, relying on his charm, went to cure the datu. On his way, he asked the giants for medicine to cure the sick ruler. When he reached the palace, the datu said to him, “If I am not cured, you shall be killed.” Juan agreed to the conditions, and told the datu to swallow the medicine which he gave him. The datu did so, and at once became well again.
The next morning Juan was married to the datu’s daughter. Juan took his wife to live with him in his small hut in the woods.
One day he went to the forest to cut trees, leaving his wife and magic glass at home. While Juan was away in the forest, Pedro ordered some of his soldiers to go get the wood-cutter’s wife and magic glass. When Juan returned in the evening, he found wife and glass gone. One of his neighbors told him that his wife had been taken away by some soldiers. Juan was very angry, but he could not avenge himself without his magical glass.
At last he decided to go to his father-in-law and tell him all that had happened to his wife. On his way there, he met an old mankukulam,1 who asked him where he was going. Juan did not tell her, but related to her all that had happened to his wife and glass while he was in the forest cutting trees. The mankukulam said that she could help him. She told him to go to a certain tree and catch the king of the cats. She furthermore advised him, “Always keep the cat with you.” Juan followed her advice.
One day Pedro’s father commanded his soldiers to cut off the ears of all the men in the village, and said that if any one refused to have his ears cut off, he should be placed in a room full of rats. The soldiers did as they were ordered, and in time came to Juan’s house; but, as Juan was unwilling to lose his ears, he was seized and placed in a room full of rats. But he had his cat with him all the time. As soon as he was shut up in the room, he turned his cat loose. When the rats saw that they would all be killed, they said to Juan, “If you will tie your cat up there in the corner, we will help you get whatever you want.”
Juan tied his cat up, and then said to the rats, “Bring me all the glasses in this village.” The rats immediately scampered away to obey him. Soon each of them returned with a glass in its mouth. One of them was carrying the magical glass. When Juan had his charm in his hands again, he pushed a small stick through the hole in the glass, and ordered the giants to kill Pedro and his father, and bring him his wife again.
Thus Juan got his wife back. They lived happily together till they died.
Juan the Poor, Who became Juan the King.
Narrated by Amando Clemente, a Tagalog, who heard the story from his aunt.
Once upon a time there lived in a small hut at the edge of a forest a father and son. The poverty of that family gave the son his name,—Juan the Poor. As the father was old and feeble, Juan had to take care of the household affairs; but there were times when he did not want to work.
One day, while Juan was lying behind their fireplace, his father called him, and told him to go to the forest and get some fire-wood.
“Very well,” said Juan, but he did not move from his place.
After a while the father came to see if his son had gone, but he found him still lying on the floor. “When will you go get that fire-wood, Juan?”
“Right now, father,” answered the boy. The old man returned to his room. As he wanted to make sure, however, whether his son had gone or not, he again went to see. When he found Juan in the same position as before, he became very angry, and said,—
“Juan, if I come out again and find you still here, I shall surely give you a whipping.” Juan knew well that his father would punish him if he did not go; so he rose up suddenly, took his axe, and went to the forest.
When he came to the forest, he marked every tree that he thought would be good for fuel, and then he began cutting. While he was chopping at one of the trees, he saw that it had a hole in the trunk, and in the hole he saw something glistening. Thinking that there might be gold inside the hole, he hastened to cut the tree down; but a monster came out of the hole as soon as the tree fell.
When Juan saw the unexpected being, he raised his axe to kill the monster. Before giving the blow, he exclaimed, “Aha! Now is the time for you to die.”
The monster moved backward when it saw the blow ready to fall, and said,—
“Good sir, forbear,
And my life spare,
If you wish a happy life
And, besides, a pretty wife.”
Juan lowered his axe, and said, “Oho! is that so?”
“Yes, I swear,” answered the monster.
“But what is it, and where is it?” said Juan, raising his axe, and feigning to be angry, for he was anxious to get what the monster promised him. The monster told Juan to take from the middle of his tongue a white oval stone. From it he could ask for and get whatever he wanted to have. Juan opened the monster’s mouth and took the valuable stone. Immediately the monster disappeared.
The young man then tested the virtues of his charm by asking it for some men to help him work. As soon as he had spoken the last word of his command, there appeared many persons, some of whom cut down trees, while others carried the wood to his house. When Juan was sure that his house was surrounded by piles of fire-wood, he dismissed the men, hurried home, and lay down again behind the fireplace. He had not been there long, when his father came to see if he had done his work. When the old man saw his son stretched out on the floor, he said, “Juan have we fire-wood now?”
“Just look out of the window and see, father!” said Juan. Great was the surprise of the old man when he saw the large piles of wood about his house.
The next day Juan, remembering the pretty wife of which the monster had spoken, went to the king’s palace, and told the king that he wanted to marry his daughter. The king smiled scornfully when he saw the rustic appearance of the suitor, and said, “If you will do what I shall ask you to do, I will let you marry my daughter.”
“What are your Majesty’s commands for me?” said Juan. “Build me a castle in the middle of the bay; but know, that, if it is not finished in three days’ time, you lose your head,” said the king sternly. Juan promised to do the work.
Two days had gone by, yet Juan had not yet commenced his work. For that reason the king believed that Juan did not object to losing his life; but at midnight of the third day, Juan bade his stone build a fort in the middle of the bay.
The next morning, while the king was taking his bath, cannon-shots were heard. After a while Juan appeared before the palace, dressed like a prince. When he saw the king, he said, “The fort is ready for your inspection.”
“If that is true, you shall be my son-in-law,” said the king. After breakfast the king, with his daughter, visited the fort, which pleased them very much. The following day the ceremonies of Juan’s marriage with the princess Maria were held with much pomp and solemnity.
Shortly after Juan’s wedding a war broke out. Juan led the army of the king his father-in-law to the battlefield, and with the help of his magical stone he conquered his mighty enemy. The defeated general went home full of sorrow. As he had never been defeated before, he thought that Juan must possess some supernatural power. When he reached home, therefore, he issued a proclamation which stated that any one who could get Juan’s power for him should have one-half of his property as a reward.
A certain witch, who knew of Juan’s secret, heard of the proclamation. She flew to the general, and told him that she could do what he wanted done. On his agreeing, she flew to Juan’s house one hot afternoon, where she found Maria alone, for Juan had gone out hunting. The old woman smiled when she saw Maria, and said, “Do you not recognize me, pretty Maria? I am the one who nursed you when you were a baby.”
The princess was surprised at what the witch said, for she thought that the old woman was a beggar. Nevertheless she believed what the witch told her, treated the repulsive woman kindly, and offered her cake and wine; but the witch told Maria not to go to any trouble, and ordered her to rest. So Maria lay down to take a siesta. With great show of kindness, the witch fanned the princess till she fell asleep. While Maria was sleeping, the old woman took from underneath the pillow the magical stone, which Juan had forgotten to take along with him. Then she flew to the general, and gave the charm to him. He, in turn, rewarded the old woman with one-half his riches.
Meanwhile, as Juan was enjoying his hunt in the forest, a huge bird swooped down on him and seized his horse and clothes. When the bird flew away, his inner garments were changed back again into his old wood-cutter’s clothes. Full of anxiety at this ill omen, and fearing that some misfortune had befallen his wife, he hastened home on foot as best he could. When he reached his house, he found it vacant. Then he went to the king’s palace, but that too he found deserted. For his stone he did not know where to look. After a few minutes of reflection, he came to the conclusion that all his troubles were caused by the general whom he had defeated in battle. He also suspected that the officer had somehow or other got possession of his magical stone.
Poor Juan then began walking toward the country where the general lived. Before he could reach that country, he had to cross three mountains. While he was crossing the first mountain, a cat came running after him, and knocked him down. He was so angry at the animal, that he ran after it, seized it, and dashed its life out against a rock. When he was crossing the second mountain, the same cat appeared and knocked him down a second time. Again Juan seized the animal and killed it, as before; but the same cat that he had killed twice before tumbled him down a third time while he was crossing the third mountain. Filled with curiosity, Juan caught the animal again: but, instead of killing it this time, he put it inside the bag he was carrying, and took it along with him.
After many hours of tiresome walking, Juan arrived at the castle of the general, and knocked at the door. The general asked him what he wanted. Juan answered, “I am a poor beggar, who will be thankful if I can have only a mouthful of rice.” The general, however, recognized Juan. He called his servants, and said, “Take this wretched fellow to the cell of rats.”
The cell in which Juan was imprisoned was very dark; and as soon as the door was closed, the rats began to bite him. But Juan did not suffer much from them; for, remembering his cat, he let it loose. The cat killed all the rats except their king, which came out of the hole last of all. When the cat saw the king of the rats, it spoke thus: “Now you shall die if you do not promise to get for Juan his magical stone, which your master has stolen.”
“Spare my life, and you shall have the stone!” said the king of the rats.
“Go and get it, then!” said the cat. The king of the rats ran quickly to the room of the general, and took Juan’s magical stone from the table.
As soon as Juan had obtained his stone, and after he had thanked the king of the rats, he said to his stone, “Pretty stone, destroy this house with the general and his subjects, and release my father-in-law and wife from their prison.”
Suddenly the earth trembled and a big noise was heard. Not long afterwards Juan saw the castle destroyed, the general and his subjects dead, and his wife and his father-in-law free.
Taking with him the cat and the king of the rats, Juan went home happily with Maria his wife and the king his father-in-law. After the death of the king, Juan ascended to the throne, and ruled wisely. He lived long happily with his lovely wife.
These two stories belong to the “Magic Ring” cycle, and are connected with the well-known “Aladdin” tale. Antti Aarne (pp. 1–82) reconstructs the original formula of this type, which was about as follows:—
A youth buys the life of a dog and a cat, liberates a serpent, and receives from its parent a wishing-stone, by means of which he builds himself a magnificent castle and wins as his wife a princess. But a thief steals the stone and removes castle and wife over the sea. Then the dog and the cat swim across the ocean, catch a mouse, and compel it to fetch the stone from out of the mouth of the thief. Upon their return journey, cat and dog quarrel, and the stone falls into the sea. After they have obtained it again with the help of a frog, they bring it to their master, who wishes his castle and wife back once more.
In nearly every detail our stories vary from this norm: (1) The hero does not buy the life of any animals, (2) he does not acquire the charm from a grateful serpent that he has unselfishly saved from death, (3) the dog does not appear at all, (4) castle and wife are not transported beyond the sea, (5) the cat does not serve the hero voluntarily out of gratitude, (6) the hero himself journeys to recover his stolen charm. And yet there can be no doubt of the connection of our stories with this cycle. The acquirement of a charm, through the help of which the hero performs a difficult task under penalty of death, and thus wins the hand of a ruler’s daughter; the theft of the charm and the disappearance of the wife; the search, which is finally brought to a successful close through the help of a cat and the king of the rats; the recovery of wife and charm, and the death of the hero’s enemies, these details in combination are unmistakable proofs.
Most of the characteristic details, however, of the “Magic Ring” cycle are to be found in the Philippines, although they are lacking in these two stories. For instance, in No. 26 the hero buys the life of a snake for five cents, and is rewarded by the king of the serpents with a magic wishing-cloth (cf. E. Steere, 403). In a Visayan pourquoi story, “Why Dogs wag their Tails” (see JAFL 20 : 98–100), we have a variant of the situation of the helpful dog and cat carrying a ring across a body of water, the quarrel in mid-stream, and the loss of the charm. In the same volume (pp. 117–118) is to be found a Tagalog folk-version of the “Aladdin” tale.2
Neither “Juan Manalaksan” nor “Juan the Poor, who became Juan the King,” can be traced, I believe, to any of the hundred and sixty-three particular forms of the story cited by Aarne. The differences in detail are too many. The last part of Pedroso’s Portuguese folk-tale, No. xxx, is like (b), in that the hero himself seeks the thief, takes along with him a cat, is recognized by the thief and imprisoned, and by means of the cat threatens the king of the rats, who recovers the charm for him. But the first part is entirely different: the charm is an apple obtained from a hind, and the hero’s wife is not stolen along with the charm. No Spanish version has been recorded. It is not impossible that the story in the Philippines is prehistoric. “Juan Manalaksan,” which the narrator took down exactly as it was told to him, clearly dates back to a time when the tribe had its own native datu government, possibly to a time even before the Pampangans migrated to the Philippines. The whole “equipment” of this story is primitive to a degree. Moreover, the nature of the charm in both stories—a piece of glass and an oval stone instead of the more usual ring—points to the primitiveness of our versions, as does likewise the fact that the charm is not stolen from the hero by his wife, but by some other person (see Aarne, pp. 43, 45).
For further discussions of this cycle of folk-tales, and its relation to the Arabian literary version, see Aarne, 61 et seq. Compare also Macculloch, 201–202, 237–238; Groome, 218–220; Clouston’s “Variants of Button’s Supplemental Arabian Nights,” pp. 564–575; Bolte-Polívka, 2 : 451–458; Benfey, 1 : 211 ff. Add to Aarne’s and Bolte’s lists Wratislaw, No. 54. See also Dähnhardt, 4 : 147–160.
In conclusion, I may add in the way of an Appendix, as it were, a brief synopsis of a Tagalog romance entitled “Story of Edmundo, Son of Merced in the Kingdom of France; taken from a novela and composed by one who enjoys writing the Tagalog language. Manila 1909.” This verse-form of a story at bottom the same as our two folk-tales is doubtless much more recent than our folk-tales themselves, and is possibly based on them directly, despite the anonymous author’s statement as to the unnamed novela that was his source. In the following summary of the “Story of Edmundo,” the numbers in parentheses refer to stanzas of the original Tagalog text.
In Villa Amante there lived a poor widow, Merced by name, who had to work very hard to keep her only son, the infant Edmundo, alive. Her piety and industry were rewarded, however; and by the time the boy was seven years old, she was able to clothe him well and send him to school. Her brother Tonio undertook the instruction of the youth. Edmundo had a good head, and made rapid progress. (7–41)
One day Merced fell sick, and, although she recovered in a short time, Edmundo decided to give up studying and to help his mother earn their living. He became a wood-cutter. (42–53)
At last fortune came to him. In one of his wanderings in the forest in search of dry wood, he happened upon an enormous python. He would have fled in terror had not the snake spoken to him, to his amazement, and requested him to pull from its throat the stag which was choking it. He performed the service for the reptile, and in turn was invited to the cave where it lived. Out of gratitude the python gave Edmundo a magic mirror that would furnish the possessor with whatever he wanted. With the help of this charm, mother and son soon had everything they needed to make them happy. (54–91)
At about this time King Romualdo of France decided to look for a husband for his daughter, the beautiful Leonora. He was unable to pick out a son-in-law from the many suitors who presented themselves; and so he had it proclaimed at a concourse of all the youths of the realm, “Whoever can fill my cellar with money before morning shall have the hand of Leonora.” Edmundo was the only one to accept the challenge, for failure to perform the task meant death. At midnight he took his enchanted mirror and commanded it to fill the king’s cellar with money. In the morning the king was astonished at the sight, but there was no way of avoiding the marriage. So Leonora became the wife of the lowly-born wood-cutter. The young couple went to Villa Amante to live. There, to astonish his wife, Edmundo had a palace built in one night. She was dumfounded to awake in the morning and find herself in a magnificent home; and when she asked him about it, he confided to her the secret of his wonderful charm. Later, to gratify the humor of the king, who visited him, Edmundo ordered his mirror to transport the palace to a seacoast town. There he and his wife lived very happily together. (92–211)
One day Leonora noticed from her window two vessels sailing towards the town. Her fears and premonitions were so great, that Edmundo, to calm her, sank the ships by means of his magic power. But the sinking of these vessels brought misfortunes. Their owner, the Sultan of Turkey, learned of the magic mirror possessed by Edmundo (how he got this information is not stated), and hired an old woman to go to France in the guise of a beggar and steal the charm. She was successful in getting it, and then returned with it to her master. The Sultan then invaded France, and with the talisman, by which he called to his aid six invincible giants, conquered the country. He took the king, queen, and Leonora as captives back with him to Turkey. Edmundo was left in France to look after the affairs of the country. (212–296)
Edmundo became melancholy, and at last decided to seek his wife. He left his mother and his servant behind, and took with him only a diamond ring of Leonora’s, his cat, and his dog. While walking along the seashore, wondering how he could cross the ocean, he saw a huge fish washed up on the sand. The fish requested him to drag it to the water. When Edmundo had done so, the fish told him to get on its back, and promised to carry him to Leonora. So done. The fish swam rapidly through the water, Edmundo holding his dog and cat in his breast. The dog was soon washed “overboard,” but the cat clung to him. After a ride of a day and a night, the fish landed him on a strange shore. It happened to be the coast of Turkey. (297–313)
Edmundo stopped at an inn, pretending to be a shipwrecked merchant. There he decided to stay for a while, and there he found out the situation of Leonora in this wise. Now, it happened that the Sultan used to send to this inn for choice dishes for Leonora, whom he was keeping close captive. By inquiry Edmundo learned of the close proximity of his wife, and one day he managed to insert her ring into one of the eggs that were to be taken back to her. She guessed that he was near; and, in order to communicate with him, she requested permission of the king to walk with her maid in the garden that was close by the inn. She saw Edmundo, and smiled on him; but the maid noticed the greeting, and reported it to the Sultan. The Sultan ordered the man summoned; and when he recognized Edmundo, he had him imprisoned and put in stocks. (314–350)
Edmundo was now in despair, and thought it better to die than live; but his faithful cat, which had followed him unnoticed to the prison, saved him. In the jail there were many rats. That night the cat began to kill these relentlessly, until the captain of the rats, fearing that his whole race would be exterminated, requested Edmundo to tie up his cat and spare them. Edmundo promised to do so on condition that the rat bring him the small gold-rimmed mirror in the possession of the Sultan. At dawn the rat captain arrived with the mirror between its teeth. Out of gratitude Edmundo now had his mirror bring to life all the rats that had been slain. (351–366)
Then he ordered before him his wife, the king, the queen, the crown and sceptre of France. All, including the other prisoners of the Sultan, were transported back to France. At the same time the Sultan’s palace and prison were destroyed. Next morning, when the Grand Sultan awoke, he was enraged to find himself outwitted; but what could he do? Even if he were able to jump as high as the sky, he could not bring back Leonora. (367–376)
When the French Court returned to France, Edmundo was crowned successor to the throne: the delight of every one was unbounded. (377–414)
The last six stanzas are occupied with the author’s leave-taking. (415–420)
Groome (pp. 219–220) summarizes a Roumanian-Gypsy story, “The Stolen Ox,” from Dr. Barbu Constantinescu’s collection (Bucharest, 1878), which, while but a fragment, appears to be connected with this cycle of the “Magic Ring,” and presents a curious parallel to a situation in “Edmundo:”—
“… The lad serves the farmer faithfully, and at the end of his term sets off home. On his way he lights on a dragon, and in the snake’s mouth is a stag. Nine years had that snake the stag in its mouth, and been trying to swallow it, but could not because of its horns. Now, that snake was a prince; and seeing the lad, whom God had sent his way, ‘Lad,’ said the snake, ‘relieve me of this stag’s horns, for I’ve been going about nine years with it in my mouth.’ So the lad broke off the horns, and the snake swallowed the stag. ‘My lad, tie me round your neck and carry me to my father, for he doesn’t know where I am.’ So he carried him to his father, and his father rewarded him.”
It is curious to see this identical situation of the hero winning his magic reward by saving some person or animal from choking appearing in Roumania and the Philippines, and in connection, too, with incidents from the “Magic Ring” cycle. The resemblance can hardly be fortuitous.
1Mankukulam, see note 1, p. 53.
2As Mr. Gardner notes, a chap-book form of “Aladdin” exists in Tagalog. The full title of my copy runs thus (in translation): “The Wonderful story of Aladin, who got possession of the Marvelous Lamp, and of his Marriage with the Princess of China the Great. Manila, 1901. (Pp. 127.)” W. Retana, in his “Aparato Bibliográfico” (Madrid, 1906), cites an edition before 1898 (see item No. 4161). The story has also been printed in the Pampango, Ilocano, Bicol, and Visayan dialects.
Lucas The Strong.
Narrated by Paulo Macasaet, a Tagalog, who heard the story from a Tagalog farmer.
Once there was a man who had three sons,—Juan, Pedro, and Lucas. His wife died when his children were young. Unlike most of his countrymen, he did not marry again, but spent his time in taking care of his children. The father could not give his sons a proper education, because he was poor; so the boys grew up in ignorance and superstition. They had no conception of European clothes and shoes. Juan and Pedro were hard workers, but Lucas was lazy. The father loved his youngest son Lucas, nevertheless; but Juan and Pedro had little use for their brother. The lazy boy used to ramble about the forests and along river-banks looking for guavas and birds’ nests.
One day, when Lucas was in the woods, he saw a boa-constrictor [Tag. sawang bitin]. He knew that this reptile carried the centre of its strength in the horny appendage at the end of its tail. Lucas wished very much to become strong, because the men of strength in his barrio were the most influential. So he decided to rob the boa of its charm. He approached the snake like a cat, and then with his sharp teeth bit off the end of its tail, and ran away with all his might. The boa followed him, but could not overtake him; for Lucas was a fast runner, and, besides, the snake had lost its strength.
Lucas soon became the strongest man in his barrio. He surprised everybody when he defeated the man who used to be the Hercules of the place.
One day the king issued a proclamation: “He who can give the monarch a carriage made of gold shall have the princess for his wife.” When Juan and Pedro heard this royal announcement, they were very anxious to get the carriage and receive the reward.
Juan was the first to try his luck. He went to a neighboring mountain and began to dig for gold. While he was eating his lunch at noon, an old leper with her child approached him, and humbly begged him to give her something to eat.
“No, the food I have here is just enough for me. Go away! You are very dirty,” said Juan with disgust.
The wretched old woman, with tears in her eyes, left the place. After he had worked for three weeks, Juan became discouraged, gave up his scheme of winning the princess, and returned home.
Pedro followed his brother, but he had no better luck than Juan. He was also unkind to the old leper.
Lucas now tried his fortune. The day after his arrival at the mountain, when he was eating, the old woman appeared, and asked him to give her some food. Lucas gave the woman half of his meat. The leper thanked him, and promised that she would give him not only the carriage made of gold, but also a pair of shoes, a coat, and some trousers. She then bade Lucas good-by.
Nine days passed, and yet the woman had not come. Lucas grew tired of waiting, and in his heart began to accuse the woman of being ungrateful. He repented very much the kindness he had shown the old leper. Finally she appeared to Lucas, and told him what he had been thinking about her. “Do not think that I shall not fulfil my promise,” she said. “You shall have them all.” To the great astonishment of Lucas, the woman disappeared again. The next day he saw the golden carriage being drawn by a pair of fine fat horses; and in the carriage were the shoes, the coat, and the trousers. The old woman appeared, and showed the young man how to wear the shoes and clothes.
Then he entered the carriage and was driven toward the palace. On his way he met a man.
“Who are you?” said Lucas.
“I am Runner, son of the good runner,” was the answer.
“Let us wrestle!” said Lucas. “I want to try your strength. If you defeat me, I will give you a hundred pesos; but if I prove to be the stronger, you must come with me.”
“All right, let us wrestle!” said Runner. The struggle lasted for ten minutes, and Lucas was the victor. They drove on.
They met another man. When Lucas asked him who he was, the man said, “I am Sharpshooter, son of the famous shooter.” Lucas wrestled with this man too, and overcame him because of his superhuman strength. So Sharpshooter went along with Lucas and Runner.
Soon they came up to another man. “What is your name?” said Lucas.
“My name is Farsight. I am son of the great Sharp-Eyes.” Lucas proposed a wrestling-match with Farsight, who was conquered, and so obliged to go along with the other three.
Last of all, the party met Blower, “son of the great blower.” He likewise became one of the servants of Lucas.
When Lucas reached the palace, he appeared before the king, and in terms of great submission he told the monarch that he had come for two reasons,—first, to present his Majesty with the golden carriage; second, to receive the reward which his Majesty had promised.
The king said, “I will let you marry my daughter provided that you can more quickly than my messenger bring to me a bottle of the water that gives youth and health to every one. It is found at the foot of the seventh mountain from this one,” he said, pointing to the mountain nearest to the imperial city. “But here is another provision,” continued the king: “if you accept the challenge and are defeated, you are to lose your head.” “I will try, O king!” responded Lucas sorrowfully.
The king then ordered his messenger, a giant, to fetch a bottle of the precious water. Lucas bade the monarch good-by, and then returned to his four friends. “Runner, son of the good runner, hasten to the seventh mountain and get me a bottle of the water that gives youth and health!”
Runner ran with all his might, and caught up with the giant; but the giant secretly put a gold ring in Runner’s bottle to make him sleep. Two days passed, but Runner had not yet arrived. Then Lucas cried, “Farsight, son of the great Sharp-Eyes, see where the giant and Runner are!”
The faithful servant looked, and he saw Runner sleeping, and the giant very near the city. When he had been told the state of affairs, Lucas called Blower, and ordered him to blow the giant back. The king’s messenger was carried to the eighth mountain.
Then Lucas said, “Sharpshooter, son of the famous shooter, shoot the head of the bottle so that Runner will wake up!” The man shot skilfully; Runner jumped to his feet, ran and got the precious water, and arrived in the city in twelve hours. Lucas presented the water to the king, and the monarch was obliged to accept the young man as his son-in-law.
The wedding-day was a time of great rejoicing. Everybody was enthusiastic about Lucas except the king. The third day after the nuptials, the giant reached the palace. He said that he was very near the city when a heavy wind blew him back to the eighth mountain.
Juan and His Six Companions.
Narrated by Vicente M. Hilario, a Tagalog from Batangas, who heard the story from an old woman from Balayan.
Not very long after the death of our Saviour on Calvary, there lived in a far-away land a powerful king named Jaime. By judicious usurpations and matrimonial alliances, this wise monarch extended his already vast dominions to the utmost limits. Instead of ruling his realm as a despot, however, he devoted himself to the task of establishing a strong government based on moderation and justice. By his marvellous diplomacy he won to his side counts, dukes, and lesser princes. To crown his happiness, he had an extremely lovely daughter, whose name was Maria. Neither Venus nor Helen of Troy could compare with her in beauty. Numerous suitors of noble birth from far and near vied with one another in spending fortunes on this pearl of the kingdom; but Maria regarded all suitors with aversion, and her father was perplexed as to how to get her a husband without seeming to show favoritism.
After consulting gravely with his advisers, the monarch gave out this proclamation: “He who shall succeed in getting the golden egg from the moss-grown oak in yonder mountain shall be my son-in-law and heir.”
This egg, whose origin nobody knew anything about, rendered its possessor very formidable. When the proclamation had been made public, the whole kingdom was seized with wild enthusiasm; for, though the task was hazardous, yet it seemed performable and easy to the reckless. For five days and five nights crowds of lovers, adventurers, and ruffians set sail for the “Mountain of the Golden Egg,” as it was called; but none of the enterprisers ever reached the place. Some were shipwrecked; others were driven by adverse winds and currents to strange lands, where they perished miserably; and the rest were forced to return because of the horrible sights of broken planks and mangled bodies.
Some days after the return of the last set of adventurers, three brothers rose from obscurity to try their fortunes in this dangerous enterprise. They were Pedro, Fernando, and Juan. They had been orphans since they were boys, and had grown up amid much suffering and hardship.
The three brothers agreed that Pedro should try first; Fernando second; and Juan last, provided the others did not succeed. After supplying himself with plenty of food, a good boat, a sword, and a sharp axe, Pedro embraced his brothers and departed, never to return. He took a longer and safer route than that of his predecessors. He had no sooner arrived at the mountain than an old gray-headed man in tattered clothes came limping towards him and asking for help; but the selfish Pedro turned a deaf ear to the supplications of the old man, whom he pushed away with much disrespect. Ignorant of his doom, and regardless of his irreverence, Pedro walked on with hasty steps and high animal spirits. But lo! when his axe struck the oak, a large piece of wood broke off and hit him in the right temple, killing him instantly.
Fernando suffered the same fate as his haughty brother.
Juan alone remained. He was the destined possessor of the egg, and the conqueror of King Jaime. Juan’s piety, simplicity, and goodness had won for him the good-will of many persons of distinction. After invoking God’s help, he set sail for the mountain, where he safely arrived at noon. He met the same old man, and he bathed, dressed, and fed him. The old man thanked Juan, and said, “You shall be amply requited,” and immediately disappeared. With one stroke of his axe Juan broke the oak in two; and in a circular hole lined with down he found the golden egg. In the afternoon he went to King Jaime, to whom he presented the much-coveted egg.
But the shrewd and successful monarch did not want to have a rustic son-in-law. “You shall not marry my daughter,” he said, “unless you bring me a golden ship.”
The next morning Juan, very disconsolate, went to the mountain again. The old man appeared to him, and said, “Why are you dejected, my son?”
Juan related everything that had happened.
“Dry your eyes and listen to me,” said the old man. “Not very far from this place you will find your ship all splendidly equipped. Go there at once!”
The old man disappeared, and Juan ran with all possible speed to where the ship was lying. He went on deck, and a few minutes later the ship began to move smoothly over stumps and stones.
While he was thus travelling along, Juan all of a sudden saw a man running around the mountain in less than a minute. “Corrin Corron,1 son of the great runner!” shouted Juan, “what are you doing?” The man stopped, and said, “I’m taking my daily exercise.”
“Never mind that!” said Juan, “come up here and rest!” And Corrin Corron readily accepted the offer.
Pretty soon Juan saw another man standing on the summit of a high hill and gazing intently at some distant object. “Mirin Miron,2 son of the great Farsight!” said Juan, “what are you doing?”
“I’m watching a game of tubigan3 seven miles away,” answered the other.
“Never mind!” said Juan, “come up here and eat with me!” And Mirin Miron gladly went on deck.
After a while Juan saw a hunter with gun levelled. “Puntin Punton,4 son of the great Sureshot!” said Juan, “what are you doing?”
“Three miles away there is a bat-fly annoying a sheep. I want to kill that insect.”
“Let the creature go,” said Juan, “and come with me!” And Puntin Punton, too, joined the party.
Not long after, Juan saw a man carrying a mountain on his shoulders. “Carguin Cargon,5 son of the great Strong-Back!” shouted Juan, “what are you doing?”
“I’m going to carry this mountain to the other side of the country to build a dam across the river,” said the man.
“Don’t exert yourself so much,” said Juan. “Come up here and take some refreshment!” The brawny carrier threw aside his load; and, as the mountain hit the ground, the whole kingdom was shaken so violently that the inhabitants thought that all the volcanoes had simultaneously burst into eruption.
By and by the ship came to a place where Juan saw young flourishing trees falling to the ground, with branches twisted and broken. “Friends,” said Juan, “is a storm blowing?”
“No, sir!” answered the sailors, amazed at the sight.
“Master Juan,” shouted Mirin Miron, “sitting on the summit of yonder mountain,” pointing to a peak three miles away, “is a man blowing with all his might.”
“He is a naughty fellow,” muttered Juan to himself; “he will destroy all the lumber-trees in this region if we do not stop him.” Pretty soon Juan himself saw the mischievous man, and said, “Soplin Soplon,6 son of the great Blast-Blower, what are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m just exercising my lungs and trumpeter’s muscles,” replied the other.
“Come along with us!” After blowing down a long line of trees like grain before a hurricane, Soplin Soplon went on board.
As the ship neared the capital, Juan saw a man lying on a bed of rushes, with his ear to the ground. “What are you doing, friend?” said Juan.
“I’m listening to the plaintive strains of a young man mourning over the grave of his deceased sweetheart, and to the touching love-ditties of a moonstruck lover,” answered the man. “Where are those two men?” asked Juan.
“They are in a city twelve miles away,” said the other. “Never mind, Oirin Oiron,7 son of the great Hear-All!” said Juan. “Come up and rest on a more comfortable bed! My divans superabound.” When Oirin Oiron was on board, Juan said to the helmsman, “To the capital!”
In the evening the magnificent ship, with sails of silk and damask, masts of gold heavily studded with rare gems, and covered with thick plates of gold and silver, arrived at the palace gate.
Early in the morning King Jaime received Juan, but this time more coldly and arrogantly than ever. The princess bathed before break of day. With cheeks suffused with the rosy tint of the morning, golden tresses hanging in beautiful curls over her white shoulders, hands as delicate as those of a new-born babe, eyes merrier than the humming-bird, and dressed in a rich outer garment displaying her lovely figure at its best, she stood beside the throne. Such was the appearance of this lovely mortal, who kindled an inextinguishable flame in the heart of Juan.
After doffing his bonnet and bowing to the king, Juan said, “Will you give me the hand of your daughter?” Everybody present was amazed. The princess’s face was successively pale and rosy. Juan immediately understood her heart as he stood gazing at her.
“Never!” said the king after a few minutes. “You shall never have my daughter.”
“Farewell, then, until we meet again!” said Juan as he departed.
When the ship was beyond the frontier of Jaime’s kingdom, Juan said, “Carguin Cargon, overturn the king’s realm.” Carguin Cargon obeyed. Many houses were destroyed, and hundreds of people were crushed to death. When the ship was within seven miles of the city, Oirin Oiron heard the king say, “I’ll give my daughter in marriage to Juan if he will restore my kingdom.” Oirin Oiron told Juan what he had heard.
Then Juan ordered Carguin Cargon to rebuild the kingdom; but when the work was done, Jaime again refused to fulfil his promise. Juan went away very angry. Again the kingdom was overturned, and more property and lives were destroyed. Again Oirin Oiron heard the king make a promise, again the kingdom was rebuilt, and again the king was obstinate.
Juan went away again red with anger. After they had been travelling for an hour, Oirin Oiron heard the tramp of horses and the clash of spears and shields. “I can see King Jaime’s vast host in hot pursuit of us,” said Mirin Miron. “Where is the army?” said Juan. “It is nine miles away,” responded Mirin Miron.
“Let the army approach,” said Soplin Soplon. When the immense host was within eight hundred yards of the ship, Soplin Soplon blew forcible blasts, which scattered the soldiers and horses in all directions like chaff before a wind. Of this formidable army only a handful of men survived, and these were crippled for life.
Again the king sued for peace, and promised the hand of his daughter to Juan. This time he kept his word, and Juan and Maria were married amidst the most imposing ceremonies. That very day King Jaime abdicated in favor of his more powerful son-in-law. On the site of the destroyed houses were built larger and more handsome ones. The lumber that was needed was obtained by Soplin Soplon and Carguin Cargon from the mountains: Soplin Soplon felled the trees with his mighty blasts, and Carguin Cargon carried the huge logs to the city. Juan made Corrin Corron his royal messenger, and Soplin Soplon commander-in-chief of the raw troops, which later became a powerful army. The other four friends were assigned to high positions in the government.
The royal couple and the six gifted men led a glorious life. They conquered new lands, and ruled their kingdom well.
The Story of King Palmarin.
Paraphrased from the vernacular by Anastacia Villegas of Arayat, Pampanga.
[NOTE.—While the following story is not, strictly speaking, a folk-tale, since it is a native student’s close paraphrase of a Pampango corrido, or metrical romance, it is typically Filipino in many respects, and is closely connected with the two foregoing folk-tales. Moreover, it presents significant features lacking in the other stories. As it is too long to be relegated to the notes, I take the liberty of printing it here in full. My justification is the fact that, after all, sagas, or printed folk-tales, are only the crystallized sources—or products, as the case may be—of folk-tales.]
Long, long ago, the kingdom of Marsella was ruled over by the worthy King Palmarin and his wife Isberta. They were attentive to their duty, and kind to their subjects, whose love they won. All Marsella admired the goodness and generosity of the king. To whatever he wanted, his counsellors agreed; and because of his good judgment, his reign was peaceful.
Time came when the queen gave birth to a child. The whole kingdom rejoiced, and a great feast was prepared. “Let the feast last six months,” said Zetnaen, chief adviser. The new baby was a girl of peerless beauty. The holy bishop was summoned to baptize the child. As the Virgin Mary was the patron saint of the king and queen, they asked the worthy prelate to name the little princess Maria; and so she was named.
One day the king went to hunt in the mountains. There was no forest or cave that the party did not visit. All the animals in the mountains were thrown into confusion when they heard the great noise. Bears, tigers, and lions came out of their dens. As soon as these wild beasts reached the plain, they began to pursue the king and his men. The noise and confusion cannot be imagined. By the help of God, the king and his men put to flight their savage foes; and when the chase was ended, nobody had been hurt. After the hunters had been gathered together by the sound of the trumpet, they all returned home, thankful that no one had been injured. The king, however, had unwittingly lost his favorite reliquary.
When King Palmarin reached Marsella and discovered that his locket was missing, he at once sent many of his soldiers back to look for it. They searched all parts of the mountain and even the valley. At last they returned to the capital, and said to the king, “We, whom your Majesty commanded to look for the reliquary, have come to tell you that, after a thorough search through the entire forest and valley, we have not been able to find it.” The king was very sad to hear this report; but he kept his sorrow to himself, and did not reveal his heart to his counsellors. He grieved, not because of the value of the reliquary, but because it had been handed down to him by his father, whose will and recommendations it contained.
As time went on, the king forgot his lost reliquary. He ceased looking for it. His daughter the princess was now grown up. She was beautiful, happy, good-natured, and modest. Those who saw her said that she was not inferior even to Elsa, Judith, or Anne Boleyn. Now, the king wished his daughter to marry, so that there might be some one to inherit his throne when he died. He made his desire known to his counsellors. He told them that, if they agreed, he would issue proclamations throughout the whole kingdom and the neighboring cities, towns, and villages. While this meeting with his council was going on, the king stood up to powder his face. He took his powder-case out of his pocket; but when he opened it, there inside he found, to his surprise, a tuma.8 He could not imagine how this tiny insect had got into his box to eat the powder. Feeling very much ashamed, he did not powder his face: he merely closed the box. The meeting was adjourned without being finished; for when the king stood up, the counsellors rose from their seats and silently left the room.
The king retired to his room, and opened his powder-case to look at the tuma again. He was thoroughly astonished to find that what had been but a tiny insect a moment before now filled the whole box. He was indeed perplexed; so he consulted God. Then it came to his mind to take the tuma from the box and place it in the cellar of the palace.
After three days the king found that a miracle had happened. The cellar was filled with the tuma. He was not a little surprised. He said to himself, “What a wonderful animal it is! In three days it has grown to such an enormous size! If I let it live, I fear that it will destroy the whole kingdom.”
Then he heard a voice saying, “You need not fear, for the tuma you nourish shall not produce bad fruit. But if you let it live, it will have a long life, and will fill all of Marsella with its huge body. Listen to me, and obey what I tell you! Let the tuma be killed. Burn all its flesh, but save its skin. Use the skin for the covers of a drum. When you have done all these things, write to all your neighboring kingdoms and bet with them. Let them guess the kind of skin out of which the heads of the drum are made. If you will but obey me, and take care not to let any one know what I have told you, you will become very rich.” Then the voice ceased.
The king comprehended well all that the voice had told him: so he called his Negro servant, and led him secretly into his room. The king then said softly, “Let no one know of the secret that I am to disclose to you, and you shall profit by it. I have a tuma which accidentally got into my powder-case. One day I put the insect into the cellar, where it has grown to an enormous size. Now, my command to you is to kill the tuma, burn all its flesh, and clean its skin. Then have the skin made into a drum. When everything is done perfectly, I will repay you.”
Accordingly the Negro servant killed the tuma. He followed minutely the king’s directions. When the drum was finished, he presented it to the king. Instead of receiving the promised reward, however, the poor Negro was instantly put to death, for the king feared that he might betray the secret.
King Palmarin then summoned all his counsellors. He said to them, “I want you to spread the news of my desire.” Taking out the drum and putting it on the table, he continued: “Let all the villages, cities, and kingdoms know of the wager. Any one who can guess of what skin the covers of this drum are made, be he rich or poor, if he is unmarried, he shall be my son-in-law. But if he fails to guess aright, his property shall be forfeited to the crown if he is rich; he shall lose his head if he is poor.”
The counsellors proclaimed the edict. Many rich nobles, lords, princes, and knights heard of it. All those who ventured lost their fortune, for they could not guess what the drum was made of. So the king gained much wealth. Among them there was one particularly rich, who declared to the king his great desire to win the princess’s hand. King Palmarin said to this knight, “Examine the drum carefully.” After looking at it closely, he said, “This drum is made of sheep’s hide.”—“Your observation has deceived you,” said the king. “Now all the wealth you have brought with you shall be mine.”
“What can I do if fortune turns against me?” said the knight.
“Let your Majesty send his servants to get all my property from the ship.”
The names of the hides of all known animals were given, but no one guessed correctly. At last some of those who had been defeated said to the king, “Of what is the drum made?”
“I cannot tell you yet,” replied the king.
In one of the villages where the edict was proclaimed there lived a young man named Juan. He was an orphan. After the death of his parents, the property he had inherited from them he gave to the poor. One day me met the king’s messengers, who explained the edict minutely to him, so that he might tell about it to others. Don Juan then went away. He was sad, for he had no wealth to take with him to Marsella. Though he had inherited much property, he had given away most of it, so that now very little was left to him.
One day, while he was looking about his farm, he saw all of a sudden some dead persons lying prostrate in the thicket. They had been murdered by bandits. He hired men to bury these corpses decently in the sacred ground, and paid the priest to celebrate masses for their souls. He then returned home sad, meditating on his bad luck.
At midnight, while he was sleeping soundly, he heard a voice saying to him, “Go to Marsella and take part in the wager of King Palmarin. Do not be troubled because you have no riches. Your horses are enough. Equip them in the best way you can.” Then the voice ceased.
Don Juan felt very glad. The next morning he prepared materials for equipping his horses, and hired laborers, whom he paid double so as to hasten the work. The harnesses were of pure gold, decorated with pearls and rubies. The saddle-cloths were embroidered. Two of the horses (they were all very fat, and had long manes) were hazel-colored, two were spotted, two were orange-colored, and one was white. When everything was ready, Don Juan mounted the white one, and loaded on the other six his baggage.
God rewarded Don Juan for what he had done to the dead bodies. He called St. Michael, and said to him, “Go to purgatory and get six of the souls who were benefited by Don Juan, for now is the time for them to repay him. They shall go back to the world to meet Don Juan on his way, follow him to Marsella, and provide him with everything he needs. They must not leave him until you call them back, for there are many serious dangers on his way.” The angel went on his errand. He selected six souls, and told them to return to the world to help Don Juan. The spirits were glad to go, for they longed to repay their benefactor.
Don Juan was now on his journey. As he rode along, the birds in the forest sang to cheer him, so that the long journey might not tire him. By and by he saw a man in the middle of the forest, lying on his face. “Grandpa, what are you doing there?” said Juan.
“I am observing the world. Are you not a nobleman? Whither are you bound?”
“To Marsella,” replied Don Juan.
“To bet? If that is your purpose, you are sure to lose, for it is certain that you cannot guess of what the drum is made,” interrupted the man.
“I entreat you to tell me the right answer, if you know it,” said Don Juan.
“I will not only tell it to you, but I will also accompany you. That is why I am here. I was waiting for you to pass,” said the man.
“Grandpa, I’m astonished. You must be a prophet.”
“You are right. I am the sage prophet Noet Noen,9 who will go with you to King Palmarin.”
“I appreciate your help and am grateful to you, grandpa,” said Don Juan. “You had better ride on one of the horses.”
Noet Noen and Don Juan rode on together. The prophet then related to Juan the whole story of the tuma that had got into the powder-case of the king. While the two travellers were talking, they saw a man sitting under a tree. As it was very hot, they dismounted so that their horses might rest. Don Juan was surprised at the stranger. He was whistling; and every time he whistled, the wind blew strong, so that the trees in the forest were broken off. This man was Supla Supling, a companion and friend of Noet Noen.
“Supla Supling, why are you here?” said Noet Noen.
“To follow you,” was the reply.
“If that is your desire,” said Don Juan, “you will please mount one of the horses.” So the three men went on their journey. They had not gone far when they met a man walking alone. Noet Noen said to him, “What are you here for? Come along with us!” This man was Miran Miron, who had a wonderfully loud voice. When he shouted, his sound was more sonorous than thunder. He also had very keen sight. He could see clearly an object, though it were covered with a cover a hundred yards thick.
When the four travellers had gone a little farther, they saw a man walking swiftly on one leg. They spurred up their horses to overtake him, but in vain. At last Noet Noen said, “I think that is my friend Curan Curing, so there is little hope of our catching him.”
“Let me call him!” said Miran Miron, and he shouted.
When Curan Curing heard the voice, he stopped, so they reached him. Miran Miron said to him, “You are in a great hurry. Where are you going?”
“You know that I cannot stop my feet when I walk,” said Curan Curing.
“Why do you hold up one of your legs as if it were in pain?” said Don Juan.
“Do not be surprised at my walking on one foot; for, if I should let loose the other one, I should walk straight out of the world.”
“Will you join us, Curan Curing?” said Noet Noen.
“Oh, yes! Let me have a horse! If I should walk, you might lose me on account of my speed,” replied Curan Curing.
So the five adventurers went on together. As it soon grew very warm, they stopped to rest under a tree.
Then they saw a wounded deer coming toward them. As they were hungry, they killed it and cooked it. While they were eating, the hunter Punta Punting came. He said, “Have you seen a wounded deer?”
“Oh, yes! here it is. We are eating it already,” said Supla Supling, “for we are very hungry.”
“I’m glad that the deer I wounded relieves your hunger,” said Punta Punting. “What are you all doing here? Where are you going? Why don’t you take me with you?”
“If that is your wish, we are very glad to have you,” said Don Juan.
The little party rode on, but suddenly stopped; for a mountain was walking toward them. As it approached, they saw that a man was carrying the mountain. Don Juan was not a little surprised at this astonishing feat of strength. “Where have you been, Carguen Cargon? Where did you get that mountain?” said Noet Noen.
“I took it from behind the church of Candaba, for I want to transfer it here, where the land is level. This mountain is not fitted for Candaba; for the natives, rich or poor, build their houses out of wood,—even the poorest, who cannot afford such luxury. They desolate its forests, for they cut down even the young trees.” Then with a great thunder Carguen Cargon dropped his burden on the land of Arayat, just behind the church. On account of its immense size, this mountain reached clear to de la Paz. The slopes reached Calumpit, and its base was in view of Apalit. Thus we see that Mount Alaya (Arayat) has come from Candaba. The original site of this mountain became a river, swamps, and brooks. Now Candaba has many ponds.
“Friend, I entreat you to come with us!” said Noet Noen.
“I shall be glad to go with you, if I shall only have the opportunity of serving you with my strength,” replied Carguen Cargon.
Now the little band of seven travelled on. When they came near the gates of Marsella, Noet Noen said, “Let us rest here first!” There they hired a house, where they staid at the expense of Don Juan.
The next morning Don Juan made himself ready to go on alone. Leading his horses, he was about to start for the palace, when Noet Noen called to him, and said, “Be sure not to forget the name of the skin I told you. Put it in the depths of your heart.”
“Have no fear that I shall forget,” said Don Juan. “Furthermore, Don Juan, I want you to undertake to do whatever the king may ask of you. Do not refuse. No matter how hard the task the king may impose on you, do not hesitate to undertake it; for God Almighty is ever merciful, and will help you. If the king requires you to do anything, just come back here and let me know of it. Now you may go. Take courage, for God loves a person who suffers,” said Noet Noen.
“Good-by to every one of you!” said Don Juan to his companions. Then he went on his journey. When he reached the palace, he asked the soldier who was on guard to announce him to the king. When the king heard of the message, he said to the soldier, “Let him come in, if his purpose is to bet; but assure him that, if he loses, he shall also lose his life.”
Then the soldier went back to the gate, and said to the stranger, “The king admits you into his presence.”
Don Juan entered the palace. He saluted the king. “What is it that you want? Tell it to me, so that I may know,” said the king.
“O king! pardon me for disturbing your Majesty. It is the edict your Highness issued that gives me the right to come here, and that has made me forget my inferiority; for I do rely entirely on the fact that your word in the proclamation will never be broken. So now I hope, that, if fortune goes with me, your Majesty will carry out his promise.”
These words made the king laugh, for he was sure that there was no one who could beat him in the wager: so he said, “What property have you with you that you wish to risk?”
Don Juan replied, “Six horses, of which your Highness can make use.”
The king looked out the window, and there he saw Don Juan’s horses. King Palmarin was much pleased at their beauty, sleekness, and elegance of equipment. Turning to Don Juan, he said, “Do you really wish to bet? I feel as if you were already beaten. Princes and wise kings have taken part in the wager, and all have lost. I tell you about them because I do not want you to repent in the end. Moreover, I have pity for your life and your property.”
“What can I do if fortune turns against me? I will never lay the fault on anybody.”
“Well,” said the king, leading Don Juan to the table where the drum was, “try your skill.”
Holding and sounding the drum, and pretending to examine it carefully, Juan said softly to the king, “I think that it is made of the skin of a tuma,” and he went on relating to the king the whole story of the tuma from the time it got into his powder-case, until the king finally interrupted,
“Enough! You have beaten me.”
“I am glad if I have. I hope that the terms of the proclamation will be fulfilled,” said Don Juan.
The king remarked, “You are not fitted to join my royal family. Such a low person as you would disgrace me, and humble my dynasty. So take your horses with you and go back to your country.”
“O king! I am not at fault in the least. It is your Majesty who issued the edict that any one, rich or poor, who could beat you in the wager, should be wedded to your daughter. Now I only cling to the right your Majesty has given me,” returned Don Juan. “I had been thinking that the proclamation your Highness signed would be kept; for it is known far and wide that you are a king.”
By this answer King Palmarin was perplexed. He stopped for a moment to consider the matter. Then the thought of getting rid of Don Juan—that is, of killing him—came into his mind: so he said, “Though you are far below my family, if you can do what I shall ask you to do now, I will admit you into the royal line.”
“I am always ready to obey your Majesty’s command,” said Don Juan.
“I had a reliquary, which I inherited from my royal father. I lost it while I was hunting once in the forest twenty years ago. Now I want you to look for it. I will give you three days. If you do not find it in that time, you shall be severely punished,” said the king.
Don Juan left the court and returned to his companions. He told them what had passed between him and the king in the palace. Noet Noen encouraged him, and said, “Do not be sad! for by the aid of God the reliquary shall be found. Remember, there is nothing difficult if you call on God.—What do you say, comrades? It is now time for you to help Don Juan, so as to distract him from his sorrow.—Miran Miron, as you have keen eyes, it will not take you long to find it. Try your best, and look everywhere.”
“Trust me; I’ll be responsible for finding it,” said Miran Miron. “To-morrow I will set out in quest of it.”
As to the king, he was at ease, for he was sure that Don Juan could not find the reliquary.
The next day Miran Miron set out in search of the reliquary, which he found covered with thirty yards of earth. He dug out the earth until he reached the locket; then he returned to his companions, and delivered it to Don Juan. His comrades, seeing him rejoice at the sight of the reliquary, said, “Again we have beaten the king.”
Noet Noen said, “Don Juan, to-morrow take King Palmarin his reliquary.”
The next day Don Juan set out for the court. When he reached the palace, he saluted the king, who was astonished. “How! Don Juan, have you given up so soon? How goes the quest?”
“Here, I have found the reliquary,” said Don Juan, taking it out and putting it on the table. Then he continued, “Let your Majesty examine to see if it is the right one.”
The king looked at it carefully. Indeed, it was his own reliquary. He said to himself, “What a wonder Don Juan is! In two days without any difficulty he has found the reliquary. I did not even tell him the exact place where I lost it, and many people failed to come across it as soon as it was missed. Here in Marsella he has no equal.” Then he said to Don Juan, “I am astonished at the ability you have shown. There is no tongue that can express my gratitude to you for bringing me back my reliquary, the delight of my heart.”
Don Juan replied, “If there is yet something to be done, let your Highness command his loyal vassal, who is always ready to obey.”
“If that is so, in order that you may obtain what you wish,” said the king, “go to Rome and take my letter to the Pope. Wait for his answer. I will also send another person to carry the same message. The one who comes after the other shall receive death as a punishment,” said the king.
“Your loyal subject will try to obey you,” said Don Juan.
So the king wrote two letters to the holy Pope, and gave one to Don Juan, who immediately left the palace and went to his friends. He was sad, meditating on his fate.
The king’s messenger, Bruja,10 set out for Rome that very moment. He was told to use his charm and to hurry up. So he went flying swiftly, like an arrow shot from a bow.
When Don Juan reached his comrades, he said, “I gave the reliquary to the king. Now he wants me to go to Rome to deliver this letter to the Pope and wait for his answer. At the same time the king has sent another messenger. If I come after his arrival in Marsella, I shall lose my life. You see what a hard task the king has given me. I do not know very well the way to Rome, and, besides, the wise Bruja is winged.”
“Do not worry,” said Noet Noen. “If God will, we shall defeat the king. Even if he has Bruja to send, you have some one also: so pluck up your courage!”
“What do you say, Curan Curing? Show your skill, and go to Rome flying like the wind,” said Noet Noen.
“Do not be troubled, Don Juan,” said Curan Curing. “I will carry the letter even to the gates of heaven. For me a journey to Rome is not far—in just one leap I shall be there. Give me the letter. To-morrow I will set out. To-day I will rest, so that I can walk fast.” Don Juan gave Curan Curing the letter, and they all went to sleep. Perhaps by this time Bruja had already arrived at Rome.
The next morning Curan Curing started on his journey to deliver the letter to the Pope. When he was half way to Rome, he met Bruja walking very swiftly, and already returning to Marsella. “Are you Don Juan?” said Bruja, “and are you just going to Rome now? You are beaten. Do not waste your energy any more. If you walk like that, you cannot reach Rome in two months.”
Bruja spoke so, because Curan Curing was walking on only one leg. But when he heard these words, he let loose his other leg and went faster than a bullet. He arrived almost instantly at Rome, and delivered the letter to the holy Pope, who, after reading it, wrote an answer and gave it to the messenger.
Curan Curing then made his way back towards his companions. He went as fast as the wind, and overtook Bruja on the road. “What! Are you still here? What is the matter? How is it that you have not reached Marsella yet? Where is that boast of yours, that I am already beaten? Now I am sure that you will disappoint your king, who relies too much upon your skill,” said Curan Curing.
Bruja, fearing that he should be defeated, for Don Juan’s messenger was very spry, planned to trick Curan Curing. So Bruja said, “Friend, let us rest here a while! I have a little wine with me. We will drink it, if it pleases you, and take a little rest while the sun is so hot.”
“Oh, yes! if you have some wine. It will be a fine thing for us to drink to quench our thirst,” replied Curan Curing.
The wine was no sooner handed to him than he fell asleep. Then Bruja put on one of Curan Curing’s fingers a ring, so as to insure victory for the king. Whoever had Bruja’s ring would sleep soundly and never wake as long as the charmed ring was on his finger. So Bruja, with a light heart, flew away and left the sleeping messenger. Bruja flew so swiftly, that in a moment he was seen by Curan Curing’s companions. When they saw the king’s messenger coming swiftly near them, they felt very sad. But as soon as Supla Supling was sure that it was Bruja flying through the air toward them, he said, “Let me manage him! I will make his journey longer. I will blow him back, so that he will not win.” Supla Supling then breathed deeply and blew. Bruja was carried back beyond Rome. How Don Juan’s companions rejoiced! Bruja did not sleep during the whole night: he was trying his best to reach Marsella.
The next morning Noet Noen said, “I never thought that our friend Curan Curing would be so slow. He has not come yet. Bruja has made him drink wine and has put him to sleep. The trickish fellow has placed on one of Curan Curing’s fingers a magic ring, which keeps him in a profound sleep.”
When Punta Punting heard Noet Noen’s words, he shot his arrow, though he could not see the object he was aiming at. But the ring was hit, and the arrow returned to its master with the magic ring on it. Such was the virtue of Punta Punting’s arrow. As for Curan Curing, he was awakened. He felt the ring being moved from his finger; but the charm was still working in him, and he fell asleep again.
Noet Noen, knowing that Curan Curing was again asleep, called Miran Miron, and said, “Pray, wake the sleeper under the tree !”
Miran Miron then shouted. Curan Curing awoke suddenly, frightened at the noise. Now, being wide awake, he realized the trick Bruja had played on him. He looked to see if he still had the Pope’s letter. Luckily Bruja had not stolen it. Curan Curing then began his journey. Though he went faster than the lightning, he could not overtake Bruja, who was very far ahead of him. In the mean time Bruja was seen by Miran Miron. He was enraged, and cried out loud. When Supla Supling heard his friend shout, he blew strongly. Bruja got stuck in the sky: he was scorched by the glowing sun. Not long afterwards Curan Curing arrived, and gave the letter to Don Juan.
Don Juan at once set out for Marsella. When he reached the palace, he delivered the Pope’s letter to the king. The king, realizing that he was beaten, said to Don Juan, “Though you have won, I will not grant your request, for you are too inferior. You may go.”
Don Juan replied, “Great King, nobody ordered your Highness to issue the decree to which your hand did sign your name. I trusted your word, and I ventured to take part in the wager. Now, honorable king, my complaint is that your Majesty breaks his word.”
The king was meditating as to what to do next to check Don Juan. At last he said, “I want you to show me some more of your wisdom. If you can sail on dry land, and I can see your ship to-morrow morning moored here in front of the palace, I will believe in your power and wisdom. So you may go. My subjects, the queen, and I will be here to see you sail on dry land to-morrow morning.”
Don Juan did not complain at all. He rose from his seat, sad and melancholy, and bade the king good-by. When he reached his companions, Noet Noen said, “You need not speak. I know what is the matter. I will manage the business, and all our comrades will help, so that our sailing on dry land to-morrow will not be delayed.—Carguen Cargon, my friend, go to the inn and fetch a large strong ship.”
Carguen Cargon went on his errand. It was not long before he found the right ship. So, shouldering it, he brought it back to his companions.
The next day everything was ready for the journey. Noet Noen said, “You will be in charge of the rudder, Carguen Cargon, so that the ship may go smoothly.—Supla Supling, sit at the stern and blow the sails, so that we may go fast.—The rest of us will serve as mariners. Cry ‘Happy voyage!’ as soon as we enter the city.”
Accordingly Supla Supling blew the sails. The wind roared, and many trees fell down. The little band sailed through the kingdom. All the people who saw them were wondering. They said, “Were this deed not by enchantment, they could not sail on dry land. Where do you think this ship came from, if not from the land of enchanters?”
When the sailors reached the city, they found King Palmarin looking out of the window of his palace. Don Juan then disembarked from his ship and went before the king to greet him. Don Juan said, “Your Majesty’s servant is here. He is ready to obey your will: so, if there is anything more to be done, let your Highness order him.”
The king felt ashamed for being a liar, and did not ask Don Juan to perform any more miracles. “Don Juan, I have now seen your wonderful wisdom. You may return to your country, for I will not give you the hand of my daughter,” said King Palmarin.
“Farewell, O king! Your own order has caused all that has happened. Though I have not succeeded in accomplishing my purpose, I have no reason to be ashamed to face anybody. What troubles me is, that, in spite of your widespread reputation for honor, you do not keep even one of your thousand million words. After some one has done you some service, you turn him away. Farewell, king! To my own country I will return,” said Don Juan as he left the palace.
The king did not say anything, for he realized the truth of the knight’s statement. Don Juan went to the boat. He and his companions sailed back to their station. As they passed out of the city, the people hailed them. His companions cheered him up and encouraged him. When they arrived at their lodging-place, Noet Noen said, “Let us stay a little longer and wait for God’s aid, which He always gives to the humble! All that has happened is God’s will, so do not worry, Don Juan.”
“I will do whatever you wish,” said Don Juan.
So they staid in the ship. Several months passed by, but nothing was heard. At last the Moors invaded Marsella. They put to death many of the inhabitants, and shut up the king and the rest of his men in jail. He, the queen, and the princess grieved very much, for they suffered many hardships in their narrow prison. When news of this conquest reached the seven, Noet Noen said to his companions, “Now is our turn to help Marsella. Use all your skill; for in driving away the Moors we serve a double purpose: first, we help the Christians; second, Don Juan.”
“Let me be general!” said Curan Curing. “If I rush at the Moors, they will not know what to do.”
Supla Supling said, “As for me, no Moor can stay near me, for I will blow him away, and he will be lost in the air.”
“Though I have no weapons, no one can face me in battle without tumbling down in fear,” said Miran Miron.
Carguen Cargon joined in. “I will pull up a tree and carry it with me; so that, even if all the Moors unite against me, they shall lie prostrate before me.”
“My arrow is enough for me to face Moors with,” said Punta Punting.
At the command of Noet Noen they set out. Curan Curing walked with one leg; still he was far ahead of his companions. He then would stop, return to his friends, and say impatiently, “Hurry up!”
At last they told him that he would be overtired. “The general ought to get weary if he commands,” said Curan Curing. “But I shall never get tired from walking at this rate!”
When they arrived at Marsella, Noet Noen encouraged his companions. Carguen Cargon pulled up a tree fifteen yards tall and six yards in circumference. He rushed at the Moors, and, by swinging the tree constantly, he swept away the enemy. Curan Curing walked with both his legs. He crushed the enemy, who fell dead as he stepped on them. Miran Miron shouted. His loud voice frightened the Moors. Punta Punting shot with his arrow. Whenever it had killed a Moor, it returned to its master. After many Moors had fallen, the rest could not maintain the fight, and they fled. Noet Noen then gathered together his men, and said, “Let us look for the king!”
They opened all the jails and freed the prisoners. The six victors cried, “Hurrah for Don Juan!” and said to the released persons, “All of you who have been held prisoners must thank Don Juan; for, were it not for him, we should not have come to your aid.”
“Who is this benefactor? We wish to know to whom we owe our lives,” said the king.
Noet Noen said, “By God’s will we gained the victory. It is Don Juan who brought us here to save you from the hands of the infidels. So he is indeed the benefactor.”
“Don Juan!” the crowd then shouted. “Our lives we owe to you.—Hurrah for our savior! Hurrah for the whole kingdom!”
The king, queen, princess, counsellors, and the victors went to the palace. They were all happy. When they had taken their seats, the king spoke thus: “What shall we give the victor? As for me, even the whole kingdom is too small a reward for saving us. Lend me your advice.”
Noet Noen answered, “Let me make a suggestion, O king! You already know what Don Juan desires. Do him justice, for he not only beat you in the wager, but also succeeded in accomplishing all your commands. Now he saves you and your kingdom, and restores you to power. Let your issued decree be carried out.” The king then consulted the queen, and said that the stranger was right.
The counsellors said, “King, Don Juan deserves the reward named in the edict; for, were it not for him, your people and even you would now be slaves.”
So at last the king agreed, and, as a bishop was present, the marriage was performed immediately. After the marriage ceremony, the king said, “Hear me, counsellors! As I am now too old to rule, and can no longer perform the duty of king, I am going to abdicate in favor of my son-in-law.—Don Juan, on your head I lay the crown with its sceptre. Do whatever you will, for you are now full king.”
The queen rose from her seat, and, taking off the diadem from her head, she placed it on her daughter, saying, “My darling, receive the diadem of the kingdom, so that all may recognize you as their new queen.” All the counsellors then rose, and shouted, “Hurrah for the new couple! May God give them long lives! May they be successful!” The entire kingdom rejoiced, and held banquets.
When Don Juan had become king, he made a trip with his six companions throughout the entire kingdom, giving alms to the needy and sick. When the royal visit was over, he returned with his friends to the palace. Then Noet Noen said to the king, “Our king, Don Juan, do not be astonished at what I am going to tell you. Since you have now got what you wanted, we now bid you farewell.”
“Why are you going away? What is there in me that you do not like? Pray do not leave me until I have repaid you!” He then called each of the six, and expressed his great gratitude to him, and begged him not to go away. “I will even abdicate the throne if you want me to,” Don Juan said, “for your departure will kill me.” The queen also begged the six men not to leave.
At last Noet Noen said, “Don Juan, long have we lived together; yet you know not whence we come, for we have never told you. We cannot be absent from there much longer.” The prophet then related minutely to the king who they were, and why they had come to his aid. Then the six men disappeared.
The course of events common to these three stories is this: A king proclaims that he will give the hand of his daughter to the one who can furnish him with a very costly or marvellous conveyance. The poor young hero, because of his kindness to a wretched old man or woman (or corpse), is given the wonderful conveyance. On his way to the palace to present his gift, he meets certain extraordinary men, whom he takes along with him as companions. The king, realizing the low birth of the hero, refuses the hand of his daughter until additional tasks have been performed. With the help of his companions, the hero performs these, and finally weds the princess. This group of stories was almost certainly imported into the Philippines from Europe, where analogues of it abound. I know of no significant Eastern variants. Parallels to certain incidents can be found in Malayan and Filipino lore, but the cycle as a whole is clearly not native to the Islands.
In a broad sense, our stories belong to the “Bride Wager” formula (see Von Hahn, 1 : 54, Nos. 23 and 24). The requirement that a suitor shall guess correctly the kind of skin from which a certain drum-head is made (usually a louse-skin) is to be found in Italian (Basile, 1 : 5; cf. Gonzenbach, No. 22; Schneller, No. 31), Spanish (Caballero, trans, by J. H. Ingram, “The Hunchback”), German (Grimm, 2 : 467, “The Louse,” where the princess makes a dress, not a drum, from the skin of the miraculous insect). Only Basile’s story combines the louse-skin motif with the wonderful companions,—a combination found in our “King Palmarin.” There seems to be no close connection, however, between these two tales. Although Oriental Märchen turning on this motif of the louse-skin drum are lacking, the Filipino corrido need not have got the conception from Europe: it is Malayan. In a list of the Jelebu regalia occurs this item: “The royal drums (gendang naubat); said to be ‘headed’ with the skins of lice (kulit tuma)” (see Skeat 2, 27).
We have already met with the extraordinary companions (No. 3; see especially variant d, “Sandangcal,” which relates a contest between the hero’s runner and the king’s messenger). For the formula, see Bolte-Polívka’s notes to Grimm, No. 71. Benfey (Ausland, 1858, pp. 1038 et seq., 1067 et seq.) believes the “Skilful Companions” cycle as represented by Grimm, Nos. 71 and 134; Basile, Nos. 28 and 36; Straparola, 4 : 1, etc.—to be a kind of humorous derivative of the cycle we shall call the “Rival Brothers” (q.v., No. 12 of this collection), and which he shows to have spread into Europe from India. There are significant differences, however, between these two groups; and Benfey’s treatment of them together causes confusion. In the “Skilful Companions” cycle, the extraordinary men are in reality servants of the hero, who sets out and wins the hand of a princess. They are picked up by chance. In the “Rival Brothers” cycle, on the other hand, the three (or four) brothers set out to learn trades and to win their fortunes, often wonderful objects of magic; the brothers meet later by appointment, combine their skill to succor a princess, and then quarrel as to which deserves her most. In stories of the “Strong Hans” type (e.g., Grimm, No. 166) or “John the Bear” (Cosquin, No. 1), where the extraordinary companions also appear, they turn out to be rascals, who faithlessly desert the hero. In our stories, however, the specially-endowed men are supplied by a grateful supernatural being, to help the kind-hearted hero win in his contests with the stubborn king. (Compare Gonzenbach’s Sicilian story, No. 74, which includes a thankful saint, with characteristics of the “Grateful Dead,” a “Land-and-water Ship,” and “Skilful Companions.”)
The names of the companions in “King Palmarin” and “Juan and his Six Friends” are clearly derived from the Spanish. In Caballero’s story of “Lucifer’s Ear” we find these names: Carguin (“carrier”), Oidin (“hearer”), Soplin (“sigher or blower”). All three occur in “Juan and his Six Friends.” In the three Filipino tales the total number of different strong men is only seven,—Know-All, Blower, Farsight, Runner, Hunter, Carrier, Sharp-Ear. This close conformity, when we consider the wide variety to be found in the European stories (see Bolte-Polívka, 2 : 87–94; Panzer, Beowulf, 66–74), suggests an ultimate common source for our variants. The phrase “Soplin Soplon, son of the great blower” (in “Juan and his Six Friends”) is almost an exact translation of “Soplin Soplon, hijo del buen soplador” (Caballero, “Lucifer’s Ear”). This same locution in the vernacular is found in the Tagalog folk-tale of “Lucas the Strong.”
The ship that will sail on land is often met with in European stories. See R. Köhler, “Orient und Occident,” 2 : 296–299; also his notes to Gonzenbach, No. 74. Compare also the Argonaut saga; and Bolte-Polívka, 2 : 87–95 passim.
In two of our stories the hero’s runner is almost defeated by the king’s messenger, who treacherously makes use of a magic sleep-producing ring. One of the other companions, however, discovers the trick, and the skilful hunter awakens the sleeper with a well-aimed shot. For this feat of Sharpshooter’s, see Gonzenbach, No. 74; Grimm, No. 71; Meier, No. 8; Ey, Harzmärchenbuch, 116.
Of native beliefs found in our stories, two are deserving of comment. The method by which Lucas becomes possessed of great strength reflects a notion held by certain old Tagalogs. Some of the men around Calamba, Laguna province, make an incision in the wrist and put in it a small white bone taken from the end of the tail of the sawang bitin (a species of boa). The cut is then sewed up. Those who have a talisman of this sort believe that at night it travels all over the body and produces extraordinary strength. (For similar Malayan superstitions, see Skeat 2, 303–304.) The legend (in “King Palmarin”) about the origin of Mount Arayat and the swamp of Candaba is but one of many still told by old Pampangans. Its insertion into a romance with European setting is an instance of the Filipino romance writers’ utter disregard or ignorance of geographical propriety.
In conclusion, attention may be called to the fact that while these three stories have the same basic framework, each has its own peculiar variations. The testimony of the narrator of “Juan and his Six Companions,” that his informant, an old Balayan woman, said that the story was very popular in her section of the country, is a bit of evidence that the tale has been known in the Philippines for decades, probably. Whether or not her form of the story was derived from a printed account, I am unable to say; but I suspect that it was; the diction sounds “bookish.” Nevertheless I have found no external evidence of a Tagalog corrido treating the story we have printed.
1From the Spanish corredor (“runner”).
2From the Spanish mirador (“seer, gazer”).
3A Tagalog boys’ game played in the streets, with lines marked off by water (tubig).
4From the Spanish puntador (“gunner”).
5From the Spanish cargador (“carrier”).
6From the Spanish soplador (“ventilator, blower”).
7From the Spanish oidor (“hearer”). These six proper names are given here exactly as they appear in the original narrative. Strictly speaking, they are not derivatives from the Spanish: they merely suggest the Spanish words from which they have been coined as patronymics.
8Tuma, Tagalog, Pampangan, and Malayan for “louse.”
9Perhaps from the Spanish conocer (“to know, understand”). For the names of the other companions, see footnotes to the preceding tale.
10In Spanish this word means “witch, sorceress.”
The Three Brothers.
Narrated by Clodualdo Garcia, an llocano, who was told the story by his mother when he was a small boy.
There was once an old woman who had three sons. The father died when Tito, the youngest brother, was only five years old; and the mother was left alone to bring up her three boys. The family was very poor; but the good woman worked hard, and her sons grew into sturdy young men.
One day the mother called her sons before her, and said, “Now, my sons, as you see my strength is failing me, I want each of you to go into the world to seek his fortune. After nine years, come back home and show me what you have learned to do.” The three brothers consented, and resolved to leave home the very next morning.
Early the following day the three brothers—An-no the oldest, Berto the second, and Tito the youngest—bade their mother good-by, and set out on their travels. They followed a wide road until they came to a place where it branched in three directions. Here they stopped and consulted. It was at last agreed that An-no should take the north branch, Berto the south branch, and Tito the east branch. Before they separated, An-no proposed that at the end of the nine years they should all meet at the cross-roads before presenting themselves to their mother. Then each, wishing the others good luck, proceeded on his way.
Well, to make a long story short, at the end of the nine years the three brothers met again at the place designated. Each of them told what he had learned during that time. An-no had been in the company of glass-makers, and he had learned the art of glass-making. Berto had been employed in a shipyard, and during the nine years had become an expert boat-builder. The youngest brother, unfortunately, had fallen into the company of bad men, some notorious robbers. While he was with this band, he became the best and most skilful robber in the gang. After each had heard of the others’ fortunes, they started for their home. Their mother felt very glad to have all her sons with her once more.
Shortly after this family had been re-united, the king issued a proclamation stating that his daughter, the beautiful princess Amelia, had been kidnapped by a brave stranger, and that whoever could give any information about her and restore her to the palace should be allowed to marry her. When the three brothers heard this news, they resolved to use their knowledge and skill to find the missing princess.
An-no had brought home with him a spy-glass in which everything hidden from the eyes of men could be seen. With this instrument, he told his brothers, he could locate the princess. He looked through his glass, and saw her confined in a tower on an island. When An-no had given this information to the king, the next question was how to rescue her. “We’ll do the rest,” said the two younger brothers.
Accordingly Berto built a ship. When it was finished, the three brothers boarded her and sailed to the island where the princess was confined; but there they found the tower very closely guarded by armed soldiers, so that it seemed impossible to get into it. “Well, that is easy,” said Tito. “You stay here and wait for my return. I will bring the princess with me.”
The famous young robber then went to work to steal the princess. Through his skill he succeeded in rescuing her and bringing her to the ship. Then the four sailed directly for the king’s palace. The beautiful princess was restored to her father. With great joy the king received them, and a great feast was held in the palace in honor of the rescue of his daughter. After the feast the king asked the three brothers to which of them he should give his daughter’s hand. Each claimed the reward, and a quarrel arose among them. The king, seeing that all had played important parts in the rescue of the princess, decided not to bestow his daughter on any of them. Instead, he gave half his wealth to be divided equally among An-no, Berto, and Tito.
Three Brothers of Fortune.
Narrated by Eugenio Estayo, a Pangasinan, who heard the story from Toribio Serafica, a native of Rosales, Pangasinan.
In former times there lived in a certain village a wealthy man who had three sons,—Suan, Iloy, and Ambo. As this man was a lover of education, he sent all his boys to another town to school. But these three brothers did not study: they spent their time in idleness and extravagance. When vacation came, they were ashamed to go back to their home town, because they did not know anything; so, instead, they wandered from town to town seeking their fortunes.
In the course of their travels they met an old woman broken with age. “Should you like to buy this book, my grandsons?” asked the old woman as she stopped them.
“What is the virtue of that book, grandmother?” asked Ambo.
“My grandsons,” replied she, “if you want to restore a dead person to life, just open this book before him, and in an instant he will be revived.” Without questioning her further, Ambo at once bought the book. Then the three continued their journey.
Again they met an old woman selling a mat. Now, Iloy was desirous of possessing a charm, so he asked the old woman what virtue the mat had.
“Why, if you want to travel through the air,” she said, “just step on it, and in an instant you will be where you desire to go.” Iloy did not hesitate, but bought the mat at once.
Now, Suan was the only one who had no charm. They had not gone far, however, before he saw two stones, which once in a while would meet and unite to form one round black stone, and then separate again. Believing that these stones possessed some magical power, Suan picked them up; for it occurred to him that with them he would be able to unite things of the same or similar kind. This belief of his came true, as we shall see.
These three brothers, each possessing a charm, were very happy. They went on their way light-hearted. Not long afterward they came upon a crowd of persons weeping over the dead body of a beautiful young lady. Ambo told the parents of the young woman that he would restore her to life if they would pay him a reasonable sum of money. As they gladly agreed, Ambo opened his book, and the dead lady was brought back to life. Ambo was paid all the money he asked; but as soon as he had received his reward, Iloy placed his mat on the ground, and told his two brothers to hold the young woman and step on the mat. They did so, and in an instant all four were transported to the seashore.
From that place they took ship to another country; but when they were in the middle of the sea, a severe storm came, and their boat was wrecked. All on board would have been drowned had not Suan repaired the broken planks with his two magical stones. When they landed, a quarrel arose among the three brothers as to which one was entitled to the young woman.
Ambo said, “I am the one who should have her, for it was I who restored her to life.”
“But if it had not been for me, we should not have the lady with us,” said Iloy.
“And if it had not been for me,” said Suan, “we should all be dead now, and nobody could have her.”
As they could not come to any agreement, they took the question before the king. He decided to divide the young woman into three parts to be distributed among the three brothers. His judgment was carried out. When each had received his share, Iloy and Ambo were discontented because their portions were useless, so they threw them away; but Suan picked up the shares of his two brothers and united them with his own. The young woman was brought to life again, and lived happily with Suan. So, after all, Suan was the most fortunate.
Pablo and the Princess.
Narrated by Dolores Zafra, a Tagalog from La Laguna. She heard the story from her father.
Once upon a time there lived three friends,—Pedro, Juan, and Pablo. One morning they met at the junction of three roads. While they were talking, Pedro said, “Let each of us take one of these roads and set out to find his fortune! there is nothing for us to do in our town.” The other two agreed. After they had embraced and wished each other good luck, they went their several ways. Before separating, however, they promised one another to meet again in the same plate, with the arrangement that the first who came should wait for the others.
Pedro took the road to the right. After three months’ travelling, sometimes over mountains, sometimes through towns, he met an old man. The old man asked him for food, for he was very hungry. Pedro gave him some bread, for that was all he had. The old man thanked the youth very much, and said, “In return for your kindness I will give you this carpet. It looks like an ordinary carpet, but it has great virtue. Whoever sits on it may be transported instantly to any place he desires to be.” Pedro received the carpet gladly and thanked the old man. Then the old man went on his way, and Pedro wandered about the town. At last, thinking of his two friends, he seated himself on his carpet and was transported to the crossroads, where he sat down to wait for Juan and Pablo.
Juan had taken the road to the left. After he had travelled for three months and a half, he, too, met an old man. This old man asked the youth for something to eat, as he was very hungry, he said. So Juan, kind-heartedly, shared with him the bread he was going to eat for his dinner. As a return for his generosity, the old man gave him a book, and said, “This book may seem to you of no value; but when you know of its peculiar properties, you will be astonished. By reading in it you will be able to know everything that is happening in the world at all times.” Juan was overjoyed with his present. After thanking the old man and bidding him good-by, the youth returned to the meeting-place at the cross-roads, where he met Pedro. The two waited for Pablo.
Pablo took the road in the middle, and, after travelling four months, he also met an old man, to whom he gave the bread he was going to eat for his dinner. “As you have been very kind to me,” said the old man, “I will give you this ivory tube as a present. Perhaps you will say that it is worthless, if you look only at the outside; but when you know its value, you will say that the one who possesses it is master of a great treasure. It cures all sick persons of every disease, and, even if the patient is dying, it will restore him instantly to perfect health if you will but blow through one end of the tube into the sick person’s nose.” Pablo thanked the old man heartily for his gift, and then set out for the meeting-place. He joined his friends without mishap.
The three friends congratulated one another at having met again in safety and good health. Then they told one another about their fortunes. While Pedro was looking in Juan’s book, he read that a certain princess in a distant kingdom was very sick, and that the king her father had given orders that any person in the world who could cure his daughter should be her husband and his heir. When Pedro told his companions the news, they at once decided to go to that kingdom. They seated themselves on the carpet, and were transported in a flash to the king’s palace. After they had been led into the room of the sick princess, Pablo took his tube and blew through one end of it into her nose. She immediately opened her eyes, sat up, and began to talk. Then, as she wanted to dress, the three friends retired.
While the princess was dressing, Pablo, Juan, and Pedro went before the king, and told him how they had learned that the princess was sick, how they had been transported there, and who had cured her. The king, having heard all each had to say in his own favor, at last spoke thus wisely to them:—
“It is true, Pablo, that you are the one who cured my daughter; but let me ask you whether you could have contrived to cure her if you had not known from Juan’s book that she was sick, and if Pedro’s carpet had not brought you here without delay.—Your book, Juan, revealed to you that my daughter was sick; but the knowledge of her illness would have been of no service had it not been for Pedro’s carpet and Pablo’s tube. And it is just the same way with your carpet, Pedro.—So I cannot grant the princess to any one of you, since each has had an equal share in her cure. As this is the case, I will choose another means of deciding. Go and procure, each one of you, a bow and an arrow. I will hang up the inflorescence of a banana-plant. This will represent the heart of my daughter. The one who shoots it in the middle shall be the husband of my daughter, and the heir of my kingdom.”
The first to shoot was Pedro, whose arrow passed directly through the middle of the banana-flower. He was very glad. Juan shot second. His arrow passed through the same hole Pedro’s arrow had made. Now came Pablo’s turn; but when Pablo’s turn came, he refused to shoot, saying that if the banana-flower represented the heart of the princess, he could not shoot it, for he loved her too dearly.
When the king heard this answer, he said, “Since Pablo really loves my daughter, while Pedro and Juan do not, for they shot at the flower that represents her heart, Pablo shall marry the princess.”
And so Pablo married the king’s daughter, and in time became king of that country.
Legend of Prince Oswaldo.
Narrated by Leopoldo Uichanco, a Tagalog from Calamba, La Laguna.
Once upon a time, on a moonlight night, three young men were walking monotonously along a solitary country road. Just where they were going nobody could tell: but when they came to a place where the road branched into three, they stopped there like nails attracted by a powerful magnet. At this crossroads a helpless old man lay groaning as if in mortal pain. At the sight of the travellers he tried to raise his head, but in vain. The three companions then ran to him, helped him up, and fed him a part of the rice they had with them.
The sick old man gradually regained strength, and at last could speak to them. He thanked them, gave each of the companions a hundred pesos, and said, “Each one of you shall take one of these branch-roads. At the end of it is a house where they are selling something. With these hundred pesos that I am giving each of you, you shall buy the first thing that you see there.” The three youths accepted the money, and promised to obey the old man’s directions.
Pedro, who took the left branch, soon came to the house described by the old man. The owner of the house was selling a rain-coat. “How much does the coat cost?” Pedro asked the landlord.
“One hundred pesos, no more, no less.”
“Of what value is it?” said Pedro.
“It will take you wherever you wish to go.” So Pedro paid the price, took the rain-coat, and returned.
Diego, who took the middle road, arrived at another house. The owner of this house was selling a book. “How much does your book cost?” Diego inquired of the owner.
“One hundred pesos, no more, no less.”
“Of what value is it?”
“It will tell you what is going on in all parts of the world.” So Diego paid the price, took the book, and returned.
Juan, who took the third road, reached still another house. The owner of the house was selling a bottle that contained some violet-colored liquid. “How much does the bottle cost?” said Juan.
“One hundred pesos, no more, no less.”
“Of what value is it?”
“It brings the dead back to life,” was the answer. Juan paid the price, took the bottle, and returned.
The three travellers met again in the same place where they had separated; but the old man was now nowhere to be found. The first to tell of his adventure was Diego. “Oh, see what I have!” he shouted as he came in sight of his companions. “It tells everything that is going on in the world. Let me show you!” He opened the book and read what appeared on the page: “ ‘The beautiful princess of Berengena is dead. Her parents, relatives, and friends grieve at her loss.’ ”
“Good!” answered Juan. “Then there is an occasion for us to test this bottle. It restores the dead back to life. Oh, but the kingdom of Berengena is far away! The princess will be long buried before we get there.”
“Then we shall have occasion to use my rain-coat,” said Pedro. “It will take us wherever we wish to go. Let us try it! We shall receive a big reward from the king. We shall return home with a casco full of money. To Berengena at once!” He wrapped the rain-coat about all three of them, and wished them in Berengena. Within a few minutes they reached that country. The princess was already in the church, where her parents were weeping over her. Everybody in the church wore deep mourning.
When the three strangers boldly entered the church, the guard at the door arrested them, for they had on red clothes. When Juan protested, and said that the princess was not dead, the guard immediately took him to the king; but the king, when he heard what Juan had said, called him a fool.
“She is only sleeping,” said Juan. “Let me wake her up!”
“She is dead,” answered the king angrily. “On your life, don’t you dare touch her!”
“I will hold my head responsible for the truth of my statement,” said Juan. “Let me wake her up, or rather, not to offend your Majesty, restore her to life!”
“Well, I will let you do as you please,” said the king; “but if your attempt fails, you will lose your head. On the other hand, should you be successful, I will give you the princess for a wife, and you shall be my heir.”
Blinded by his love for the beautiful princess, Juan said that he would restore her to life. “May you be successful!” said the king; and then, raising his voice, he continued, “Everybody here present is to bear witness that I, the King of Berengena, do hereby confirm an agreement with this unknown stranger. I will allow this man to try the knowledge he pretends to possess of restoring the princess to life. But there is this condition to be understood: if he is successful, I will marry him to the princess, and he is to be my heir; but should he fail, his head is forfeit.”
The announcement having been made, Juan was conducted to the coffin. He now first realized what he was undertaking. What if the bottle was false! What if he should fail! Would not his head be dangling from the ropes of the scaffold, to be hailed by the multitude as the remains of a blockhead, a dunce, and a fool? The coffin was opened. With these meditations in his mind, Juan tremblingly uncorked his bottle of violet liquid, and held it under the nose of the princess. He held the bottle there for some time, but she gave no signs of life. An hour longer, still no trace of life. After hours of waiting, the people began to grow impatient. The king scratched his head, the guards were ready to seize him; the scaffold was waiting for him. “Nameless stranger!” thundered the king, with indignant eyes, “upon your honor, tell us the truth! Can you do it, or not? Speak. I command it!”
Juan trembled all the more. He did not know what to say, but he continued to hold the bottle under the nose of the princess. Had he not been afraid of the consequences, he would have given up and entreated the king for mercy. He fixed his eyes on the corpse, but did not speak. “Are you trying to joke us?” said the king, his eyes flashing with rage. “Speak! I command!”
Just as Juan was about to reply, he saw the right hand of the princess move. He bade the king wait. Soon the princess moved her other hand and opened her eyes. Her cheeks were fresh and rosy as ever. She stared about, and exclaimed in surprise, “Oh, where am I? Where am I? Am I dreaming? No, there is my father, there is my mother, there is my brother.” The king was fully satisfied. He embraced his daughter, and then turned to Juan, saying, “Stranger, can’t you favor us now with your name?”
With all the rustic courtesy he knew, Juan replied to the king, told his name, and said that he was a poor laborer in a barrio far away. The king only smiled, and ordered Juan’s clothes to be exchanged for prince’s garments, so that the celebration of his marriage with the princess might take place at once. “Long live Juan! Long live the princess!” the people shouted.
When Diego and Juan heard the shout, they could not help feeling cheated. They made their way through the crowd, and said to the king, “Great Majesty, pray hear us! In the name of justice, pray hear us!”
“Who calls?” asked the king of a guard near by. “Bring him here!” The guard obeyed, and led the two men before the king.
“What is the matter?” asked the king of the two.
“Your Majesty shall know,” responded Diego. “If it had not been for my book, we could not have known that the princess was dead. Our home is far away, and it was only because of my magic book that we knew of the events that were going on here.”
“And his Majesty shall be informed,” seconded Pedro, “that Juan’s good luck is due to my rain-coat. Neither Diego’s book nor Juan’s bottle could have done anything had not my raincoat carried us here so quickly. I am the one who should marry the princess.”
The king was overwhelmed: he did not know what to do. Each of the three had a good reason, but all three could not marry the princess. Even the counsellors of the king could not decide upon the matter.
While they were puzzling over it, an old man sprang forth from the crowd of spectators, and declared that he would settle the difficulty. “Young men,” he said, addressing Juan, Pedro, and Diego, “none of you shall marry the princess.—You, Juan, shall not marry her, because you intended to obtain your fortunes regardless of your companions who have been helping you to get them.—And you, Pedro and Diego, shall not have the princess, because you did not accept your misfortune quietly and thank God for it.—None of you shall have her. I will marry her myself.”
The princess wept. How could the fairest maiden of Berengena marry an old man! “What right have you to claim her?” said the king in scorn.
“I am the one who showed these three companions where to get their bottle, rain-coat, and book,” said the old man. “I am the one who gave each of them a hundred pesos. I am the capitalist: the interest is mine.” The old man was right; the crowd clapped their hands; and the princess could do nothing but yield. Bitterly weeping, she gave her hand to the old man, who seemed to be her grandfather, and they were married by the priest. The king almost fainted.
But just now the sun began to rise, its soft beams filtering through the eastern windows of the church. The newly-married couple were led from the altar to be taken home to the palace; but, just as they were descending the steps that lead down from the altar, the whole church was flooded with light. All present were stupefied. The glorious illumination did not last long. When the people recovered, they found that their princess was walking with her husband, not an old man, however, but a gallant young prince. The king recognized him. He kissed him, for they were old-time acquaintances. The king’s new son-in-law was none other than Prince Oswaldo, who had just been set free from the bonds of enchantment by his marriage. He had been a former suitor of the princess, but had been enchanted by a magician.
With magnificent ceremony the king’s son-in-law was conducted to the royal residence. He was seated on the throne, the crown and sceptre were transferred to him, and he was hailed as King Oswaldo of Berengena.
I have still a fifth Filipino story (e) of three brothers setting out to seek their fortunes, their rich father promising his estate to the son who should show most skill in the profession he had chosen. This Bicol version, which was narrated by Simeon Paz of Nueva Caceres, Camarines, contains a long introduction telling how the youngest brother was cruelly treated by the two older. After the three have left home in search of professions, the older brothers try to kill the youngest, but he escapes. In his wanderings he meets with an old hermit, who, on hearing the boy’s story, presents him with a magic booklet and dagger. These articles can furnish their possessor with whatever he wishes. At the appointed time the three brothers meet again at home, and each demonstrates his skill. The oldest, who has become an expert blacksmith, shoes a horse running at full speed. The second brother, a barber, trims the hair of a running man. The youngest causes a beautiful palace to appear instantly. The father, somewhat unfairly, perhaps, bestows his estate on the youngest, who has really displayed no skill at all.
These five Filipino stories belong to a large group of tales to which we may give the name of the “Rival Brothers.” This cycle assumes various forms; but the two things that identify the relationship of the members are the rivalry of the brothers and the conundrum or “problem” ending of the stories. Within this cycle we can distinguish at least three simple, distinct types, and a compound fourth made up of parts of two of the others. These four types may be very generally outlined as follows: (I) A number of artisans (usually not brothers), by working cumulatively, as it were, make and bring to life a beautiful woman; they then quarrel as to which one has really produced her and is therefore entitled to have her. (II) Through the combined skill of three suitors (sometimes brothers, oftener not), a maiden is saved from death, and the three quarrel over the possession of her. The difficulty is solved satisfactorily by her father or by some one else appointed to judge. (III) A father promises his wealth to the son that shall become most skilful in his profession; the three sons seek their fortunes, and at an appointed time return, and are tested by their father. He judges which is most worthy of the estate. (IV) A combination of the first part of the third type with the second.
Benfey (in Ausland, 1858 : 969, 995, 1017, 1038, 1067) has made a somewhat exhaustive study of the Märchen, which he calls “Das Märchen von den Menschen mit den wunderbaren Eigenschaften.” As a matter of fact, he examines particularly the stories of our type II (see above), to which he connects the folk-tales of our types III and IV as a later popular development. As has been said in the notes to No. 11 Benfey thinks that the “Skilful Companions” cycle is a droll or comic offshoot of this much older group. Our type I he does not discuss at all, possibly thinking that it is not a part of the “Rival Brothers” cycle. It strikes me, however, as being a part fully as much as is the “Skilful Companions” cycle, which is perhaps more nearly related to the “Bride Wager” group than to the “Rival Brothers.” Professor G. L. Kittredge, in his “Arthur and Gorlagon” (Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, No. 8), 226, has likewise failed to differentiate clearly the two cycles, and his outline of the “Skilful Companions” is that of our type II of the “Rival Brothers.” I am far from wishing to quarrel over nomenclature,—possibly “Rival Brothers” is no better name for the group of tales under discussion than is “Skilful Companions,”—but, as G. H. Gerould has remarked (“The Grateful Dead,” Folk-Lore Society, 1907 : 126, note 3), Kittredge’s analysis would not hold for all variants, even when uncompounded. However, Mr. Gerould does not attempt to explain the cause of the confusion, nor was he called upon to do so in his study of an entirely distinct cycle. Consequently, as no one else has yet done so, for the sake of clearness, I propose a division of the large family of sagas and folk-tales dealing with men endowed with extraordinary powers1 into at least two cycles, – the “Rival Brothers” and the “Skilful Companions” (see No. 11). The former of these, which is the group discussed here, I subdivide, as has already been indicated, into four types. Of intermixtures of these types with other cycles we shall not concern ourselves here, though they have been many.2 We now turn to an examination of the four types.3
(I) Type I had its origin in India, doubtless. The oldest form seems to be that found in the Sanscrit “Vetâlapancaviṇçati,” No. 22, whence it was incorporated into Somadeva’s story collection (twelfth century) called the “Kathásaritságara.” An outline of this last version (Tawney’s translation, 2 : 348–350) is as follows.
Story of the Four Brahman Brothers who Resuscitated the Lion.
Four Bráhman brothers, sons of a very poor man, leave home to beg. After their state has become even more miserable, they decide to separate and to search through the earth for some magic power. So, fixing upon a trysting-place, they leave one another, one going east, one west, one north, one south. In the course of time they meet again, and each tells of his accomplishments: the first can immediately produce on a bit of bone the flesh of that animal; the second can produce on that flesh skin and hair appropriate to that animal; the third can create the limbs of the animal after the flesh, skin, and hair have been formed; the fourth can endow the completed carcass with life. The four now go into the forest to find a piece of bone with which to test their skill; they find one, but are ignorant that it is the bone of a lion. The first Brahman covers the bone with flesh; the second gives it skin and hair; the third completes the animal by supplying appropriate limbs; the fourth endows it with life. The terrible beast, springing up, charges the four brothers and slays them on the spot.
The question which the vetála now asks the king is, “Which of these four was guilty in respect of the lion who slew them all?” King Vikramasena answers, “The one that gave life to the lion is guilty. The others produced flesh, skin, hair, and limbs without knowing what kind of animal they were making. Therefore, being ignorant, they were not guilty. But the fourth, seeing the complete lion’s shape before him, was guilty of their death, because he gave the creature life.”
The “Pancatantra” version (v, 4) varies slightly. Here, as in the preceding, there are four brothers, but only three of them possess all knowledge; the fourth possesses common sense. The first brother joins together the bones of a lion; the second covers them with skin, flesh, and blood; the third is about to give the animal life, when the fourth brother—he who possessed common sense—says, “If you raise him to life, he will kill us all.” Finding that the third brother will not desist from his intention, the fourth climbs a tree and saves himself, while his three brothers are torn to pieces. For a modern Indian popular form, see Thornhill, 289.
In the Persian “Tûtî-nâmah” (No. 5) the story assumes a decidedly different form, as may be seen from the following abstract. (I think that there can be no doubt, however, that this tale was inspired by some redaction of “Vetâlapancaviṇçati,” No. 22, not unlikely in combination with “Vetâlapancaviṇçati,” No. 2.)
The Goldsmith, the Carpenter, the Tailor, and the Hermit who Quarrelled about a Wooden Woman.
A goldsmith, a carpenter, a tailor, and a hermit, travelling together, come to a desert place where they must spend the night. They decide that each shall take a watch during the night as guard. The carpenter’s turn is first: to prevent sleep he carves out a wooden figure. When his turn comes, the goldsmith shows his skill by preparing jewels and adorning the puppet. The tailor’s turn is next: he sees the beautiful wooden woman decked with exquisite jewels, but naked; consequently he makes neat clothes becoming a bride, and dresses her. When the hermit’s turn to watch comes, he prays to God that the figure may have life; and it begins to speak like a human being.
In the morning all four fall desperately in love with the woman, and each claims her as his. Finally they come to a fifth person, and refer the matter to him. He claims her to be his wife, who has been seduced from his house, and hails the four travellers before the cutwal. But the cutwal falls in love with the woman, says that she is his brother’s wife, accuses the five of his brother’s murder, and carries them before the cazi. The cazi, no less enamoured, says that the woman is his bondmaid, who had absconded with much money. After the seven have disputed and wrangled a long time, an old man in the crowd that has meantime gathered suggests that the case be laid before the Tree of Decision, which can be found in a certain town. When they have all come before the tree with the woman, the tree divides, the woman runs into the cleft, the tree unites, and she has disappeared forever. A voice from the tree then says, “Everything returns to its first principles.” The seven suitors are overwhelmed with shame.
A Mongolian form, to be found in the Ardschi-Bordschi saga (see Busk, 298–304), seems to furnish the link of connection between the “Tûtî-nâmah” version and “Vetâlapancaviṇçati,” Nos. 22 and 2:—
Who Invented Woman?
Four shepherd youths pasture their flocks near one another, and when they have time amuse themselves together. One day one of them there alone, to pass away the time, takes wood and sculptures it until he has fashioned a beautiful female form. When he sees what he has done, he cares no more for his companions, but goes his way. The next day the second youth comes alone to the place, and, finding the image, he paints it fair with the five colors, and goes his way. On the third day the third youth finds the statue, and infuses into it wit and understanding. He, too, cares no more to sport with his companions, and goes his way. On the fourth day the fourth youth finds the figure, and, breathing softly into its lips, behold! he gives it a soul that can be loved,—a beautiful woman.
When the other three see what has happened, they come back and demand possession of her by right of invention. Each urges his claim; but they can come to no decision, and so they lay the matter before the king. The question is, Who has invented the woman, and to whom does she belong by right? The answer of the king is as follows: “The first youth stands in the place of a father to her; the second youth, who has tinted her fairly, stands in the place of a mother; the third, is he not Lama (Buddhist priest, hence instructor)? The fourth has given her a soul that can be loved, and it is he alone who has really made her. She belongs to him, and therefore he is her husband.”
I cannot refrain from giving a résumé of “Vetâlapancaviṇçati,” No. 2, because it has been overlooked by Benfey, and seems to be of no little significance in connection with our cycle: it establishes the connection between types I and II. This abstract is taken from Tawney’s translation of Somadeva’s redaction, 2 : 242–244:—
Story of the Three Young Brahmans who Restored a Dead Lady to Life.
Bráhman Agnisvámin has a beautiful daughter, Mandáravatí. Three young Bráhmans, equally matched in accomplishments, come to Agnisvámin, and demand the daughter, each for himself. Her father refuses, fearing to cause the death of any one of them. Mandáravatí remains unmarried. The three suitors stay at her house day and night, living on the sight of her. Then Mandáravatí suddenly dies of a fever. The three Bráhmans take her body to the cemetery and burn it. One builds a hut there, and makes her ashes his bed; the second takes her bones, and goes with them to the sacred river Ganges; the third becomes an ascetic, and sets out travelling.
While roaming about, the third suitor reaches a village, where he is entertained by a Bráhman. From him the ascetic steals a magic book that will restore life to dead ashes. (He has seen its power proved after his hostess, in a fit of anger, throws her crying child into the fire.) With his magic book he returns to the cemetery before the second suitor has thrown the maiden’s bones into the river. After having the first Bráhman remove the hut he had erected, the ascetic, reading the charm and throwing some dust on the ashes of Mandáravatí, causes the maiden to rise up alive, more beautiful than ever. Then the three quarrel about her, each claiming her as his own. The first says, “She is mine, for I preserved her ashes and resuscitated her by asceticism.” The second says, “She belongs to me, for she was produced by the efficacy of sacred bathing-places.” The third says, “She is my wife, for she was won by the power of my charm.”
The vetâla, who has been telling the story, now puts the question to King Vikramasena. The king rules as follows: “The third Bráhman must be considered as her father; the second, as her son; and the first, as her husband, for he lay in the cemetery embracing her ashes, which was an act of deep affection.”
A modern link is the Georgian folk-tale of “The King and the Apple” (Wardrop, No. XVI), in which the king’s magic apple tells three riddle-stories to the wonderful boy:—
(1) A woman is travelling with her husband and brother. The party meets brigands, and the two men are decapitated. Their heads are restored to them by the woman through the help of a magic herb revealed to her by a mouse. However, she gets her husband’s head on her brother’s body. Q.—Which man is the right husband? A.—The one with the husband’s head.
(2) A joiner, a tailor, and a priest are travelling. When night comes, they appoint three watches. The joiner, for amusement, cuts down a tree and carves out a man. The tailor, in his turn, takes off his clothes and dresses the figure. The priest, when his turn comes, prays for a soul for the image, and the figure becomes alive. Q.–Who made the man? A.—He who gave him the soul.
(3) A diviner, a physician, and a swift runner are met together. The diviner says, “There is a certain prince ill with such and such a disease.” The physician says, “I know a cure.” The swift runner says, “I will run with it.” The physician prepares the medicine, the runner runs with it, and the prince is cured. Q.—Who cured the king’s son? A.—He who made the medicine.
These three stories, with their framework, appear to be descended in part from the Ardschi-Bordschi saga. A connection between the third and our type II is obvious.
A Bohemian form of this type is No. 4 of Wratislaw’s collection.
(II) Type II, according to Benfey, also originated in India. The oldest known form of the story is the “Vetâlapancaviṇçati,” No. 5. A brief summary of Somadeva’s version, “The Story of Somaprabhá and her Three Suitors” (Tawney, 2 : 258–260), may be given here:—
In Ujjayiní there lived a Bráhman who had an excellent son and a beautiful proud daughter. When the time for her to be married came, she told her mother to give the following message to her father and her brother: “I am to be given in marriage only to a person possessed of heroism, knowledge, or magic power.”
A noble Brahman (No. 1) in time came to the father and asked for his daughter’s hand. When told of the conditions, he said, “I am possessed of magic power,” and to demonstrate, he made a chariot and took the father for a ride in the clouds. Then Harisvámin, the father, promised his daughter to the Bráhman possessed of magic power, and set the marriage day seven days hence.
Another Bráhman (No. 2) came and asked the son for his sister’s hand. When told the conditions, he said that he was a hero, and he displayed his skill in the use of weapons. The brother, ignorant of what his father had done, promised his sister’s hand to this man, and by the advice of an astrologer he selected the same day for the wedding as his father had selected.
A third Bráhman (No. 3) on that same day asked the mother for her daughter’s hand, saying that he was possessed of wisdom. Ignorant of what her husband and her son had done, she questioned this Bráhman about the past and the future, and at length promised him her daughter’s hand on the same seventh day.
On the same day, then, three bridegrooms appeared, and, strange to say, on that very day the bride disappeared. No. 3, with his knowledge, discovered that she had been carried off by a Rákshasa. No. 1 made a chariot equipped with weapons, and the three suitors and Harisvámin were carried to the Rákshasa’s abode. There No. 2 fought and killed the demon, and all returned with the maiden. A dispute then arose among the Bráhmans as to which was entitled to the maiden’s hand. Each set forth his claim.
The vetâla, who has been telling the story, now makes King Vikramasena decide which deserves the girl. The king says that the girl ought to be given to No. 2, who risked his life in battle to save her. Nos. 1 and 3 were only instruments; calculators and artificers are always subordinate to others.
The story next passed over into Mongolia, growing by the way. The version in the “Siddhi-Kür,” No. 13, is interesting, because it shows our story already linked up with another cycle, the “True Brothers.” Only the last part, which begins approximately where the companions miss the rich youth, corresponds to the Sanscrit above. (This Mongolian version may be found in English in Busk, 105–114.) The story then moved westward, and we next meet it in the Persian and the Turkish “Tûtî-nâmah,” “The Story of the Beautiful Zehra.” (For an English rendering from the Persian, see “The Tootinameh; or, Tales of a Parrot,” Persian text with English translation [Calcutta, 1792], pp. 111–114.)
W. A. Clouston (Clouston 3, 2 : 277–288) has discussed this group of stories, and gives abstracts of a number of variants that Benfey does not mention: Dozon, “Albanian Tales,” No. 4; a Persian manuscript text of the “Sindibád Náma;” a Japanese legend known as early as the tenth century; the “1001 Nights” story of “Prince Ahmed and the Peri Bánú;” Powell and Magnussen’s “Icelandic Legends,” pp. 348–354, “The Story of the Three Princes;” Von Hahn, “Contes Populaires Grecs” (Athens and Copenhagen, 1879), No. II, p. 98. Of these he says (p. 285), “We have probably the original of all these different versions in the fifth of the ‘Vetálapanchaviṇsati,’ ”—but hardly from No. 5 alone, probably in combination with Nos. 2 and 22 (cf. above). At least, the Arabian, Icelandic, and Greek forms cited by Clouston include the search for trades or magic objects by rival brothers, a detail not found in No. 5, but occurring in Nos. 22 and 2. Clouston calls attention to the fact that in No. 5 and in the “Tûtî-nâmah” version the damsel is not represented as being ill, while in the “Sindibád-Námá” and in the Arabian version she is so represented.
(III) The third type seems to be of European origin. It is perhaps best represented by Grimm, No. 124, “The Three Brothers.” In his notes, Grimm calls this story an old lying and jesting tale, and says that it is apparently very widespread. He cites few analogues of it, however. He does mention an old one (sixteenth century) which seems to be the parent of the German story. It is Philippe d’Alcripe’s “Trois frères, excellens ouvriers de leurs mestiers” (No. 1 in the 1853 Paris edition, Biblioth. Elzevirien). As in Grimm, the three skilled brothers in the French tale are a barber, a horse-shoer, and a swordsman; and the performances of skill are identical in the two stories. The French version, however, ends with the display of skill: no decision is made as to which is entitled to receive the “petite maison,” the property that the father wishes to leave to the son who proves himself to be the best craftsman. Our fifth story, the Bicol variant, clearly belongs to this type, although it has undergone some modifications, and has been influenced by contact with other cycles.
(IV) The fourth type represents the form to which our four printed stories most closely approximate. As remarked above, it is a combination of the third and the second types. This combination appears to have been developed in Europe, although, as may be seen from the analysis of “Vetâlapancaviṇcati,” No. 2, it might easily have been suggested by the Sanscrit. Compare also the “Siddhi-Kür” form of type II, where, although not brothers, and six in number instead of three, the six comrades set out to seek their fortunes. But here there is no suggestion of the six acquiring skill: they have that before they separate.
The earliest known European version of this type is Morlini’s, Nov. 30 (about 1520). His Latin was translated by Straparola (about 1553) in the “Tredici piacevoli Notti,” VII, 5. In outline his version runs about as follows:—
Three brothers, sons of a poor man, voluntarily leave home to seek their fortunes, promising to return in ten years. After determining on a meeting-place, they separate. The first takes service with soldiers, and becomes expert in the art of war: he can scale walls, dagger in hand. The second becomes a master shipwright. The third spends his time in the woods, and becomes skilled in the tongues of birds. After ten years they meet again, as appointed. While they are sitting in an inn, the youngest hears a bird say that there is a great treasure hidden by the corner-stone of the inn. This they dig up, and return as wealthy men to their father’s house.
Another bird announces the imprisonment of the beautiful Aglea in a tower on an island in the Ægean Sea. She is guarded by a serpent. The second brother builds a swift ship, in which all three sail to the island. There the first brother climbs the tower, rescues Aglea, and plunders all the serpent’s treasure. With the wealth and the lady the three return. A dispute now arises as to which brother has the best claim over her. The matter is left undecided by the story-teller.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Basile, working very likely on oral tradition, and independent of Straparola (with whose work he does not appear to have been acquainted), gives another version, “Pentamerone,” v, 7:—
Pacione, a poor father, sends his five good-for-nothing sons out into the world for one year to learn a craft. They return at the appointed time. During the year the eldest son has learned thieving; the second has learned boat-building; the third, how to shoot with the cross-bow; the fourth has learned of an herb that will cause the dead to rise; the fifth has learned the language of birds. While the five sons are eating with their father, the youngest son hears sparrows saying that a ghoul has stolen the princess, daughter of the King of Autogolfo. The father suggests that his five sons go to her rescue. So a boat is built, the princess is stolen from the ghoul, the ghoul pursues and is blinded by a shot from the bow, the princess falls in a dead faint and is restored by the life-giving herb. After the five brothers have returned the princess to her father, they dispute as to who did the greatest deed of prowess, so as to be worthy of being her husband. Her father the king decides the dispute by giving his daughter to Pacione, because he is the parent-stem of all these branches.
Benfey thinks that the brother who knows of the life-restoring herb is an original addition of Basile’s or of his immediate source; but this character is to be found in the cycle from earliest times (see “Vetâlapancaviṇçati,” No. 2; and “Siddhi-Kür,” No. 13).
The story is next found as a Märchen pretty well scattered throughout Europe. German, Russian, Bohemian, Italian, Greek, and Serbian forms are known (see Benfey’s article, and Grimm’s notes to No. 129). We may examine briefly six interesting versions not mentioned by Benfey or Grimm:—
Greek (Von Hahn, No. 47).—A king with three sons wishes to marry off the eldest. He seeks a suitable wife for the prince; but when she is found and brought to the court, she is so beautiful, that all three brothers want her. To decide their dispute, the king, on advice, sends them abroad, promising the hand of the princess to the one who shall bring back the most valuable article. The three brothers set out; they separate at Adrianople, agreeing to meet there again at an appointed time. On his travels, the eldest buys a telescope through which he can see anything he wishes to see. The second buys an orange that will restore to life the dying if the sick person but smells of the fruit. The third buys a magic transportation-carpet. They all meet as agreed. By means of the telescope one of the brothers learns that the princess is dying. The magic carpet carries them all home instantaneously, and the orange cures the maiden. A quarrel arises as to which brother deserves her hand. The king, unable to decide, marries her himself.
Bohemian (Waldau [Prag, 1860], “Das Weise Urteil”).—In this there are three rival brothers. One has a magic mirror; another, a magic chariot; and the third, three magic apples. The first finds out that the lady is desperately ill; the second takes himself and his rivals to her; and the third restores her to health. A dispute arising, an old man decides that the third brother should have her, as his apples were consumed as medicine, while the other two still have their chariot and mirror respectively. (Compare the decision in the Georgian folk-tale under type II.)
Serbian (Mme. Mijatovies, 230 ff., “The Three Suitors”).—Three noblemen seek the hand of a princess. As the king cannot make a choice, he says to the three, “Go travel about the world. The one who brings home the most remarkable thing shall be my son-in-law.” As in the Greek story, one gets a transportation-carpet; another, a magic telescope; and the third, a wonder-working ointment that will cure all diseases and even bring the dead to life. The three noblemen meet, learn through the telescope of the princess’s mortal illness, and, hastening to her side with the help of the magic carpet, cure her with the ointment. A dispute arises as to which suitor shall have her. The king decides that each has as good a claim as the others, and persuades all to give up the idea of marrying the princess. They do so, go to a far-off desert, and become hermits, while the king marries his daughter to another noble. The story does not end here, but thus much is all we are interested in.
Italian Tyrolese (Schneller, No. 14, “Die Drei Liebhaber”).—This story is like Von Hahn, No. 47. The magic objects are an apple, a chair, and a mirror. In the magic mirror the three suitors see the bride on the point of death. They are carried to her in the magic chair, and she is saved by means of the apple. The story ends as a riddle: Who married the maiden?
Icelandic (Rittershaus, No. XLIII, “Die drei Freier um eine Braut”).—This story, which closely follows the “1001 Nights” version and is probably derived from it, agrees in the first part with Von Hahn, No. 47. When a folk-tribunal is called to decide which brother most deserves the princess and is unable to agree, the king proposes another test,—a shooting-match. The princess is to be given to the one who can shoot his arrow the farthest. The youngest really wins; but, as his arrow goes out of sight and cannot be found, the princess is given to the second brother. From this point on, the adventures of the hero are derived from another cycle that does not belong with our group.
Icelandic (Rittershaus, No. XLII, “Die Kunstreichen Brüder”).—Although this story is very different from any of ours, I call attention to it here because Dr. Rittershaus says (p. 181) that in it we have, “in allerdings verwischter Form, das Märchen von ‘der Menschen mit den wunderbaren Eigenschaften,’ ” and she refers to Benfey’s “Ausland” article. The collector states, however, that the story is so different from the other Märchen belonging to this family, that no further parallels can be adduced. As a matter of fact, this Icelandic story is a combination of the “Skilful Companions” cycle with the “Child and the Hand” cycle. For this combined Märchen, see Kittredge, “Arthur and Gorlagon,” 222–227.
It might be noted, in passing, that a connection between this type of the “Rival Brothers” and the “Skilful Companions” cycle is established through Gonzenbach’s Sicilian story of “The Seven Brothers who had Magic Articles,” No. 45. (See Köhler’s notes to this tale and also to No. 74; to Widter-Wolf, No. 6 [Jahrb. f. rom. und eng. lit., VII]; and to V. Tagić, No. 46 [Köhler-Bolte, 438–440].)
I have not attempted to give an exhaustive bibliographical account of this cycle of the “Rival Brothers,” but have merely suggested points that seem to me particularly significant in its history and development. So far as our four Filipino examples are concerned, I think that it is perfectly clear that in their present form, at least, they have been derived from Europe. There is so much divergence among them, however, and they are so widely separated from one another geographically, that it would be fruitless to search for a common ancestor of the four.
The Ilocano story is the best in outline, and is fairly close to Grimm, No. 129, though there are only three brothers in the Filipino tale, and there is no skill contest held by the mother before the youths set out to rescue the princess. The all-seeing telescope and the clever thief, however, are found in both. The solution at the end is the same: the king keeps his daughter, and divides half a kingdom among her rescuers.
The Pangasinan tale has obviously been garbled. The use of two magic articles with properties so nearly the same, the taking ship by the three brothers when they had a transportation-mat at their service, and finally the inhuman decision of the king,4—all suggest either a confusion of stories, or a contamination of old native analogies, or crude manufacture on the part of some narrator. It may be remarked, however, that the life-restoring book is analogous to the magic book in “Vetâlapancaviṇçati,” No. 2, while the repairing of the shattered ship by means of the magic stones suggests the stitching-together of the planks in Grimm, No. 129. The setting appears to be modern.
In the first Tagalog story (c) the three men are not brothers. They are given the magic objects as a reward for kindness. The sentimental dénouement reads somewhat smug and strained after all three men have been represented as equally kind-hearted. The shooting-contest with arrows to decide the question, however, may be reminiscent of the “1001 Nights” version. For the resuscitating flute in droll stories, see Bolte-Polívka’s notes to Grimm, No. 61 (episode G¹). The book of knowledge suggests the magic book in the Pangasinan version.
1Whether or not these powers reside in the men themselves, who have acquired them through practice, or in magic objects which they find or are presented with. Benfey (loc. cit., p. 969) makes two distinct cycles on an entirely different basis from mine, both derived from India: the one telling of the extraordinary endowments of men; the other, of extraordinary properties of objects (i.e., magic objects). It seems to me a mistake, however, to make a cycle of this second group, for magic articles are only machinery in a story. A family of folk-tales cannot turn merely on things; the magic objects are only latently powerful until guided and controlled by the human hero.
2For example, “The Grateful Dead,” “John the Bear,” “The Child and the Hand,” “The Ransomed Woman,” etc.
3The most recent investigation of this cycle that I know of is that of W. E. Farnham in connection with the sources of Chaucer’s “Parlement of Foules” (in Publications of the Modem Language Association, 32 : 502–513 ). Dr. Farnham has named the cycle “The Contending Lovers,” the stories of which, he says, fall into six clearly marked types. My discussion of the cycle may require some modification in the light of his study; but I have printed it here as I wrote it, some two years before Dr. Farnham’s article came to my notice.
4For practically this identical judgment, see the Dsanglun (St. Petersburg, 1843), p. 94 (cited by Benfey, 1 : 396, note 2).
The Rich and the Poor.
Narrated by José L. Gomez, a Tagalog from Rizal province.
Once upon a time there lived in the town of Pasig two honest men who were intimate friends. They were called Mayaman1 and Mahirap,2 because one was much richer than the other.
One pleasant afternoon these two men made up their minds to take a long walk into the neighboring woods. Here, while they were talking happily about their respective fortunes, they saw in the distance a poor wood-cutter, who was very busy cutting and collecting fagots for sale. This wood-cutter lived in a mean cottage on the outskirts of a little town on the opposite shore of the lake, and he maintained his family by selling pieces of wood gathered from this forest.
When they saw the poor man, Mayaman said to his friend, “Now, which one of us can make that wood-cutter rich?”
“Well, even though I am much poorer than you,” said Mahirap, “I can make him rich with just the few cents I have in my pocket.”
They agreed, however, that Mayaman should be the first to try to make the poor man rich. So Mayaman called out to the wood-cutter, and said, “Do you want to be rich, my good man?”
“Certainly, master, I should like to be rich, so that my family might not want anything,” said the wood-cutter.
Pointing to his large house in the distance, Mayaman said, “All right. Come to my house this evening on your way home, and I will give you four bags of my money. If you don’t become rich on them, come back, and I will give you some more.”
The wood-cutter was overjoyed at his good luck, and in the evening went to Mayaman’s house, where he received the money. He placed the bags in the bottom of his banca,3 and sailed home. When he reached his little cottage, he spread out all the gold and silver money on the floor. He was delighted at possessing such wealth, and determined first of all to buy household articles with it; but some dishonest neighbors, soon finding out that the wood-cutter had much money in the house, secretly stole the bags.
Then the wood-cutter, remembering the rich man’s promise, hastily prepared his banca and sailed across to Pasig. When Mayaman saw the wood-cutter, he said, “Are you rich now, my good man?”
“O kind master!” said the wood-cutter, “I am not yet rich, for some one stole my bags of money.”
“Well, here are four more bags. See that you take better care of them.”
The wood-cutter reached home safely with this new wealth; but unfortunately it was stolen, too, during the night.
Three more times he went to Mayaman, and every time received four bags of money; but every time was it stolen from him by his neighbors.
Finally, on his sixth application, Mayaman did not give the wood-cutter money, but presented him with a beautiful ring. “This ring will preserve you from harm,” he said, “and will give you everything you ask for. With it you can become the richest man in town; but be careful not to lose it!”
While the wood-cutter was sailing home that evening, he thought he would try the ring by asking it for some food. So he said, “Beautiful ring, give me food! for I am hungry.” In an instant twelve different kinds of food appeared in his banca, and he ate heartily. But after he had eaten, the wind calmed down: so he said to the ring, “O beautiful ring! blow my banca very hard, so that I may reach home quickly.” He had no sooner spoken than the wind rose suddenly. The sail and mast of his little boat were blown away, and the banca itself sank. Forgetting all about his ring, the unfortunate man had to swim for his life. He reached the shore safely, but was greatly distressed to find that he had lost his valuable ring. So he decided to go back to Mayaman and tell him all about his loss.
The next day he borrowed a banca and sailed to Pasig; but when Mayaman had heard his story, he said, “My good man, I have nothing more to give you.” Then Mayaman turned to his friend Mahirap, and said, “It is your turn now, Mahirap. See what you can do for this poor man to enrich him.” Mahirap gave the poor wood-cutter five centavos,—all he had in his pocket,—and told him to go to the market and buy a fish with it for his supper.
The wood-cutter was disappointed at receiving so small an amount, and sailed homeward in a very downcast mood; but when he arrived at his town, he went straight to the market. As he was walking around the fish-stalls, he saw a very fine fat fish. So he said to the tendera,4 “How much must I pay for that fat fish?”
“Well, five centavos is all I’ll ask you for it,” said she.
“Oh, I have only five centavos; and if I give them all to you, I shall have no money to buy rice with. So please let me have the fish for three!” said the wood-cutter. But the tendera refused to sell the fish for three centavos; and the wood-cutter was obliged to give all his money for it, for the fish was so fine and fat that he could not leave it.
When he went home and opened the fish to clean it, what do you suppose he found inside? Why, no other thing than the precious ring he had lost in the lake! He was so rejoiced at getting back his treasure, that he walked up and down the streets, talking out loud to his ring:—
“Ha, ha, ha, ha!
I have found you now;
You are here, and nowhere else.”
When his neighbors who had stolen his bags of money from him heard these words, they thought that the wood-cutter had found out that they were the thieves, and was addressing these words to them. They ran up to him with all the bags of money, and said, “O wood-cutter! pardon us for our misdoings! Here are all the bags of money that we stole from you.”
With his money and the ring, the wood-cutter soon became the richest man in his town. He lived happily with his wife the rest of his days, and left a large heritage to his children.
So Mahirap, with five centavos only, succeeded in making the wood-cutter rich.
Lucas the Rope-maker.
Narrated by Elisa Cordero, a Tagalog from Pagsanjan, Laguna. Miss Cordero says that the story is well known and is old.
Luis and Isco were intimate friends. They lived in a country called Bagdad. Though these two friends had been brought up together in the same school, their ideas were different. Luis believed that gentleness and kindness were the second heaven, while Isco’s belief was that wealth was the source of happiness and peace in life.
One day, while they were eating, Isco said, “Don’t you believe, my friend, that a rich man, however cruel he may be, is known everywhere and has great power over all his people? A poor man may be gentle and kind, but then he is disdainfully looked upon by his neighbors.”
“Oh,” answered Luis, “I know it, but to me everybody is the same. I love them all, and I am not enchanted by anything that glisters.”
“My friend,” said Isco, “our conversation is becoming serious. Let us take a walk this afternoon and see how these theories work out in the lives of men.”
That afternoon Luis and Isco went to a town called Cohija. On their way they saw a rope-maker, Lucas by name, who by his condition showed his great suffering from poverty. He approached Lucas and gave him a roll of paper money, saying, “Now, Lucas, take this money and spend it judiciously.”
Lucas was overjoyed: he hardly knew what to do. When he reached home, he related to his wife Zelima what had happened to him. As has been said, Lucas was very poor and was a rope-maker. He had six little children to support; but he had no money with which to feed them, nor could he get anything from his rope-making. Some days he could not sell even a yard of rope. When Lucas received the money from Luis, and had gone home and told his wife, he immediately went out again to buy food. He had one hundred pesos in paper money. He bought two pounds of meat, and a roll of cañamo;5 and as there was some more money left, he put it in one of the corners of his hat. Unfortunately, as he was walking home, an eagle was attracted by the smell of the meat, and began flying about his head. He frightened the bird away; but it flew so fast that its claws became entangled in his hat, which was snatched off his head and carried away some distance. When he searched for the money, it was gone. He could not find it anywhere.
Lucas went home very sad. When his wife learned the cause of his sorrow, she became very angry. She scolded her husband roundly. As soon as the family had eaten the meat Lucas bought, they were as poor as before. They were even pale because of hunger.
One day Luis and Isco decided to visit Lucas and see how he was getting along. It happened that while they were passing in the same street as before, they saw Lucas weeping under a mango-tree near his small house. “What is the matter?” said Luis. “Why are you crying?”
Poor Lucas told them all that had happened to him,—how the money was lost, and how his wife had scolded him. At first Luis did not believe the rope-maker’s story, and became angry at him. At last, however, when he perceived that Lucas was telling the truth, he pardoned him and gave him a thousand pesos.
Lucas returned home with delight, but his wife and children were not in the house. They were out asking alms from their neighbors. Lucas then hid the bulk of the money in an empty jar in the corner of the room, and then went out to buy food for his wife and children. While he was gone, his wife and children returned. They had not yet eaten anything.
Not long afterward a man came along selling rice. Zelima said to him, “Sir, can’t you give us a little something to appease our hunger? I’ll give you some darak6 in exchange.”
“Oh, yes!” said the man, “I’ll give you some rice, but you do not need to give me anything.”
Zelima took the rice gladly; and as she was looking for something with which to repay the man, she happened to see the empty jar in which her husband had secretly put his money. She filled the jar with darak and gave it to the rice-seller.
When Lucas came home, he was very happy. He told his wife about the money he had hidden. But when he found out that the money was gone, he was in despair: he did not know what to do. He scolded his wife for her carelessness. As he could not endure to see the suffering of his children, he tried to kill himself, but his children prevented him. At last he concluded to be quiet; for he thought, “If I hurt my wife, and she becomes sick, I can’t stand it. I must take care of her.”
Two months passed by, and Luis and Isco again visited their friend Lucas. While they were walking in the street, Luis found a big piece of lead. He picked it up and put it in his pocket. When they reached Lucas’s house, they were astonished to see him in a more wretched condition than before. Luis asked what was the matter. Lucas related to him all that had occurred; but Luis just said, “Oh, no! you are fooling us. We will not believe you.” Lucas was very sad. He asked pardon of Luis for his carelessness, and said, “Don’t increase the burden of my suffering by your scolding!”
Now, Luis was by nature gentle and pitiful. He could not endure to see his friend suffering. So he gave him the lead he had found in the street, saying, “Now, take care of that! Maybe your wealth will come from it.” Luis accepted the lead unwillingly, for he thought that Luis was mocking him.
When Lucas went into the house, he threw the lead away in the corner, and went to sleep. During the night a neighbor knocked at their door, asking for a piece of lead for her husband. The neighbor said, “My husband is going fishing early in the morning, and he asked me to buy him some lead for his line, but I forgot it. I know he will scold me if I don’t have some ready for him.” Lucas, who was wakened by the talk, told his wife to get the lead he had thrown in the corner. When Zelima found it, she gave it to their neighbor, who went away happy, promising that she would bring them the first fish her husband should catch.
The next morning Lucas woke very late. The neighbor was already there with a big fish, and Zelima was happy at having so much to eat. While she was cleaning the fish, she found a bright stone inside it. As she did not know of the value of the stone, she gave it to her youngest son to play with; but when the other children saw it, they quarrelled with their brother, and tried to take it away from him. Lucas, too, was ignorant of the fact that the stone was worth anything.
In front of their house lived a rich man named Don Juan. When he heard the noise of his neighbor’s children quarrelling, he sent his wife to see what was the matter. Don Juan’s wife saw the stone, and wanted to have it very much. She asked Zelima to sell it to her, but Zelima said that she would wait and ask her husband. The rich man’s wife went home and told her husband about the jewel. He went to Lucas’s house, and offered the rope-maker a thousand pesos for the stone; but Lucas refused, for now he suspected that it was worth more than that. At last he sold it for twenty thousand pesos.
Lucas was now a rich man. He bought clothes for his wife and children, renewed his house, which was falling to pieces, and bought a machine for making rope. As his business increased, he bought another machine. But although Lucas was the richest man in town, he was very kind. His house was open to every comer. He supported crippled persons, and gave alms to the poor.
When Luis and Isco visited Lucas the last time, they were surprised and at the same time delighted to see him so rich. Lucas did not know how to thank them. He gave a banquet in honor of these two men. After the feast was over, Lucas told his friends every detail of all that had happened to him, how he had lent the lead, how his wife had found the stone in the fish, and how a rich man had bought it for twenty thousand pesos.
Luis was now convinced that Lucas was honest, and had told the truth on former occasions. Lucas lived in his big house happily and in peace with his wife and children.
These two Tagalog stories are probably derived from the same ultimate source; the second, “Lucas the Rope-Maker,” being very much closer to the original. That source is the “History of Khevajah Hasan al-Habbal” in the “Arabian Nights Entertainments” (see Burton’s translation, Supplemental Nights, III : 341–366). There is also a Tagalog literary version of this story,—“Life of a Rope-maker in the Kingdom of Bagdad,” by Franz Molteni. I have at present no copy of this chap-book; but the work may safely be dated 1902–05, as those were the years in which Molteni published. This story follows faithfully the “Arabian Nights” tale. The two rich friends are Saadi and Saad, and the name of the rope-maker is Cojia Hasan.
Our second folk-tale (b) seems to stand half way between this literary version and “The Rich and the Poor,”—not chronologically, to be sure, but so far as fidelity to the Arabian story is concerned. Although the events are practically the same in (b) and in Molteni, the proper names differ throughout. It is possible that (b) derives from an earlier Tagalog literary version that is no longer extant. (a) is definitely localized on Laguna de Bay, and the story as a whole seems thoroughly native. It is likely much older than either of the other two forms.
A Bengal tale somewhat similar to these is to be found in McCulloch’s “Bengali Household Tales,” No. III; it is also connected with the Dr. Knowall cycle (our No. 1). Caballero has a Spanish story (see Ingram, “Dame Fortune and Don Money”). For a discussion of the continuously unlucky hero, see Clouston 2, 489–493. In Ralston 1, I95 f., may be found a group of stories dealing with luck. Compare also Thorpe’s “Yule-tide Stories,” 460 f., for the North German story of “The Three Gifts.”
For the “ejaculation guess” in No. 13(a), see notes to No. 1 (pp. 7–8).
1Tag. for “rich.”
2Tag. for “poor.”
3A native dug-out or canoe.
4A Spanish word meaning “a woman who keeps a little shop or store [tienda].”
5Cañamo, ordinarily a kind of coarse cloth made from hemp. Here the word probably means the thread from which hempen ropes are made.
6Darak, “bran, shorts, chaff.”
The King and the Dervish.
Narrated by José M. Hilario of Batangas, Batangas, who heard the story from his father, a Tagalog.
Once there lived a young and brave king with his gentle and loving wife. Both had enjoyed an easy, comfortable, and, best of all, happy life. The king ruled his people well. The queen was a good wife as well as a good sovereign: she always cheered her husband when he was sad.
One day a dervish came to the palace. He told the king that he possessed magical power, and straightway they became friends. This dervish had the power to leave his body and enter that of a dead animal or person. Now, the king was fond of hunting, and once he took his new friend with him to shoot deer. After a few hours of hard chasing, they succeeded in killing a buck. To show his power, the dervish left his body and entered that of the dead deer. Then he resumed his former shape. The king was very anxious to be able to do the same thing; whereupon the dervish gave him minute instructions, and taught him the necessary charms. Then the king left his body, and took possession of that of the deer. In an instant the dervish entered the king’s body and went home as the monarch. He gave orders that a deer with certain marks should be hunted out and killed. The true king was very unhappy, especially when he saw his own men chasing him to take his life.
In his wanderings through the forest, he saw a dead nightingale. He left the deer’s body and entered the bird’s. Now he was safe, so he flew to his palace. He sang so sweetly, that the queen ordered her attendants to catch him. He gladly allowed himself to be caught, and to be cared for by the queen. Whenever the dervish took the bird in his hands, the bird pecked him; but the beautiful singer always showed signs of satisfaction when the queen smoothed his plumage.
Not long after the bird’s capture, a dog died in the palace. The king underwent another change: he left the bird’s body and entered that of the dog. On waking up in the morning, the queen found that her pet was dead. She began to weep. Unable to see her so sad, the dervish comforted her, and told her that he would give the bird life again. Consequently he left the king’s body and entered the bird’s. Seeing his chance, the real king left the dog’s body and resumed his original form. He then went at once to the cage and killed the ungrateful bird, the dervish.
The tender queen protested against the king’s act of cruelty; but when she heard that she had been deceived by the dervish, she died of grief.