Filipino Popular Tales
by Dean S. Fansler
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Filipino Popular Tales

Collected and Edited with Comparative Notes


Dean S. Fansler,



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 Maerchen 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 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 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 Maerchen 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.

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.

Columbia University,

May, 1918.



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 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 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


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


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 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


[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 Pusong 23 Cabagboc 23 Sandapal 23 Sandangcal 23 Greedy Juan 23 Juan Tapon 23 Dangandangan 23 Tangarangan 23 Kakarangkang 29 How Piro became Rich 14 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 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 Tinoso (C) 283 Juan and Maria (C) 298 Pitong 299 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 Maerchenforschungen. 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: fuenf Buecher indischer Fabeln, Maerchen und Erzaehlungen. Aus dem Sanskrit uebersetzt, mit Einleitung und Anmerkungen. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1859.

BLUMENTRITT, FERDINAND. Diccionario mitologico (in Retana's Archivo del bibliofilo filipino, Vol. 2, Madrid, 1896).

BOLTE (JOHANNES) UND POLIVKA (GEORG). Anmerkungen zu den Kinder- und Hausmaerchen der Brueder Grimm. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1913, 1915. (Cited Bolte-Polivka.)

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.)

—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.

DAeHNHARDT, OSKAR. Natursagen. Eine Sammlung naturdeutender Sagen, Maerchen, 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 [1913]: 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 Maerchen. 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 Maerchen. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1864.

HARTLAND, E.S. Science of Fairy Tales. London, 1891.

HONEY, 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 AEsop. I. History of the AEsopic Fable. London, 1889. (Cited Jacobs 2.)

Jataka, or Stories of the Buddha's Former Births. Translated from the Pali 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.) Katha-sarit-sagara. 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 Maerchenforschung. Edited by J. BOLTE. Weimar, 1898. (Cited Koehler-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 Volksmaerchen aus Schwaben. Stuttgart, 1852.

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 gegenwaertigen Beziehungen, etc. 3 vols. Goettingen, 1860-64.

Pantschatantra. See Benfey.

PANZER, FRIEDRICH. Studien zur germanischen Sagengeschichte. I. Beowulf. Muenchen, 1910.

Persian Tales: The 1001 Days. Translated by AMBROSE PHILLIPS. 2 vols. London, 1722. (References are to the 6th edition.)

PITRE, G. Fiabe, Novelline e Racconti Popolari Siciliane. 4 vols. Palermo, 1875.

PROeHLE, H. Kinder- und Volksmaerchen. Leipzig, 1853.

RADLOFF, W. Proben der Volkslitteratur der Turkischen Staemme 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 Bibliografico. 3 vols. Madrid, 1906.

RITTERSHAUS, ADELINE. Die Neuislaendischen Volksmaerchen. 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 Maerchen, Sprichworte, Raetsel und Lieder. Weimar, 1857.

SCHNELLER, C. Maerchen und Sagen aus Waelschtirol. 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.)

SKEAT, W.W. Malay Magic. London, 1900. (Cited Skeat 2.)

SOMADEVA. Katha-sarit-sagara. 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. Boehmisches Maerchenbuch. 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. Volksmaerchen der Serben. Berlin, 1854.






Narrated by Macaria Garcia. The story is popular among the Pampangans.

There was once an old woman who had an only son named Suan. [2] 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's [3] 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 cascos [4] 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.

Suan Eket.

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,—

"Ararokes, ararokes, 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 carabao [5] 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,

"Carabaues, carabaues, Na nanakawes 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 ladder [6] 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.

Suan replied,—

"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." [7] 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 Polivka (2 [1915] : 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-Polivka, 2 : 407) are (1) the role 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).



Narrated by Jose 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 petates [8] 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. Koehler's notes to Gonzenbach's No. 31, and his variants of this story in Zeitschrift des Vereins fuer 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.



Narrated by Jose 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 cavan [9] 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, [10] 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, [11] 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. [12] 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, [13] 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. [14] 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," [15] 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.

King Walangtacut. [16]

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 Maerchen 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 Polivka (2 : 288-292) note its occurrence in twenty-five different stories.

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