Philippine Folk-Tales eBook

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

Now the boy is more than fourteen years old, but he cannot walk a step.  He understands very well what is said to him, and he can talk, though not distinctly.  When he hears it said that somebody is dead, he breaks into laughter, and keeps on laughing.  This trait alone would stamp him as a Buso-child.

The Buso-Monkey

One day a man went out, carrying seventeen arrows, to hunt monkeys; but he found none.  Next day he went again, and, as he walked along on the slope of the mountain called Malagu’san, he heard the sound of the chattering of monkeys in the trees.  Looking up, he saw the great monkey sitting on an aluma’yag-tree.  He took a shot at the monkey, but his arrow missed aim; and the next time he had no better luck.  Twice eight he tried it; but he never hit the mark.  The monkey seemed to lead a charmed life.  Finally he took his seventeenth and last arrow, and brought down his game; the monkey fell down dead.  But a voice came from the monkey’s body that said, “You must carry me.”

So the man picked up the monkey, and started to go back home; but on the way the monkey said, “You are to make a fire, and eat me up right here.”

Then the man laid the monkey on the ground.  Again came the voice, “You will find a bamboo to put me in; by and by you shall eat me.”

Off went the man to find the bamboo called laya, letting the monkey lie on the ground, where he had dropped it.

He walked on until he reached a forest of bamboo.  There, swinging on a branch of the laya, was a karirik-bird.  And the bird chirped to the man, “Where are you going?”

The man answered, “I am looking for bamboo to put the monkey in.”

But the karirik-bird exclaimed, “Run away, quick! for by and by the monkey will become a buso.  I will wait here, and be cutting the laya; then, when the monkey calls you, I will answer him.”

In the mean time the monkey had become a great buso.  He had only one eye, and that stood right in the middle of his forehead, looking just like the big bowl called langungan (the very bad buso have only one eye; some have only one leg).

After the Buso-monkey had waited many hours for the man to come back, he started out to look for him.  When he reached the forest of laya, he called to the man, “Where are you?”

Then the karirik-bird answered from the tree, “Here I am, right here, cutting the bamboo.”

But the man had run away, because the bird had sent him off, and made him run very fast.

As soon as the bird had answered the Buso, it flew off to another bamboo-tree, and there the Buso spied it, and knew that he had been fooled; and he said, “It’s a man I want; you’re just a bird.  I don’t care for you.”

Directly then the Buso began to smell around the ground where the man had started to run up the mountain-side, and, as quick as he caught the scent, he trailed the man.  He ran and ran, and all the time the man was running too; but soon the Buso began to gain on him.  After a while, when the Buso had come close upon him, the man tried to look for some covert.  He reached a big rock, and cried out, “O rock! will you give me shelter when the Buso tries to eat me?”

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