Philippine Folk-Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Philippine Folk-Tales.

But Pedro, now thoroughly frightened, jumped off the bier and ran away, and the priest and the sacristan ran the other way, so the poor man never received the reward for his piety, and the church was deprived of a new patron saint.

CHAPTER 6

The Adventures of Juan.

Juan was lazy, Juan was a fool, and his mother never tired of scolding him and emphasizing her words by a beating.  When Juan went to school he made more noise at his study than anybody else, but his reading was only gibberish.

His mother sent him to town to buy meat to eat with the boiled rice, and he bought a live crab which he set down in the road and told to go to his mother and be cooked for dinner.  The crab promised, but as soon as Juan’s back was turned ran in the other direction.

Juan went home after a while and asked for the crab, but there was none, and they ate their rice without ulam. [12] His mother then went herself and left Juan to care for the baby.  The baby cried and Juan examined it to find the cause, and found the soft spot on its head.  “Aha!  It has a boil.  No wonder it cries!” And he stuck a knife into the soft spot, and the baby stopped crying.  When his mother came back, Juan told her about the boil and that the baby was now asleep, but the mother said it was dead, and she beat Juan again.

Then she told Juan that if he could do nothing else he could at least cut firewood, so she gave him a bolo and sent him to the woods.

He found what looked to him like a good tree and prepared to cut it, but the tree was a magic tree and said to Juan, “Do not cut me and I will give you a goat that shakes silver money from its whiskers.”  Juan agreed, and the bark of the tree opened and the goat came out, and when Juan told him to shake his whiskers, money dropped out.  Juan was very glad, for at last he had something he would not be beaten for.  On his way home he met a friend, and told him of his good fortune.  The man made him dead drunk and substituted another goat which had not the ability to shake money from its whiskers, and when the new goat was tried at home poor Juan was beaten and scolded.

Back he went to the tree, which he threatened to cut down for lying to him, but the tree said, “No, do not kill me and I will give you a magic net which you may cast even on dry ground or into a tree-top and it will return full of fish,” and the tree did even so.

Again he met the friend, again he drank tuba [13] until he was dead drunk, and again a worthless thing was substituted, and on reaching home he was beaten and scolded.

Once more Juan went to the magic tree, and this time he received a magic pot, always full of rice; and spoons always full of whatever ulam might be wished, and these went the way of the other gifts, to the false friend.

The fourth time he asked of the tree he was given a magic stick that would without hands beat and kill anything that the owner wished.  “Only say to it ‘Boombye, boomba,’ and it will obey your word,” said the tree.

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Project Gutenberg
Philippine Folk-Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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