Philippine Folk-Tales eBook

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

So the king sent ten soldiers to move the rice and the money, but, as soon as they got it to the king’s house, it returned to the children.  The soldiers worked a whole week without getting a grain of rice or a piece of money to stay in the king’s house.  Then because they were about to die from fatigue, the king sent ten more, and these too failed.  Then the king went himself, but when he tried to move the money he fell down dead.  The children, relieved from persecution, lived long and happy lives and were always rich and influential people.

CHAPTER 14

The Silent Lover.

A long time ago, when the world was young, there lived a very bashful young man.  Not far from his house there lived the most beautiful young woman in the world.  The young woman had many suitors but rejected all, wishing only for the love of the bashful young man.  He in his turn was accustomed to follow her about, longing for courage to declare his love, but bashfulness always sealed his lips.  At last, despairing of ever making his unruly tongue tell of his passion, he took a dagger and, following her to the bathing place on the river bank, he cut out his own heart, cast it at her feet, and fell down lifeless.  The girl fled, terrified, and a crow pounced upon the heart, and carried it to a hollow dao-tree, when it fell from his beak into the hollow and there remained.  But the love for the girl was so strong in the heart that it became reanimated and clothed again with humanity in the form of a little child.  A hunter, pursuing the wild boar with dogs, found the child crying from hunger at the foot of the dao-tree and, being childless, took it home, and he and his old wife cared for it as their own.  The young woman, knowing now the love of the young man, lived for his memory’s sake, a widow, rejecting all suitors.

But from the child was never absent the image of his loved one, and at last his love so wrought on his weak frame that he sickened.  Knowing that his end was near, he begged of his foster mother that, after his death, she should leave him, and not be surprised if she could not find him on her return.  He also asked that on the third day she should take whatever she should find in a certain compartment of the great chest and give it to the girl without price.  All this she promised, realizing fully that this was not a natural child.

At last he died, and when his foster mother left the body, his great love reanimated the body and it crept into the chest, becoming there transformed into a beautifully carved casket of fragrant wood.

Obedient to his wishes, on the third day the old woman carried the casket to the girl, giving it to her without price.

When the girl took the casket into her hands, its charm fascinated her, and she clasped it tight and covered it with kisses.  At last the spell was broken by the magic of her kisses, and the casket whispered softly to her, “I am thy true love.  I was the heart of him who killed himself for love of thee, and I was the youth who died for love of thee, but at last I am contented.  In life and death we shall never more be separated.”  And it was so, for the woman lived to a great age, carrying the casket always with her, inhaling its fragrance [17] with her kisses, and when she died it was buried with her.

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Philippine Folk-Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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