Philippine Folk-Tales eBook

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

But the farmer would not go to the cave.  The demon tried to pull him into a deep hole.  Both struggled; and at last the farmer squeezed the magic stone and disappeared.  He took a green branch of the tree and beat the demon.  The demon surrendered.  He begged for mercy.

The farmer went home, and from that day thought no more of the demon.  He knew that while he held the stone the monster would never come to trouble him.  And the family lived on in peace and happiness, as they had done before the water-god became angry with them.

CHAPTER 3

Benito, the Faithful Servant. [4]

On a time there lived in a village a poor man and his wife, who had a son named Benito.  The one ambition of the lad from his earliest youth was that he might be a help to the family in their struggle for a living.

But the years went by, and he saw no opportunity until one day, as they sat at dinner, his father fell to talking about the young King who lived at a distance from the village, in a beautiful palace kept by a retinue of servants.  The boy was glad to hear this, and asked his parents to let him become one of the servants of this great ruler.  The mother protested, fearing that her son could not please his Royal Majesty; but the boy was so eager to try his fortune that at last he was permitted to do so.

The next day his mother prepared food for him to eat on the journey, and be started for the palace.  The journey was tiresome; and when he reached the palace he had difficulty in obtaining an audience with the King.  But when he succeeded and made known his wish, the monarch detected a charming personality hidden within the ragged clothes, and, believing the lad would make a willing servant, he accepted him.

The servants of his Majesty had many duties.  Theirs was not a life of ease, but of hard work.  The very next day the King called Benito, and said, “I want you to bring me a certain beautiful princess who lives in a land across the sea; and if you fail to do it, you will be punished.”

Benito did not know how he was to do it; but he asked no questions, and unhesitatingly answered, “I will, my lord.”

That same day he provided himself with everything he needed for the journey and set off.  He travelled a long distance until he came to the heart of a thick forest, where he saw a large bird which said to him, “Oh, my friend! please take away these strings that are wrapped all about me.  If you will, I will help you whenever you call upon me.”

Benito released the bird and asked it its name.  It replied, “Sparrow-hawk,” and flew away.  Benito continued his journey until he came to the seashore.  There he could see no way of getting across, and, remembering what the King had said if he failed, he stood looking out over the sea, feeling very sad.  The huge King of the Fishes saw him, and swam toward him.  “Why are you so sad?” asked the Fish.

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