Part 3 out of 7
had committed the theft, provided he would present himself to the
king within three days. Hearing the royal proclamation, Zaragoza
went before the king, and confessed that he was the perpetrator of
all the thefts that had caused so much trouble in the court. True to
his word, the king did not punish him. Instead, the king promised
to give Zaragoza a title of nobility if he could trick Don Juan,
the richest merchant in the city, out of his most valuable goods.
When he knew of the desire of the king, Zaragoza looked for a fool,
whom he could use as his instrument. He soon found one, whom he
managed to teach to say "Si" (Spanish for "yes") whenever asked
a question. Dressing the fool in the guise of a bishop, Zaragoza
took a carriage and drove to the store of D. Juan. There he began
to ask the fool such questions as these: "Does your grace wish to
have this? Does not your grace think that this is cheap?" to all of
which the fool's answer was "Si." At last, when the carriage was
well loaded, Zaragoza said, "I will first take these things home,
and then return with the money for them;" to which the fool replied,
"Si." When Zaragoza reached the palace with the rich goods, he was
praised by the king for his sagacity.
After a while D. Juan the merchant found out that what he thought
was a bishop was really a fool. So he went to the king and asked that
he be given justice. Moved by pity, the king restored all the goods
that had been stolen, and D. Juan wondered how his Majesty had come
into possession of his lost property.
Once more the king wanted to test Zaragoza's ability. Accordingly he
told him to bring to the palace an old hermit who lived in a cave in
the neighboring mountains. At first Zaragoza tried to persuade Tubal
to pay the visit to the king, but in vain. Having failed in his first
attempt, Zaragoza determined to play a trick on the old hermit. He
secretly placed an iron cage near the mouth of Tubal's cave, and then
in the guise of an angel he stood on a high cliff and shouted,--
"Tubal, Tubal, hear ye me!"
Tubal, hearing the call, came out of his cave, and, seeing what he
thought was an angel, knelt down. Then Zaragoza shouted,--
"I know that you are very religious, and have come to reward your
piety. The gates of heaven are open, and I will lead you thither. Go
enter that cage, and you will see the way to heaven."
Tubal meekly obeyed; but when he was in the cage, he did not see the
miracle he expected. Instead, he was placed in a carriage and brought
before the king. Thoroughly satisfied now, the king released Tubal,
and fulfilled his promise toward Zaragoza. Zaragoza was knighted,
and placed among the chief advisers of the kingdom. After he had been
raised to this high rank, he called to his side Maria and his godson,
and they lived happily under the protection of one who became the
most upright and generous man of the realm.
Juan the Peerless Robber.
Narrated by Vicente M. Hilario, a Tagalog from Batangas, who heard
the story from a Batangas student.
Not many centuries after Charlemagne died, there lived in Europe
a famous brigand named Juan. From childhood he had been known as
"the deceitful Juan," "the unrivalled pilferer," "the treacherous
Juan." When he was twenty, he was forced to flee from his native land,
to which he never returned.
He visited Africa, where he became acquainted with a famous Ethiopian
robber named Pedro. Not long after they had met, a dispute arose
between them as to which was the more skilful pickpocket. They decided
to have a test. They stood face to face, and the Ethiopian was first
to try his skill.
"Hey!" exclaimed Juan to Pedro, "don't take my handkerchief out of
It was now Juan's turn. He unbuckled Pedro's belt and slipped it into
his own pocket. "What's the matter with you, Juan?" said Pedro after
a few minutes. "Why don't you go ahead and steal something?"
"Ha, ha, ha!" said Juan. "Whose belt is this?"
Pedro generously admitted that he had been defeated.
Although these two thieves were united by strong ties of common
interest, nevertheless their diverse characteristics and traits
produced trouble at times. Pedro was dull, honorable, and frank;
Juan was hawk-eyed and double-faced. Pedro had so large a body and so
awkward and shambling a gait, that Juan could not help laughing at him
and saying sarcastic things to him. Juan was good-looking and graceful.
While they were travelling about in northern Africa, they heard
the heralds of the King of Tunis make the following proclamation:
"A big bag of money will be given to the captor of the greatest robber
in the country." The two friends, particularly Juan, were struck by
That night Juan secretly stole out of his room. Taking with him a
long rope, he climbed up to the roof of the palace. After making a
hole as large as a peso  in the roof, he lowered himself into
the building by means of the rope. He found the room filled with bags
of gold and silver, pearls, carbuncles, diamonds, and other precious
stones. He took the smallest bag he could find, and, after climbing
out of the hole, went home quickly.
When Pedro heard Juan's thrilling report of the untold riches, he
decided to visit the palace the following night. Early in the morning
Juan went again to the palace, taking with him a large tub. After
lowering it into the room, he departed without delay. At nightfall he
returned to the palace and filled the tub with boiling water. He had
no sooner done this than Pedro arrived. Pedro was so eager to get the
wealth, that he made no use of the rope, but jumped immediately into
the room when he reached the small opening his treacherous friend
had made in the roof. Alas! instead of falling on bags of money,
Pedro fell into the fatal tub of water, and perished.
An hour later Juan went to look for his friend, whom he found
dead. The next day he notified the king of the capture and death of
the greatest of African robbers. "You have done well," said the king
to Juan. "This man was the chief of all the African highwaymen. Take
your bag of money."
After putting his gold in a safe place, Juan went out in search of
further adventures. On one of his walks, he heard that a certain
wealthy and devout abbot had been praying for two days and nights
that the angel of the lord might come and take him to heaven. Juan
provided himself with two strong wings. On the third night he made
a hole as large as a peso through the dome of the church.
Calling the abbot, Juan said, "I have been sent by the Lord to take
you to heaven. Come with me, and bring all your wealth."
The abbot put all his money into the bag. "Now get into the bag,"
said Juan, "and we will go."
The old man promptly obeyed. "Where are we now?" said he, after an
"We are within one thousand miles of the abode of the blessed,"
was Juan's reply.
Twenty minutes later, and they were in Juan's cave. "Come out of the
bag, and behold my rude abode?" said Juan to the old man. The abbot
was astounded at the sight. When he heard Juan's story, he advised
him to abandon his evil ways. Juan listened to the counsels of his
new friend. He became a good man, and he and the abbot lived together
until their death.
The story of "Zaragoza" is of particular interest, because it
definitely combines an old form of the "Rhampsinitus" story with the
"Master Thief" cycle. In his notes to No. 11, "The Two Thieves," of
his collection of "Gypsy Folk Tales," F. H. Groome observes, "(The)
'Two Thieves' is so curious a combination of the 'Rhampsinitus'
story in Herodotus and of Grimm's 'Master Thief,' that I am more
than inclined to regard it as the lost original, which, according to
Campbell of Islay, 'it were vain to look for in any modern work or
in any modern age.'" By "lost original" Mr. Groome doubtless meant
the common ancestor of these two very widespread and for the most
part quite distinct cycles, "Rhampsinitus" and the "Master Thief."
Both of these groups of stories about clever thieves have been made
the subjects Of investigation. The fullest bibliographical study
of the "Rhampsinitus" saga is that by Killis Campbell, "The Seven
Sages of Rome" (Boston, 1907), pp. lxxxv-xc. Others have treated the
cycle more or less discursively: R. Koehler, "Ueber J. F. Campbell's
Sammlung gaelischer Maerchen," No. XVII (d) (in Orient und Occident, 2
 : 303-313); Sir George Cox, "The Migration of Popular Stories"
(in Fraser's Magazine, July, 1880, pp. 96-111); W. A. Clouston,
"Popular Tales and Fictions" (London, 1887), 2 : 115-165. See
also F. H. Groome, 48-53; McCulloch, 161, note 9; and Campbell's
bibliography. The "Master Thief" cycle has been examined in great
detail as to the component elements of the story by Cosquin (2 :
274-281, 364-365). See also Grimm's notes to the "Master Thief,"
No. 192 (2 : 464); and J. G. von Hahn, 2 : 178-183.
F. Max Mueller believed that the story of the "Master Thief" had its
origin in the Sanscrit droll of "The Brahman and the Goat" (Hitopadesa,
IV, 10 = Panchatantra, III, 3), which was brought to Europe through the
Arabic translation of the "Hitopadesa." Further, he did not believe
that the "Master Thief" story had anything to do with Herodotus's
account of the theft of Rhampsinitus's treasure (see Chips from a
German Workshop [New York, 1869], 2 : 228). Wilhelm Grimm, however,
in his notes to No. 192 of the "Kinder- und Hausmaerchen," says,
"The well-known story in Herodotus (ii, 121) ... is nearly related
to this." As Sir G. W. Cox remarks (op. cit., p. 98), it is not easy
to discern any real affinity either between the Hitopadesa tale and
the European traditions of the "Master Thief," or between the latter
and the "Rhampsinitus" story. M. Cosquin seems to see at least one
point of contact between the two cycles: "The idea of the episode
of the theft of the horse, or at least of the means which the thief
uses to steal the horse away .... might well have been borrowed from
Herodotus's story ... of Rhampsinitus" (Contes de Lorraine, 2 : 277).
A brief analysis of the characteristic incidents of these two
"thieving" cycles will be of some assistance, perhaps, in determining
whether or not there were originally any definite points of contact
between the two. The elements of the "Rhampsinitus" story follow:--
A Two sons of king's late architect plan to rob the royal
(A1 In some variants of the story the robbers are a town thief and
a country thief.)
A2 They gain an entrance by removing a secret stone, a knowledge of
which their father had bequeathed them before he died.
B The king discovers the theft, and sets a snare for the robbers.
C Robbers return; eldest caught inextricably. To prevent discovery,
the younger brother cuts off the head of the older, takes it away,
and buries it.
D The king attempts to find the confederate by exposing the headless
corpse on the outer wall of the palace.
D1 The younger thief steals the body by making the guards drunk. He
also shaves the right side of the sleeping guards' beards.
E King makes second attempt to discover confederate. He sends his
daughter as a common courtesan, hoping that he can find the thief;
for she is to require all her lovers to tell the story of their lives
before enjoying her favors.
E1 The younger thief visits her and tells his story; when she tries
to detain him, however, he escapes by leaving in her hand the hand
of a dead man he had taken along with him for just such a contingency.
F The king, baffled, now offers to pardon and reward the thief if he
will discover himself. The thief gives himself up, and is married to
In some of the later forms of the story the king makes various other
attempts to discover the culprit before acknowledging himself defeated,
and is met with more subtle counter-moves on the part of the thief:
(D2) King orders that any one found showing sympathy for the corpse
as it hangs up shall be arrested; (D3) by the trick of the broken
water-jar or milk-jar, the widow of the dead robber is able to mourn
him unsuspected. (D4) The widow involuntarily wails as the corpse is
being dragged through the street past her house; but the thief quickly
cuts himself with a knife, and thus explains her cry when the guards
come to arrest her. They are satisfied with the explanation. (E2)
The king scatters gold-pieces in the street, and gives orders to
arrest any one seen picking them up; (E3) the thief, with pitch
or wax on the soles of his shoes, walks up and down the road, and,
unobserved, gathers in the money. (E4) The king turns loose in the
city a gold-adorned animal, and orders the arrest of any person seen
capturing it. The thief steals it as in D1, or is observed and his
house-door marked. Then as in E6. (E5) Old woman begging for "hind's
flesh" or "camel-grease" finds his house; but the thief suspects her
and kills her; or (E6) she gets away, after marking the house-door
so that it may be recognized again. But the thief sees the mark, and
proceeds to mark similarly all the other doors in the street. (E7)
The king puts a prohibitive price on meat, thinking that only the
thief will be able to buy; but the thief steals a joint.
However many the changes and additions of this sort (king's move
followed by thief's move) rung in, almost all of the stories dealing
with the robbery of the king's treasury end with the pardon of the
thief and his exaltation to high rank in the royal household. In
none of the score of versions of the "Rhampsinitus" story cited by
Clouston is the thief subjected to any further tests of his prowess
after he has been pardoned by the king. We shall return to this point.
The "Master Thief" cycle has much less to do with our stories than
has the "Rhampsinitus" cycle: hence we shall merely enumerate the
incidents to be found in it. (For bibliography of stories containing
these situations, see Cosquin.)
A Hero, the youngest of three brothers, becomes a thief. For various
reasons (the motives are different in Grimm 192, and Dasent xxxv)
he displays his skill:--
B1 Theft of the purse (conducted as a droll: the young
apprentice-thief, noodle-like, brings back purse to robber-gang after
throwing away the money).
B2 Theft of cattle being driven to the fair. This trick is usually
conducted in one of four ways: (a) two shoes in road; (b) hanging self;
(c) bawling in the wood like a strayed ox; (d) exciting peasant's
curiosity,--"comedy of comedies," "wonder of wonders."
B3 Theft of the horse. This is usually accomplished by the disguised
thief making the grooms drunk.
B4 Stealing of a live person and carrying him in a sack to the one
who gave the order. (The thief disguises himself as an angel, and
promises to conduct his victim to heaven.)
Other instances of the "Master Thief's" cleverness, not found in
B5 Stealing sheet or coverlet from sleeping person (Grimm, Dasent).
B6 Stealing roast from spit while whole family is guarding it (Dasent).
We may now examine the members of the "Rhampsinitus" group that contain
situations clearly belonging to the "Master Thief" formula. These
are as follows:--
Groome, No. II, "The Two Thieves," B2 (d), B4.
F. Liebrecht in a Cyprus story (Jahrb. f. rom. und eng. lit., 13 :
367-374 = Legrand, Contes grecs, p. 205), "The Master Thief,"
B2(a, c, d).
Wardrop, No. XIV, "The Two Thieves," B4.
Radloff, in a Tartar story (IV, p. 193), B4.
Prym and Socin, in a Syriac story (II, No. 42), B4.
It seems very likely that the Georgian, Tartar, and Syriac stories
are nearly related to one another. The Roumanian gypsy tale, too, it
will be noted, adds to the "Rhampsinitus" formula the incident of the
theft of a person in a sack. This latter story, again, is connected
with the Georgian tale, in that the opening is identical in both. One
thief meets another, and challenges him to steal the eggs (feathers)
from a bird without disturbing it. While he is doing so, he is in turn
robbed unawares of his drawers by the first thief. (Compare Grimm,
No. 129; a Kashmir story in Knowles, 110-112; and a Kabylie story,
The number of tales combining the two cycles of the "Master Thief"
and "Rhampsinitus's Treasure-House" is so small compared with the
number of "pure" versions of each cycle, that we are led to think
it very unlikely that there ever was a "lost original." There seems
to be no evidence whatsoever that these two cycles had a common
ancestor. Besides the fact that the number of stories in which the
contamination is found is relatively very small, there is also to
be considered the fact that these few examples are recent. No one
is known to have existed more than seventy-five years ago. Hence the
"snowball" theory will better explain the composite nature of the gypsy
version and our story of "Zaragoza" than a "missing-link" theory. These
two cycles, consisting as they do of a series of tests of skill, are
peculiarly fitted to be interlocked. The wonder is, not that they have
become combined in a few cases, but that they have remained separate
in so many more, particularly as both stories are very widespread;
and, given the ingredients, this is a combination that could have
been made independently by many story-tellers. Could not the idea
occur to more than one narrator that it is a greater feat to steal a
living person (B4) than a corpse (D1), a piece of roast meat guarded
by a person who knows that the thief is coming (B6) than a piece of
raw meat from an unsuspecting butcher (E7)? All in all, it appears
to me much more likely that the droll and certainly later cycle of
the "Master Thief" grew out of the more serious and earlier cycle of
"Rhampsinitus's Treasure-House" (by the same process as is suggested
in the notes to No. 1 of this present collection) than that the two
are branches from the same trunk.
In any case, our two stories make the combination. When or whence
these Tagalog versions arose I cannot say. Nor need they be analyzed
in detail, as the texts are before us in full. I will merely call
attention to the fact that in "Zaragoza" the king sets a snare
(cf. Herodotus) for the thief, instead of the more common barrel of
pitch. There is something decidedly primitive about this trap which
shoots arrows into its victim. Zaragoza's trick whereby he fools
the rich merchant has an analogue in Knowles's Kashmir story of
"The Day-Thief and the Night-Thief" (p. 298).
"Juan the Peerless Robber," garbled and unsatisfactory as it is
in detail and perverted in denouement, presents the interesting
combination of the skill-contest between the two thieves (see above),
the treachery of one (cf. the Persian Bahar-i-Danush, 2 : 225-248),
and the stealing of the abbot in a sack.
The Seven Crazy Fellows.
Narrated by Cipriano Serafica, from Mangaldan. Pangasinan.
Once there were living in the country in the northern part of Luzon
seven crazy fellows, named Juan, Felipe, Mateo, Pedro, Francisco,
Eulalio, and Jacinto. They were happy all the day long.
One morning Felipe asked his friends to go fishing. They staid at the
Cagayan River a long time. About two o'clock in the afternoon Mateo
said to his companions, "We are hungry; let us go home!"
"Before we go," said Juan, "let us count ourselves, to see that we
are all here!" He counted; but because he forgot to count himself,
he found that they were only six, and said that one of them had been
drowned. Thereupon they all dived into the river to look for their
lost companion; and when they came out, Francisco counted to see if
he had been found; but he, too, left himself out, so in they dived
again. Jacinto said that they should not go home until they had found
the one who was lost. While they were diving, an old man passed by. He
asked the fools what they were diving for. They said that one of them
had been drowned.
"How many were you at first?" said the old man.
They said that they were seven.
"All right," said the old man. "Dive in, and I will count you." They
dived, and he found that they were seven. Since he had found their
lost companion, he asked them to come with him.
When they reached the old man's house, he selected Mateo and Francisco
to look after his old wife; Eulalio he chose to be water-carrier;
Pedro, cook; Jacinto, wood-carrier; and Juan and Felipe, his companions
When the next day came, the old man said that he was going hunting,
and he told Juan and Felipe to bring along rice with them. In a little
while they reached the mountains, and he told the two fools to cook
the rice at ten o'clock. He then went up the mountain with his dogs
to catch a deer. Now, his two companions, who had been left at the
foot of the mountain, had never seen a deer. When Felipe saw a deer
standing under a tree, he thought that the antlers of the deer were
the branches of a small tree without leaves: so he hung his hat and
bag of rice on them, but the deer immediately ran away. When the
old man came back, he asked if the rice was ready. Felipe told him
that he had hung his hat and the rice on a tree that ran away. The
old man was angry, and said, "That tree you saw was the antlers of
a deer. We'll have to go home now, for we have nothing to eat."
Meanwhile the five crazy fellows who had been left at home were not
idle. Eulalio went to get a pail of water. When he reached the well
and saw his image in the water, he nodded, and the reflection nodded
back at him. He did this over and over again; until finally, becoming
tired, he jumped into the water, and was drowned. Jacinto was sent
to gather small sticks, but he only destroyed the fence around the
garden. Pedro cooked a chicken without removing the feathers. He also
let the chicken burn until it was as black as coal. Mateo and Francisco
tried to keep the flies off the face of their old mistress. They soon
became tired, because the flies kept coming back; so they took big
sticks to kill them with. When a fly lighted on the nose of the old
woman, they struck at it so hard that they killed her. She died with
seemingly a smile on her face. The two fools said to each other that
the old woman was very much pleased that they had killed the fly.
When the old man and his two companions reached home, the old man
asked Pedro if there was any food to eat. Pedro said that it was in the
pot. The old man looked in and saw the charred chicken and feathers. He
was very angry at the cook. Then he went in to see his wife, and
found her dead. He asked Mateo and Francisco what they had done to
the old woman. They said that they had only been killing flies that
tried to trouble her, and that she was very much pleased by their work.
The next thing the crazy fellows had to do was to make a coffin for
the dead woman; but they made it flat, and in such a way that there
was nothing to prevent the corpse from falling off. The old man told
them to carry the body to the church; but on their way they ran,
and the body rolled off the flat coffin. They said to each other that
running was a good thing, for it made their burden lighter.
When the priest found that the corpse was missing, he told the six
crazy fellows to go back and get the body. While they were walking
toward the house, they saw an old woman picking up sticks by the
"Old woman, what are you doing here?" they said. "The priest wants
to see you."
While they were binding her, she cried out to her husband, "Ah! here
are some bad boys trying to take me to the church." But her husband
said that the crazy fellows were only trying to tease her. When they
reached the church with this old woman, the priest, who was also crazy,
performed the burial-ceremony over her. She cried out that she was
alive; but the priest answered that since he had her burial-fee,
he did not care whether she was alive or not. So they buried this
old woman in the ground.
When they were returning home, they saw the corpse that had fallen
from the coffin on their way to the church. Francisco cried that it
was the ghost of the old woman. Terribly frightened, they ran away
in different directions, and became scattered all over Luzon.
I have a Bicol variant, "Juan and his Six Friends," narrated by
Maximina Navarro, which is much like the story of "The Seven Crazy
In the Bicol form, Juan and his six crazy companions go bathing in
the river. Episode of the miscounting. On the way home, the seven,
sad because of the loss of one of their number, meet another sad young
man, who says that his mother is dying and that he is on his way to
fetch a priest. He begs the seven to hurry to his home and stay with
his mother until he returns. They go and sit by her. Juan mistakes
a large mole on her forehead for a fly, and tries in vain to brush
it away. Finally he "kills it" with a big piece of bamboo. The son,
returning and finding his mother dead, asks the seven to take her
and bury her. They wrap the body in a mat, but on the way to the
cemetery the body falls out. They return to look for the corpse,
but take the wrong road. They see an old woman cutting ferns; and,
thinking that she is the first old woman trying to deceive them, they
throw stones at her. The story ends with the burial of this second
old woman, whom the seven admonish, as they put her into the ground,
"never to deceive any one again."
These two noodle stories are obviously drawn from a common source. The
main incidents to be found in them are (1) the miscounting of the
swimmers and the subsequent correct reckoning by a stranger (this
second part lacking in the Bicol variant); (2) the killing of the fly
on the old woman's face; (3) the loss of the corpse and the burial
of the old fagot-gathering woman by mistake.
(1) The incident of not counting one's self is found in a number
of Eastern stories (see Clouston 1, 28-33; Grimm, 2 : 441). For a
Kashmir droll recording a similar situation, where a townsman finds
ten peasants weeping because they cannot account for the loss of one
of their companions, see Knowles, 322-323.
(2) Killing of fly on face is a very old incident, and assumes various
forms. In a Buddhist birth-story (Jataka, 44), a mosquito lights on a
man's head. The foolish son attempts to kill it with an axe. In another
(Jataka, 45) the son uses a pestle. Italian stories containing this
episode will be found in Crane, 293-294 (see also Crane, 380, notes
13-15). In a Bicol fable relating a war between the monkeys and the
dragon-flies, the dragon-flies easily defeat the monkeys, who kill
one another in their attempts to slay their enemies, that have, at the
order of their king, alighted on the monkeys' heads (see No. 57). Full
bibliography for this incident may be found in Bolte-Polivka, 1 : 519.
(3) The killing of a living person thought to be a corpse come to
life occurs in "The Three Humpbacks" (see No. 33 and notes).
Our story as a whole seems to owe nothing to European forms, though it
has some faint general resemblances to the "Seven Swabians" (Grimm,
No. 119). All three incidents of our story are found separately
in India. Their combination may have taken place in the Islands,
or even before the Malay migration.
Narrated by Anicio Pascual of Arayat, Pampanga, who heard the story
from an old Pampangan woman.
Once upon a time there lived in a certain village a brave and powerful
datu who had only one son. The son was called Pedro. In the same
place lived a poor wood-cutter whose name was Juan Manalaksan. Pedro
was rich, and had no work to do. He often diverted himself by hunting
deer and wild boars in the forests and mountains. Juan got his living
by cutting trees in the forests.
One day the datu and his son went to the mountain to hunt. They
took with them many dogs and guns. They did not take any food,
however, for they felt sure of catching something to eat for their
dinner. When they reached the mountain, Pedro killed a deer. By noon
they had become tired and hungry, so they went to a shady place to
cook their game. While he was eating, Pedro choked on a piece of
meat. The father cried out loudly, for he did not know what to do
for his dying son. Juan, who was cutting wood near by, heard the
shout. He ran quickly to help Pedro, and by pulling the piece of
meat out of his throat he saved Pedro's life. Pedro was grateful,
and said to Juan, "To-morrow come to my palace, and I will give you
a reward for helping me."
The next morning Juan set out for the palace. On his way he met an
old woman, who asked him where he was going.
"I am going to Pedro's house to get my reward," said Juan. "Do not
accept any reward of money or wealth," said the old woman, "but ask
Pedro to give you the glass which he keeps in his right armpit. The
glass is magical. It is as large as a peso, and has a small hole in
the centre. If you push a small stick through the hole, giants who
can give you anything you want will surround you." Then the old woman
left Juan, and went on her way.
As soon as Juan reached the palace, Pedro said to him, "Go to that
room and get all the money you want."
But Juan answered, "I do not want you to give me any money. All I
want is the glass which you keep in your right armpit."
"Very well," said Pedro, "here it is." When Juan had received the
glass, he hurried back home.
Juan reached his hut in the woods, and found his mother starving. He
quickly thought of his magic glass, and, punching a small stick
through the hole in the glass, he found himself surrounded by giants.
"Be quick, and get me some food for my mother!" he said to them. For
a few minutes the giants were gone, but soon they came again with
their hands full of food. Juan took it and gave it to his mother;
but she ate so much, that she became sick, and died.
In a neighboring village ruled another powerful datu, who had a
beautiful daughter. One day the datu fell very ill. As no doctor could
cure him, he sent his soldiers around the country to say that the man
who could cure him should have his daughter for a wife. Juan heard
the news, and, relying on his charm, went to cure the datu. On his
way, he asked the giants for medicine to cure the sick ruler. When
he reached the palace, the datu said to him, "If I am not cured,
you shall be killed." Juan agreed to the conditions, and told the
datu to swallow the medicine which he gave him. The datu did so,
and at once became well again.
The next morning Juan was married to the datu's daughter. Juan took
his wife to live with him in his small hut in the woods.
One day he went to the forest to cut trees, leaving his wife and
magic glass at home. While Juan was away in the forest, Pedro ordered
some of his soldiers to go get the wood-cutter's wife and magic
glass. When Juan returned in the evening, he found wife and glass
gone. One of his neighbors told him that his wife had been taken
away by some soldiers. Juan was very angry, but he could not avenge
himself without his magical glass.
At last he decided to go to his father-in-law and tell him all that
had happened to his wife. On his way there, he met an old mankukulam,
 who asked him where he was going. Juan did not tell her, but
related to her all that had happened to his wife and glass while he
was in the forest cutting trees. The mankukulam said that she could
help him. She told him to go to a certain tree and catch the king
of the cats. She furthermore advised him, "Always keep the cat with
you." Juan followed her advice.
One day Pedro's father commanded his soldiers to cut off the ears of
all the men in the village, and said that if any one refused to have
his ears cut off, he should be placed in a room full of rats. The
soldiers did as they were ordered, and in time came to Juan's house;
but, as Juan was unwilling to lose his ears, he was seized and placed
in a room full of rats. But he had his cat with him all the time. As
soon as he was shut up in the room, he turned his cat loose. When
the rats saw that they would all be killed, they said to Juan,
"If you will tie your cat up there in the corner, we will help you
get whatever you want."
Juan tied his cat up, and then said to the rats, "Bring me all the
glasses in this village." The rats immediately scampered away to obey
him. Soon each of them returned with a glass in its mouth. One of
them was carrying the magical glass. When Juan had his charm in his
hands again, he pushed a small stick through the hole in the glass,
and ordered the giants to kill Pedro and his father, and bring him
his wife again.
Thus Juan got his wife back. They lived happily together till they
Juan the Poor, Who became Juan the King.
Narrated by Amando Clemente, a Tagalog, who heard the story from
Once upon a time there lived in a small hut at the edge of a forest a
father and son. The poverty of that family gave the son his name,--Juan
the Poor. As the father was old and feeble, Juan had to take care
of the household affairs; but there were times when he did not want
One day, while Juan was lying behind their fireplace, his father
called him, and told him to go to the forest and get some fire-wood.
"Very well," said Juan, but he did not move from his place.
After a while the father came to see if his son had gone, but he found
him still lying on the floor. "When will you go get that fire-wood,
"Right now, father," answered the boy. The old man returned to his
room. As he wanted to make sure, however, whether his son had gone
or not, he again went to see. When he found Juan in the same position
as before, he became very angry, and said,--
"Juan, if I come out again and find you still here, I shall surely
give you a whipping." Juan knew well that his father would punish him
if he did not go; so he rose up suddenly, took his axe, and went to
When he came to the forest, he marked every tree that he thought would
be good for fuel, and then he began cutting. While he was chopping
at one of the trees, he saw that it had a hole in the trunk, and in
the hole he saw something glistening. Thinking that there might be
gold inside the hole, he hastened to cut the tree down; but a monster
came out of the hole as soon as the tree fell.
When Juan saw the unexpected being, he raised his axe to kill the
monster. Before giving the blow, he exclaimed, "Aha! Now is the time
for you to die."
The monster moved backward when it saw the blow ready to fall,
"Good sir, forbear,
And my life spare,
If you wish a happy life
And, besides, a pretty wife."
Juan lowered his axe, and said, "Oho! is that so?"
"Yes, I swear," answered the monster.
"But what is it, and where is it?" said Juan, raising his axe, and
feigning to be angry, for he was anxious to get what the monster
promised him. The monster told Juan to take from the middle of his
tongue a white oval stone. From it he could ask for and get whatever he
wanted to have. Juan opened the monster's mouth and took the valuable
stone. Immediately the monster disappeared.
The young man then tested the virtues of his charm by asking it for
some men to help him work. As soon as he had spoken the last word of
his command, there appeared many persons, some of whom cut down trees,
while others carried the wood to his house. When Juan was sure that
his house was surrounded by piles of fire-wood, he dismissed the
men, hurried home, and lay down again behind the fireplace. He had
not been there long, when his father came to see if he had done his
work. When the old man saw his son stretched out on the floor, he said,
"Juan have we fire-wood now?"
"Just look out of the window and see, father!" said Juan. Great was
the surprise of the old man when he saw the large piles of wood about
The next day Juan, remembering the pretty wife of which the monster
had spoken, went to the king's palace, and told the king that he
wanted to marry his daughter. The king smiled scornfully when he saw
the rustic appearance of the suitor, and said, "If you will do what
I shall ask you to do, I will let you marry my daughter."
"What are your Majesty's commands for me?" said Juan. "Build me a
castle in the middle of the bay; but know, that, if it is not finished
in three days' time, you lose your head," said the king sternly. Juan
promised to do the work.
Two days had gone by, yet Juan had not yet commenced his work. For
that reason the king believed that Juan did not object to losing his
life; but at midnight of the third day, Juan bade his stone build a
fort in the middle of the bay.
The next morning, while the king was taking his bath, cannon-shots
were heard. After a while Juan appeared before the palace, dressed
like a prince. When he saw the king, he said, "The fort is ready for
"If that is true, you shall be my son-in-law," said the king. After
breakfast the king, with his daughter, visited the fort, which pleased
them very much. The following day the ceremonies of Juan's marriage
with the princess Maria were held with much pomp and solemnity.
Shortly after Juan's wedding a war broke out. Juan led the army of the
king his father-in-law to the battlefield, and with the help of his
magical stone he conquered his mighty enemy. The defeated general
went home full of sorrow. As he had never been defeated before,
he thought that Juan must possess some supernatural power. When he
reached home, therefore, he issued a proclamation which stated that
any one who could get Juan's power for him should have one-half of
his property as a reward.
A certain witch, who knew of Juan's secret, heard of the
proclamation. She flew to the general, and told him that she could
do what he wanted done. On his agreeing, she flew to Juan's house
one hot afternoon, where she found Maria alone, for Juan had gone
out hunting. The old woman smiled when she saw Maria, and said,
"Do you not recognize me, pretty Maria? I am the one who nursed you
when you were a baby."
The princess was surprised at what the witch said, for she thought
that the old woman was a beggar. Nevertheless she believed what the
witch told her, treated the repulsive woman kindly, and offered her
cake and wine; but the witch told Maria not to go to any trouble,
and ordered her to rest. So Maria lay down to take a siesta. With
great show of kindness, the witch fanned the princess till she fell
asleep. While Maria was sleeping, the old woman took from underneath
the pillow the magical stone, which Juan had forgotten to take along
with him. Then she flew to the general, and gave the charm to him. He,
in turn, rewarded the old woman with one-half his riches.
Meanwhile, as Juan was enjoying his hunt in the forest, a huge bird
swooped down on him and seized his horse and clothes. When the bird
flew away, his inner garments were changed back again into his old
wood-cutter's clothes. Full of anxiety at this ill omen, and fearing
that some misfortune had befallen his wife, he hastened home on foot
as best he could. When he reached his house, he found it vacant. Then
he went to the king's palace, but that too he found deserted. For his
stone he did not know where to look. After a few minutes of reflection,
he came to the conclusion that all his troubles were caused by the
general whom he had defeated in battle. He also suspected that the
officer had somehow or other got possession of his magical stone.
Poor Juan then began walking toward the country where the general
lived. Before he could reach that country, he had to cross three
mountains. While he was crossing the first mountain, a cat came
running after him, and knocked him down. He was so angry at the
animal, that he ran after it, seized it, and dashed its life out
against a rock. When he was crossing the second mountain, the same
cat appeared and knocked him down a second time. Again Juan seized the
animal and killed it, as before; but the same cat that he had killed
twice before tumbled him down a third time while he was crossing the
third mountain. Filled with curiosity, Juan caught the animal again:
but, instead of killing it this time, he put it inside the bag he
was carrying, and took it along with him.
After many hours of tiresome walking, Juan arrived at the castle of
the general, and knocked at the door. The general asked him what he
wanted. Juan answered, "I am a poor beggar, who will be thankful if I
can have only a mouthful of rice." The general, however, recognized
Juan. He called his servants, and said, "Take this wretched fellow
to the cell of rats."
The cell in which Juan was imprisoned was very dark; and as soon as
the door was closed, the rats began to bite him. But Juan did not
suffer much from them; for, remembering his cat, he let it loose. The
cat killed all the rats except their king, which came out of the hole
last of all. When the cat saw the king of the rats, it spoke thus:
"Now you shall die if you do not promise to get for Juan his magical
stone, which your master has stolen."
"Spare my life, and you shall have the stone!" said the king of
"Go and get it, then!" said the cat. The king of the rats ran
quickly to the room of the general, and took Juan's magical stone
from the table.
As soon as Juan had obtained his stone, and after he had thanked the
king of the rats, he said to his stone, "Pretty stone, destroy this
house with the general and his subjects, and release my father-in-law
and wife from their prison."
Suddenly the earth trembled and a big noise was heard. Not long
afterwards Juan saw the castle destroyed, the general and his subjects
dead, and his wife and his father-in-law free.
Taking with him the cat and the king of the rats, Juan went home
happily with Maria his wife and the king his father-in-law. After the
death of the king, Juan ascended to the throne, and ruled wisely. He
lived long happily with his lovely wife.
These two stories belong to the "Magic Ring" cycle, and are connected
with the well-known "Aladdin" tale. Antti Aarne (pp. 1-82) reconstructs
the original formula of this type, which was about as follows:--
A youth buys the life of a dog and a cat, liberates a serpent, and
receives from its parent a wishing-stone, by means of which he builds
himself a magnificent castle and wins as his wife a princess. But a
thief steals the stone and removes castle and wife over the sea. Then
the dog and the cat swim across the ocean, catch a mouse, and compel
it to fetch the stone from out of the mouth of the thief. Upon their
return journey, cat and dog quarrel, and the stone falls into the
sea. After they have obtained it again with the help of a frog,
they bring it to their master, who wishes his castle and wife back
In nearly every detail our stories vary from this norm: (1) The hero
does not buy the life of any animals, (2) he does not acquire the charm
from a grateful serpent that he has unselfishly saved from death, (3)
the dog does not appear at all, (4) castle and wife are not transported
beyond the sea, (5) the cat does not serve the hero voluntarily out
of gratitude, (6) the hero himself journeys to recover his stolen
charm. And yet there can be no doubt of the connection of our stories
with this cycle. The acquirement of a charm, through the help of which
the hero performs a difficult task under penalty of death, and thus
wins the hand of a ruler's daughter; the theft of the charm and the
disappearance of the wife; the search, which is finally brought to a
successful close through the help of a cat and the king of the rats;
the recovery of wife and charm, and the death of the hero's enemies,
these details in combination are unmistakable proofs.
Most of the characteristic details, however, of the "Magic Ring"
cycle are to be found in the Philippines, although they are lacking
in these two stories. For instance, in No. 26 the hero buys the life
of a snake for five cents, and is rewarded by the king of the serpents
with a magic wishing-cloth (cf. E. Steere, 403). In a Visayan pourquoi
story, "Why Dogs wag their Tails" (see JAFL 20 : 98-100), we have a
variant of the situation of the helpful dog and cat carrying a ring
across a body of water, the quarrel in mid-stream, and the loss of
the charm. In the same volume (pp. 117-118) is to be found a Tagalog
folk-version of the "Aladdin" tale. 
Neither "Juan Manalaksan" nor "Juan the Poor, who became Juan the
King," can be traced, I believe, to any of the hundred and sixty-three
particular forms of the story cited by Aarne. The differences in
detail are too many. The last part of Pedroso's Portuguese folk-tale,
No. xxx, is like (b), in that the hero himself seeks the thief, takes
along with him a cat, is recognized by the thief and imprisoned, and
by means of the cat threatens the king of the rats, who recovers the
charm for him. But the first part is entirely different: the charm
is an apple obtained from a hind, and the hero's wife is not stolen
along with the charm. No Spanish version has been recorded. It is not
impossible that the story in the Philippines is prehistoric. "Juan
Manalaksan," which the narrator took down exactly as it was told to
him, clearly dates back to a time when the tribe had its own native
datu government, possibly to a time even before the Pampangans migrated
to the Philippines. The whole "equipment" of this story is primitive to
a degree. Moreover, the nature of the charm in both stories--a piece
of glass and an oval stone instead of the more usual ring--points to
the primitiveness of our versions, as does likewise the fact that the
charm is not stolen from the hero by his wife, but by some other person
(see Aarne, pp. 43, 45).
For further discussions of this cycle of folk-tales, and its relation
to the Arabian literary version, see Aarne, 61 et seq. Compare also
Macculloch, 201-202, 237-238; Groome, 218-220; Clouston's "Variants
of Button's Supplemental Arabian Nights," pp. 564-575; Bolte-Polivka,
2 : 451-458; Benfey, 1 : 211 ff. Add to Aarne's and Bolte's lists
Wratislaw, No. 54. See also Daehnhardt, 4 : 147-160.
In conclusion, I may add in the way of an Appendix, as it were, a brief
synopsis of a Tagalog romance entitled "Story of Edmundo, Son of Merced
in the Kingdom of France; taken from a novela and composed by one who
enjoys writing the Tagalog language. Manila 1909." This verse-form of
a story at bottom the same as our two folk-tales is doubtless much
more recent than our folk-tales themselves, and is possibly based
on them directly, despite the anonymous author's statement as to the
unnamed novela that was his source. In the following summary of the
"Story of Edmundo," the numbers in parentheses refer to stanzas of
the original Tagalog text.
In Villa Amante there lived a poor widow, Merced by name, who had to
work very hard to keep her only son, the infant Edmundo, alive. Her
piety and industry were rewarded, however; and by the time the
boy was seven years old, she was able to clothe him well and send
him to school. Her brother Tonio undertook the instruction of the
youth. Edmundo had a good head, and made rapid progress. (7-41)
One day Merced fell sick, and, although she recovered in a short time,
Edmundo decided to give up studying and to help his mother earn their
living. He became a wood-cutter. (42-53)
At last fortune came to him. In one of his wanderings in the forest in
search of dry wood, he happened upon an enormous python. He would have
fled in terror had not the snake spoken to him, to his amazement, and
requested him to pull from its throat the stag which was choking it. He
performed the service for the reptile, and in turn was invited to the
cave where it lived. Out of gratitude the python gave Edmundo a magic
mirror that would furnish the possessor with whatever he wanted. With
the help of this charm, mother and son soon had everything they needed
to make them happy. (54-91)
At about this time King Romualdo of France decided to look for a
husband for his daughter, the beautiful Leonora. He was unable to pick
out a son-in-law from the many suitors who presented themselves; and
so he had it proclaimed at a concourse of all the youths of the realm,
"Whoever can fill my cellar with money before morning shall have the
hand of Leonora." Edmundo was the only one to accept the challenge,
for failure to perform the task meant death. At midnight he took
his enchanted mirror and commanded it to fill the king's cellar
with money. In the morning the king was astonished at the sight,
but there was no way of avoiding the marriage. So Leonora became the
wife of the lowly-born wood-cutter. The young couple went to Villa
Amante to live. There, to astonish his wife, Edmundo had a palace
built in one night. She was dumfounded to awake in the morning and
find herself in a magnificent home; and when she asked him about
it, he confided to her the secret of his wonderful charm. Later,
to gratify the humor of the king, who visited him, Edmundo ordered
his mirror to transport the palace to a seacoast town. There he and
his wife lived very happily together. (92-211)
One day Leonora noticed from her window two vessels sailing towards the
town. Her fears and premonitions were so great, that Edmundo, to calm
her, sank the ships by means of his magic power. But the sinking of
these vessels brought misfortunes. Their owner, the Sultan of Turkey,
learned of the magic mirror possessed by Edmundo (how he got this
information is not stated), and hired an old woman to go to France
in the guise of a beggar and steal the charm. She was successful
in getting it, and then returned with it to her master. The Sultan
then invaded France, and with the talisman, by which he called to his
aid six invincible giants, conquered the country. He took the king,
queen, and Leonora as captives back with him to Turkey. Edmundo was
left in France to look after the affairs of the country. (212-296)
Edmundo became melancholy, and at last decided to seek his wife. He
left his mother and his servant behind, and took with him only a
diamond ring of Leonora's, his cat, and his dog. While walking along
the seashore, wondering how he could cross the ocean, he saw a huge
fish washed up on the sand. The fish requested him to drag it to the
water. When Edmundo had done so, the fish told him to get on its back,
and promised to carry him to Leonora. So done. The fish swam rapidly
through the water, Edmundo holding his dog and cat in his breast. The
dog was soon washed "overboard," but the cat clung to him. After a
ride of a day and a night, the fish landed him on a strange shore. It
happened to be the coast of Turkey. (297-313)
Edmundo stopped at an inn, pretending to be a shipwrecked
merchant. There he decided to stay for a while, and there he found
out the situation of Leonora in this wise. Now, it happened that
the Sultan used to send to this inn for choice dishes for Leonora,
whom he was keeping close captive. By inquiry Edmundo learned of the
close proximity of his wife, and one day he managed to insert her
ring into one of the eggs that were to be taken back to her. She
guessed that he was near; and, in order to communicate with him,
she requested permission of the king to walk with her maid in the
garden that was close by the inn. She saw Edmundo, and smiled on him;
but the maid noticed the greeting, and reported it to the Sultan. The
Sultan ordered the man summoned; and when he recognized Edmundo,
he had him imprisoned and put in stocks. (314-350)
Edmundo was now in despair, and thought it better to die than live;
but his faithful cat, which had followed him unnoticed to the prison,
saved him. In the jail there were many rats. That night the cat began
to kill these relentlessly, until the captain of the rats, fearing
that his whole race would be exterminated, requested Edmundo to tie up
his cat and spare them. Edmundo promised to do so on condition that
the rat bring him the small gold-rimmed mirror in the possession of
the Sultan. At dawn the rat captain arrived with the mirror between
its teeth. Out of gratitude Edmundo now had his mirror bring to life
all the rats that had been slain. (351-366)
Then he ordered before him his wife, the king, the queen, the crown and
sceptre of France. All, including the other prisoners of the Sultan,
were transported back to France. At the same time the Sultan's palace
and prison were destroyed. Next morning, when the Grand Sultan awoke,
he was enraged to find himself outwitted; but what could he do? Even
if he were able to jump as high as the sky, he could not bring back
When the French Court returned to France, Edmundo was crowned successor
to the throne: the delight of every one was unbounded. (377-414)
The last six stanzas are occupied with the author's
Groome (pp. 219-220) summarizes a Roumanian-Gypsy story, "The Stolen
Ox," from Dr. Barbu Constantinescu's collection (Bucharest, 1878),
which, while but a fragment, appears to be connected with this cycle
of the "Magic Ring," and presents a curious parallel to a situation in
"... The lad serves the farmer faithfully, and at the end of his term
sets off home. On his way he lights on a dragon, and in the snake's
mouth is a stag. Nine years had that snake the stag in its mouth, and
been trying to swallow it, but could not because of its horns. Now,
that snake was a prince; and seeing the lad, whom God had sent his way,
'Lad,' said the snake, 'relieve me of this stag's horns, for I've been
going about nine years with it in my mouth.' So the lad broke off the
horns, and the snake swallowed the stag. 'My lad, tie me round your
neck and carry me to my father, for he doesn't know where I am.' So
he carried him to his father, and his father rewarded him."
It is curious to see this identical situation of the hero winning his
magic reward by saving some person or animal from choking appearing in
Roumania and the Philippines, and in connection, too, with incidents
from the "Magic Ring" cycle. The resemblance can hardly be fortuitous.
Lucas The Strong.
Narrated by Paulo Macasaet, a Tagalog, who heard the story from a
Once there was a man who had three sons,--Juan, Pedro, and
Lucas. His wife died when his children were young. Unlike most of
his countrymen, he did not marry again, but spent his time in taking
care of his children. The father could not give his sons a proper
education, because he was poor; so the boys grew up in ignorance
and superstition. They had no conception of European clothes and
shoes. Juan and Pedro were hard workers, but Lucas was lazy. The
father loved his youngest son Lucas, nevertheless; but Juan and Pedro
had little use for their brother. The lazy boy used to ramble about
the forests and along river-banks looking for guavas and birds' nests.
One day, when Lucas was in the woods, he saw a boa-constrictor
[Tag. sawang bitin]. He knew that this reptile carried the centre of
its strength in the horny appendage at the end of its tail. Lucas
wished very much to become strong, because the men of strength in
his barrio were the most influential. So he decided to rob the boa
of its charm. He approached the snake like a cat, and then with his
sharp teeth bit off the end of its tail, and ran away with all his
might. The boa followed him, but could not overtake him; for Lucas
was a fast runner, and, besides, the snake had lost its strength.
Lucas soon became the strongest man in his barrio. He surprised
everybody when he defeated the man who used to be the Hercules of
One day the king issued a proclamation: "He who can give the monarch
a carriage made of gold shall have the princess for his wife." When
Juan and Pedro heard this royal announcement, they were very anxious
to get the carriage and receive the reward.
Juan was the first to try his luck. He went to a neighboring mountain
and began to dig for gold. While he was eating his lunch at noon,
an old leper with her child approached him, and humbly begged him to
give her something to eat.
"No, the food I have here is just enough for me. Go away! You are
very dirty," said Juan with disgust.
The wretched old woman, with tears in her eyes, left the place. After
he had worked for three weeks, Juan became discouraged, gave up his
scheme of winning the princess, and returned home.
Pedro followed his brother, but he had no better luck than Juan. He
was also unkind to the old leper.
Lucas now tried his fortune. The day after his arrival at the mountain,
when he was eating, the old woman appeared, and asked him to give her
some food. Lucas gave the woman half of his meat. The leper thanked
him, and promised that she would give him not only the carriage made
of gold, but also a pair of shoes, a coat, and some trousers. She
then bade Lucas good-by.
Nine days passed, and yet the woman had not come. Lucas grew tired
of waiting, and in his heart began to accuse the woman of being
ungrateful. He repented very much the kindness he had shown the old
leper. Finally she appeared to Lucas, and told him what he had been
thinking about her. "Do not think that I shall not fulfil my promise,"
she said. "You shall have them all." To the great astonishment of
Lucas, the woman disappeared again. The next day he saw the golden
carriage being drawn by a pair of fine fat horses; and in the carriage
were the shoes, the coat, and the trousers. The old woman appeared,
and showed the young man how to wear the shoes and clothes.
Then he entered the carriage and was driven toward the palace. On
his way he met a man.
"Who are you?" said Lucas.
"I am Runner, son of the good runner," was the answer.
"Let us wrestle!" said Lucas. "I want to try your strength. If you
defeat me, I will give you a hundred pesos; but if I prove to be the
stronger, you must come with me."
"All right, let us wrestle!" said Runner. The struggle lasted for
ten minutes, and Lucas was the victor. They drove on.
They met another man. When Lucas asked him who he was, the man said,
"I am Sharpshooter, son of the famous shooter." Lucas wrestled with
this man too, and overcame him because of his superhuman strength. So
Sharpshooter went along with Lucas and Runner.
Soon they came up to another man. "What is your name?" said Lucas.
"My name is Farsight. I am son of the great Sharp-Eyes." Lucas proposed
a wrestling-match with Farsight, who was conquered, and so obliged
to go along with the other three.
Last of all, the party met Blower, "son of the great blower." He
likewise became one of the servants of Lucas.
When Lucas reached the palace, he appeared before the king, and in
terms of great submission he told the monarch that he had come for
two reasons,--first, to present his Majesty with the golden carriage;
second, to receive the reward which his Majesty had promised.
The king said, "I will let you marry my daughter provided that you can
more quickly than my messenger bring to me a bottle of the water that
gives youth and health to every one. It is found at the foot of the
seventh mountain from this one," he said, pointing to the mountain
nearest to the imperial city. "But here is another provision,"
continued the king: "if you accept the challenge and are defeated,
you are to lose your head." "I will try, O king!" responded Lucas
The king then ordered his messenger, a giant, to fetch a bottle of
the precious water. Lucas bade the monarch good-by, and then returned
to his four friends. "Runner, son of the good runner, hasten to the
seventh mountain and get me a bottle of the water that gives youth
Runner ran with all his might, and caught up with the giant; but
the giant secretly put a gold ring in Runner's bottle to make him
sleep. Two days passed, but Runner had not yet arrived. Then Lucas
cried, "Farsight, son of the great Sharp-Eyes, see where the giant
and Runner are!"
The faithful servant looked, and he saw Runner sleeping, and the
giant very near the city. When he had been told the state of affairs,
Lucas called Blower, and ordered him to blow the giant back. The
king's messenger was carried to the eighth mountain.
Then Lucas said, "Sharpshooter, son of the famous shooter, shoot
the head of the bottle so that Runner will wake up!" The man shot
skilfully; Runner jumped to his feet, ran and got the precious water,
and arrived in the city in twelve hours. Lucas presented the water
to the king, and the monarch was obliged to accept the young man as
The wedding-day was a time of great rejoicing. Everybody was
enthusiastic about Lucas except the king. The third day after the
nuptials, the giant reached the palace. He said that he was very near
the city when a heavy wind blew him back to the eighth mountain.
Juan and His Six Companions.
Narrated by Vicente M. Hilario, a Tagalog from Batangas, who heard
the story from an old woman from Balayan.
Not very long after the death of our Saviour on Calvary, there lived in
a far-away land a powerful king named Jaime. By judicious usurpations
and matrimonial alliances, this wise monarch extended his already
vast dominions to the utmost limits. Instead of ruling his realm as
a despot, however, he devoted himself to the task of establishing a
strong government based on moderation and justice. By his marvellous
diplomacy he won to his side counts, dukes, and lesser princes. To
crown his happiness, he had an extremely lovely daughter, whose name
was Maria. Neither Venus nor Helen of Troy could compare with her in
beauty. Numerous suitors of noble birth from far and near vied with
one another in spending fortunes on this pearl of the kingdom; but
Maria regarded all suitors with aversion, and her father was perplexed
as to how to get her a husband without seeming to show favoritism.
After consulting gravely with his advisers, the monarch gave out this
proclamation: "He who shall succeed in getting the golden egg from
the moss-grown oak in yonder mountain shall be my son-in-law and heir."
This egg, whose origin nobody knew anything about, rendered its
possessor very formidable. When the proclamation had been made public,
the whole kingdom was seized with wild enthusiasm; for, though the task
was hazardous, yet it seemed performable and easy to the reckless. For
five days and five nights crowds of lovers, adventurers, and ruffians
set sail for the "Mountain of the Golden Egg," as it was called; but
none of the enterprisers ever reached the place. Some were shipwrecked;
others were driven by adverse winds and currents to strange lands,
where they perished miserably; and the rest were forced to return
because of the horrible sights of broken planks and mangled bodies.
Some days after the return of the last set of adventurers, three
brothers rose from obscurity to try their fortunes in this dangerous
enterprise. They were Pedro, Fernando, and Juan. They had been
orphans since they were boys, and had grown up amid much suffering
The three brothers agreed that Pedro should try first; Fernando second;
and Juan last, provided the others did not succeed. After supplying
himself with plenty of food, a good boat, a sword, and a sharp axe,
Pedro embraced his brothers and departed, never to return. He took
a longer and safer route than that of his predecessors. He had no
sooner arrived at the mountain than an old gray-headed man in tattered
clothes came limping towards him and asking for help; but the selfish
Pedro turned a deaf ear to the supplications of the old man, whom he
pushed away with much disrespect. Ignorant of his doom, and regardless
of his irreverence, Pedro walked on with hasty steps and high animal
spirits. But lo! when his axe struck the oak, a large piece of wood
broke off and hit him in the right temple, killing him instantly.
Fernando suffered the same fate as his haughty brother.
Juan alone remained. He was the destined possessor of the egg, and
the conqueror of King Jaime. Juan's piety, simplicity, and goodness
had won for him the good-will of many persons of distinction. After
invoking God's help, he set sail for the mountain, where he safely
arrived at noon. He met the same old man, and he bathed, dressed,
and fed him. The old man thanked Juan, and said, "You shall be amply
requited," and immediately disappeared. With one stroke of his axe
Juan broke the oak in two; and in a circular hole lined with down
he found the golden egg. In the afternoon he went to King Jaime,
to whom he presented the much-coveted egg.
But the shrewd and successful monarch did not want to have a rustic
son-in-law. "You shall not marry my daughter," he said, "unless you
bring me a golden ship."
The next morning Juan, very disconsolate, went to the mountain
again. The old man appeared to him, and said, "Why are you dejected,
Juan related everything that had happened.
"Dry your eyes and listen to me," said the old man. "Not very far
from this place you will find your ship all splendidly equipped. Go
there at once!"
The old man disappeared, and Juan ran with all possible speed to
where the ship was lying. He went on deck, and a few minutes later
the ship began to move smoothly over stumps and stones.
While he was thus travelling along, Juan all of a sudden saw a man
running around the mountain in less than a minute. "Corrin Corron,
 son of the great runner!" shouted Juan, "what are you doing?" The
man stopped, and said, "I'm taking my daily exercise."
"Never mind that!" said Juan, "come up here and rest!" And Corrin
Corron readily accepted the offer.
Pretty soon Juan saw another man standing on the summit of a high
hill and gazing intently at some distant object. "Mirin Miron, 
son of the great Farsight!" said Juan, "what are you doing?"
"I'm watching a game of tubigan  seven miles away," answered
"Never mind!" said Juan, "come up here and eat with me!" And Mirin
Miron gladly went on deck.
After a while Juan saw a hunter with gun levelled. "Puntin Punton,
 son of the great Sureshot!" said Juan, "what are you doing?"
"Three miles away there is a bat-fly annoying a sheep. I want to kill
"Let the creature go," said Juan, "and come with me!" And Puntin
Punton, too, joined the party.
Not long after, Juan saw a man carrying a mountain on his
shoulders. "Carguin Cargon,  son of the great Strong-Back!" shouted
Juan, "what are you doing?"
"I'm going to carry this mountain to the other side of the country
to build a dam across the river," said the man.
"Don't exert yourself so much," said Juan. "Come up here and take
some refreshment!" The brawny carrier threw aside his load; and,
as the mountain hit the ground, the whole kingdom was shaken so
violently that the inhabitants thought that all the volcanoes had
simultaneously burst into eruption.
By and by the ship came to a place where Juan saw young
flourishing trees falling to the ground, with branches twisted and
broken. "Friends," said Juan, "is a storm blowing?"
"No, sir!" answered the sailors, amazed at the sight.
"Master Juan," shouted Mirin Miron, "sitting on the summit of yonder
mountain," pointing to a peak three miles away, "is a man blowing
with all his might."
"He is a naughty fellow," muttered Juan to himself; "he will destroy
all the lumber-trees in this region if we do not stop him." Pretty
soon Juan himself saw the mischievous man, and said, "Soplin Soplon,
 son of the great Blast-Blower, what are you doing?"
"Oh, I'm just exercising my lungs and trumpeter's muscles," replied
"Come along with us!" After blowing down a long line of trees like
grain before a hurricane, Soplin Soplon went on board.
As the ship neared the capital, Juan saw a man lying on a bed of
rushes, with his ear to the ground. "What are you doing, friend?" said
"I'm listening to the plaintive strains of a young man mourning
over the grave of his deceased sweetheart, and to the touching
love-ditties of a moonstruck lover," answered the man. "Where are
those two men?" asked Juan.
"They are in a city twelve miles away," said the other. "Never mind,
Oirin Oiron,  son of the great Hear-All!" said Juan. "Come up and
rest on a more comfortable bed! My divans superabound." When Oirin
Oiron was on board, Juan said to the helmsman, "To the capital!"
In the evening the magnificent ship, with sails of silk and damask,
masts of gold heavily studded with rare gems, and covered with thick
plates of gold and silver, arrived at the palace gate.
Early in the morning King Jaime received Juan, but this time more
coldly and arrogantly than ever. The princess bathed before break
of day. With cheeks suffused with the rosy tint of the morning,
golden tresses hanging in beautiful curls over her white shoulders,
hands as delicate as those of a new-born babe, eyes merrier than
the humming-bird, and dressed in a rich outer garment displaying her
lovely figure at its best, she stood beside the throne. Such was the
appearance of this lovely mortal, who kindled an inextinguishable
flame in the heart of Juan.
After doffing his bonnet and bowing to the king, Juan said, "Will you
give me the hand of your daughter?" Everybody present was amazed. The
princess's face was successively pale and rosy. Juan immediately
understood her heart as he stood gazing at her.
"Never!" said the king after a few minutes. "You shall never have
"Farewell, then, until we meet again!" said Juan as he departed.
When the ship was beyond the frontier of Jaime's kingdom, Juan
said, "Carguin Cargon, overturn the king's realm." Carguin Cargon
obeyed. Many houses were destroyed, and hundreds of people were crushed
to death. When the ship was within seven miles of the city, Oirin Oiron
heard the king say, "I'll give my daughter in marriage to Juan if he
will restore my kingdom." Oirin Oiron told Juan what he had heard.
Then Juan ordered Carguin Cargon to rebuild the kingdom; but when
the work was done, Jaime again refused to fulfil his promise. Juan
went away very angry. Again the kingdom was overturned, and more
property and lives were destroyed. Again Oirin Oiron heard the king
make a promise, again the kingdom was rebuilt, and again the king
Juan went away again red with anger. After they had been travelling
for an hour, Oirin Oiron heard the tramp of horses and the clash of
spears and shields. "I can see King Jaime's vast host in hot pursuit
of us," said Mirin Miron. "Where is the army?" said Juan. "It is nine
miles away," responded Mirin Miron.
"Let the army approach," said Soplin Soplon. When the immense host was
within eight hundred yards of the ship, Soplin Soplon blew forcible
blasts, which scattered the soldiers and horses in all directions
like chaff before a wind. Of this formidable army only a handful of
men survived, and these were crippled for life.
Again the king sued for peace, and promised the hand of his daughter
to Juan. This time he kept his word, and Juan and Maria were married
amidst the most imposing ceremonies. That very day King Jaime abdicated
in favor of his more powerful son-in-law. On the site of the destroyed
houses were built larger and more handsome ones. The lumber that
was needed was obtained by Soplin Soplon and Carguin Cargon from the
mountains: Soplin Soplon felled the trees with his mighty blasts, and
Carguin Cargon carried the huge logs to the city. Juan made Corrin
Corron his royal messenger, and Soplin Soplon commander-in-chief of
the raw troops, which later became a powerful army. The other four
friends were assigned to high positions in the government.
The royal couple and the six gifted men led a glorious life. They
conquered new lands, and ruled their kingdom well.
The Story of King Palmarin.
Paraphrased from the vernacular by Anastacia Villegas of Arayat,
[NOTE.--While the following story is not, strictly speaking,
a folk-tale, since it is a native student's close paraphrase of
a Pampango corrido, or metrical romance, it is typically Filipino
in many respects, and is closely connected with the two foregoing
folk-tales. Moreover, it presents significant features lacking in
the other stories. As it is too long to be relegated to the notes,
I take the liberty of printing it here in full. My justification is
the fact that, after all, sagas, or printed folk-tales, are only the
crystallized sources--or products, as the case may be--of folk-tales.]
Long, long ago, the kingdom of Marsella was ruled over by the worthy
King Palmarin and his wife Isberta. They were attentive to their duty,
and kind to their subjects, whose love they won. All Marsella admired
the goodness and generosity of the king. To whatever he wanted,
his counsellors agreed; and because of his good judgment, his reign
Time came when the queen gave birth to a child. The whole kingdom
rejoiced, and a great feast was prepared. "Let the feast last
six months," said Zetnaen, chief adviser. The new baby was a girl
of peerless beauty. The holy bishop was summoned to baptize the
child. As the Virgin Mary was the patron saint of the king and queen,
they asked the worthy prelate to name the little princess Maria;
and so she was named.
One day the king went to hunt in the mountains. There was no forest or
cave that the party did not visit. All the animals in the mountains
were thrown into confusion when they heard the great noise. Bears,
tigers, and lions came out of their dens. As soon as these wild beasts
reached the plain, they began to pursue the king and his men. The noise
and confusion cannot be imagined. By the help of God, the king and his
men put to flight their savage foes; and when the chase was ended,
nobody had been hurt. After the hunters had been gathered together
by the sound of the trumpet, they all returned home, thankful that
no one had been injured. The king, however, had unwittingly lost his
When King Palmarin reached Marsella and discovered that his locket
was missing, he at once sent many of his soldiers back to look for
it. They searched all parts of the mountain and even the valley. At
last they returned to the capital, and said to the king, "We, whom
your Majesty commanded to look for the reliquary, have come to tell
you that, after a thorough search through the entire forest and valley,
we have not been able to find it." The king was very sad to hear this
report; but he kept his sorrow to himself, and did not reveal his
heart to his counsellors. He grieved, not because of the value of the
reliquary, but because it had been handed down to him by his father,
whose will and recommendations it contained.
As time went on, the king forgot his lost reliquary. He ceased
looking for it. His daughter the princess was now grown up. She was
beautiful, happy, good-natured, and modest. Those who saw her said
that she was not inferior even to Elsa, Judith, or Anne Boleyn. Now,
the king wished his daughter to marry, so that there might be some
one to inherit his throne when he died. He made his desire known to
his counsellors. He told them that, if they agreed, he would issue
proclamations throughout the whole kingdom and the neighboring cities,
towns, and villages. While this meeting with his council was going
on, the king stood up to powder his face. He took his powder-case
out of his pocket; but when he opened it, there inside he found, to
his surprise, a tuma.  He could not imagine how this tiny insect
had got into his box to eat the powder. Feeling very much ashamed,
he did not powder his face: he merely closed the box. The meeting
was adjourned without being finished; for when the king stood up,
the counsellors rose from their seats and silently left the room.
The king retired to his room, and opened his powder-case to look at
the tuma again. He was thoroughly astonished to find that what had
been but a tiny insect a moment before now filled the whole box. He
was indeed perplexed; so he consulted God. Then it came to his mind
to take the tuma from the box and place it in the cellar of the palace.
After three days the king found that a miracle had happened. The
cellar was filled with the tuma. He was not a little surprised. He
said to himself, "What a wonderful animal it is! In three days it has
grown to such an enormous size! If I let it live, I fear that it will
destroy the whole kingdom."
Then he heard a voice saying, "You need not fear, for the tuma
you nourish shall not produce bad fruit. But if you let it live,
it will have a long life, and will fill all of Marsella with its
huge body. Listen to me, and obey what I tell you! Let the tuma be
killed. Burn all its flesh, but save its skin. Use the skin for the
covers of a drum. When you have done all these things, write to all
your neighboring kingdoms and bet with them. Let them guess the kind
of skin out of which the heads of the drum are made. If you will but
obey me, and take care not to let any one know what I have told you,
you will become very rich." Then the voice ceased.
The king comprehended well all that the voice had told him: so he
called his Negro servant, and led him secretly into his room. The king
then said softly, "Let no one know of the secret that I am to disclose
to you, and you shall profit by it. I have a tuma which accidentally
got into my powder-case. One day I put the insect into the cellar,
where it has grown to an enormous size. Now, my command to you is
to kill the tuma, burn all its flesh, and clean its skin. Then have
the skin made into a drum. When everything is done perfectly, I will
Accordingly the Negro servant killed the tuma. He followed minutely
the king's directions. When the drum was finished, he presented it
to the king. Instead of receiving the promised reward, however, the
poor Negro was instantly put to death, for the king feared that he
might betray the secret.
King Palmarin then summoned all his counsellors. He said to them,
"I want you to spread the news of my desire." Taking out the drum
and putting it on the table, he continued, "Let all the villages,
cities, and kingdoms know of the wager. Any one who can guess of
what skin the covers of this drum are made, be he rich or poor, if
he is unmarried, he shall be my son-in-law. But if he fails to guess
aright, his property shall be forfeited to the crown if he is rich;
he shall lose his head if he is poor."
The counsellors proclaimed the edict. Many rich nobles, lords, princes,
and knights heard of it. All those who ventured lost their fortune,
for they could not guess what the drum was made of. So the king gained
much wealth. Among them there was one particularly rich, who declared
to the king his great desire to win the princess's hand. King Palmarin
said to this knight, "Examine the drum carefully." After looking at
it closely, he said, "This drum is made of sheep's hide."--"Your
observation has deceived you," said the king. "Now all the wealth
you have brought with you shall be mine."
"What can I do if fortune turns against me?" said the knight.
"Let your Majesty send his servants to get all my property from
The names of the hides of all known animals were given, but no one
guessed correctly. At last some of those who had been defeated said
to the king, "Of what is the drum made?"
"I cannot tell you yet," replied the king.
In one of the villages where the edict was proclaimed there lived a
young man named Juan. He was an orphan. After the death of his parents,
the property he had inherited from them he gave to the poor. One day
me met the king's messengers, who explained the edict minutely to him,
so that he might tell about it to others. Don Juan then went away. He
was sad, for he had no wealth to take with him to Marsella. Though
he had inherited much property, he had given away most of it, so that
now very little was left to him.
One day, while he was looking about his farm, he saw all of a sudden
some dead persons lying prostrate in the thicket. They had been
murdered by bandits. He hired men to bury these corpses decently in
the sacred ground, and paid the priest to celebrate masses for their
souls. He then returned home sad, meditating on his bad luck.
At midnight, while he was sleeping soundly, he heard a voice
saying to him, "Go to Marsella and take part in the wager of King
Palmarin. Do not be troubled because you have no riches. Your horses
are enough. Equip them in the best way you can." Then the voice ceased.
Don Juan felt very glad. The next morning he prepared materials for
equipping his horses, and hired laborers, whom he paid double so as to
hasten the work. The harnesses were of pure gold, decorated with pearls
and rubies. The saddle-cloths were embroidered. Two of the horses
(they were all very fat, and had long manes) were hazel-colored,
two were spotted, two were orange-colored, and one was white. When
everything was ready, Don Juan mounted the white one, and loaded on
the other six his baggage.
God rewarded Don Juan for what he had done to the dead bodies. He
called St. Michael, and said to him, "Go to purgatory and get six
of the souls who were benefited by Don Juan, for now is the time for
them to repay him. They shall go back to the world to meet Don Juan
on his way, follow him to Marsella, and provide him with everything
he needs. They must not leave him until you call them back, for
there are many serious dangers on his way." The angel went on his
errand. He selected six souls, and told them to return to the world
to help Don Juan. The spirits were glad to go, for they longed to
repay their benefactor.
Don Juan was now on his journey. As he rode along, the birds in the
forest sang to cheer him, so that the long journey might not tire
him. By and by he saw a man in the middle of the forest, lying on
his face. "Grandpa, what are you doing there?" said Juan.
"I am observing the world. Are you not a nobleman? Whither are
"To Marsella," replied Don Juan.
"To bet? If that is your purpose, you are sure to lose, for it is
certain that you cannot guess of what the drum is made," interrupted
"I entreat you to tell me the right answer, if you know it," said
"I will not only tell it to you, but I will also accompany you. That
is why I am here. I was waiting for you to pass," said the man.
"Grandpa, I'm astonished. You must be a prophet."
"You are right. I am the sage prophet Noet Noen,  who will go
with you to King Palmarin."
"I appreciate your help and am grateful to you, grandpa," said Don
Juan. "You had better ride on one of the horses."
Noet Noen and Don Juan rode on together. The prophet then related to
Juan the whole story of the tuma that had got into the powder-case
of the king. While the two travellers were talking, they saw a man
sitting under a tree. As it was very hot, they dismounted so that
their horses might rest. Don Juan was surprised at the stranger. He
was whistling; and every time he whistled, the wind blew strong,
so that the trees in the forest were broken off. This man was Supla
Supling, a companion and friend of Noet Noen.
"Supla Supling, why are you here?" said Noet Noen.
"To follow you," was the reply.
"If that is your desire," said Don Juan, "you will please mount one
of the horses." So the three men went on their journey. They had not
gone far when they met a man walking alone. Noet Noen said to him,
"What are you here for? Come along with us!" This man was Miran Miron,
who had a wonderfully loud voice. When he shouted, his sound was
more sonorous than thunder. He also had very keen sight. He could
see clearly an object, though it were covered with a cover a hundred
When the four travellers had gone a little farther, they saw a man
walking swiftly on one leg. They spurred up their horses to overtake
him, but in vain. At last Noet Noen said, "I think that is my friend
Curan Curing, so there is little hope of our catching him."
"Let me call him!" said Miran Miron, and he shouted.
When Curan Curing heard the voice, he stopped, so they reached
him. Miran Miron said to him, "You are in a great hurry. Where are
"You know that I cannot stop my feet when I walk," said Curan Curing.
"Why do you hold up one of your legs as if it were in pain?" said
"Do not be surprised at my walking on one foot; for, if I should let
loose the other one, I should walk straight out of the world."
"Will you join us, Curan Curing?" said Noet Noen.
"Oh, yes! Let me have a horse! If I should walk, you might lose me
on account of my speed," replied Curan Curing.
So the five adventurers went on together. As it soon grew very warm,
they stopped to rest under a tree.
Then they saw a wounded deer coming toward them. As they were hungry,
they killed it and cooked it. While they were eating, the hunter
Punta Punting came. He said, "Have you seen a wounded deer?"
"Oh, yes! here it is. We are eating it already," said Supla Supling,
"for we are very hungry."
"I'm glad that the deer I wounded relieves your hunger," said Punta
Punting. "What are you all doing here? Where are you going? Why don't
you take me with you?"
"If that is your wish, we are very glad to have you," said Don Juan.
The little party rode on, but suddenly stopped; for a mountain was
walking toward them. As it approached, they saw that a man was carrying
the mountain. Don Juan was not a little surprised at this astonishing
feat of strength. "Where have you been, Carguen Cargon? Where did
you get that mountain?" said Noet Noen.
"I took it from behind the church of Candaba, for I want to transfer it
here, where the land is level. This mountain is not fitted for Candaba;
for the natives, rich or poor, build their houses out of wood,--even
the poorest, who cannot afford such luxury. They desolate its forests,
for they cut down even the young trees." Then with a great thunder
Carguen Cargon dropped his burden on the land of Arayat, just behind
the church. On account of its immense size, this mountain reached
clear to de la Paz. The slopes reached Calumpit, and its base was in
view of Apalit. Thus we see that Mount Alaya (Arayat) has come from
Candaba. The original site of this mountain became a river, swamps,
and brooks. Now Candaba has many ponds.
"Friend, I entreat you to come with us!" said Noet Noen.
"I shall be glad to go with you, if I shall only have the opportunity
of serving you with my strength," replied Carguen Cargon.
Now the little band of seven travelled on. When they came near the
gates of Marsella, Noet Noen said, "Let us rest here first!" There
they hired a house, where they staid at the expense of Don Juan.
The next morning Don Juan made himself ready to go on alone. Leading
his horses, he was about to start for the palace, when Noet Noen
called to him, and said, "Be sure not to forget the name of the skin
I told you. Put it in the depths of your heart."
"Have no fear that I shall forget," said Don Juan. "Furthermore,
Don Juan, I want you to undertake to do whatever the king may ask of
you. Do not refuse. No matter how hard the task the king may impose
on you, do not hesitate to undertake it; for God Almighty is ever
merciful, and will help you. If the king requires you to do anything,
just come back here and let me know of it. Now you may go. Take
courage, for God loves a person who suffers," said Noet Noen.
"Good-by to every one of you!" said Don Juan to his companions. Then
he went on his journey. When he reached the palace, he asked the
soldier who was on guard to announce him to the king. When the king
heard of the message, he said to the soldier, "Let him come in, if
his purpose is to bet; but assure him that, if he loses, he shall
also lose his life."
Then the soldier went back to the gate, and said to the stranger,
"The king admits you into his presence."
Don Juan entered the palace. He saluted the king. "What is it that
you want? Tell it to me, so that I may know," said the king.
"O king! pardon me for disturbing your Majesty. It is the edict your
Highness issued that gives me the right to come here, and that has made
me forget my inferiority; for I do rely entirely on the fact that your
word in the proclamation will never be broken. So now I hope, that,
if fortune goes with me, your Majesty will carry out his promise."
These words made the king laugh, for he was sure that there was no
one who could beat him in the wager: so he said, "What property have
you with you that you wish to risk?"
Don Juan replied, "Six horses, of which your Highness can make use."
The king looked out the window, and there he saw Don Juan's
horses. King Palmarin was much pleased at their beauty, sleekness, and
elegance of equipment. Turning to Don Juan, he said, "Do you really
wish to bet? I feel as if you were already beaten. Princes and wise
kings have taken part in the wager, and all have lost. I tell you
about them because I do not want you to repent in the end. Moreover,
I have pity for your life and your property."
"What can I do if fortune turns against me? I will never lay the
fault on anybody."
"Well," said the king, leading Don Juan to the table where the drum
was, "try your skill."
Holding and sounding the drum, and pretending to examine it carefully,
Juan said softly to the king, "I think that it is made of the skin
of a tuma," and he went on relating to the king the whole story of
the tuma from the time it got into his powder-case, until the king
"Enough! You have beaten me."
"I am glad if I have. I hope that the terms of the proclamation will
be fulfilled," said Don Juan.
The king remarked, "You are not fitted to join my royal family. Such
a low person as you would disgrace me, and humble my dynasty. So take
your horses with you and go back to your country."
"O king! I am not at fault in the least. It is your Majesty who issued
the edict that any one, rich or poor, who could beat you in the wager,
should be wedded to your daughter. Now I only cling to the right your
Majesty has given me," returned Don Juan. "I had been thinking that
the proclamation your Highness signed would be kept; for it is known
far and wide that you are a king."
By this answer King Palmarin was perplexed. He stopped for a moment to
consider the matter. Then the thought of getting rid of Don Juan--that
is, of killing him--came into his mind: so he said, "Though you are
far below my family, if you can do what I shall ask you to do now,
I will admit you into the royal line."
"I am always ready to obey your Majesty's command," said Don Juan.
"I had a reliquary, which I inherited from my royal father. I lost
it while I was hunting once in the forest twenty years ago. Now I
want you to look for it. I will give you three days. If you do not
find it in that time, you shall be severely punished," said the king.
Don Juan left the court and returned to his companions. He told them
what had passed between him and the king in the palace. Noet Noen
encouraged him, and said, "Do not be sad! for by the aid of God the
reliquary shall be found. Remember, there is nothing difficult if you
call on God.--What do you say, comrades? It is now time for you to
help Don Juan, so as to distract him from his sorrow.--Miran Miron,
as you have keen eyes, it will not take you long to find it. Try your
best, and look everywhere."
"Trust me; I'll be responsible for finding it," said Miran
Miron. "To-morrow I will set out in quest of it."
As to the king, he was at ease, for he was sure that Don Juan could
not find the reliquary.
The next day Miran Miron set out in search of the reliquary, which
he found covered with thirty yards of earth. He dug out the earth
until he reached the locket; then he returned to his companions,
and delivered it to Don Juan. His comrades, seeing him rejoice at
the sight of the reliquary, said, "Again we have beaten the king."
Noet Noen said, "Don Juan, to-morrow take King Palmarin his reliquary."
The next day Don Juan set out for the court. When he reached the
palace, he saluted the king, who was astonished. "How! Don Juan,
have you given up so soon? How goes the quest?"
"Here, I have found the reliquary," said Don Juan, taking it out and
putting it on the table. Then he continued, "Let your Majesty examine
to see if it is the right one."
The king looked at it carefully. Indeed, it was his own reliquary. He
said to himself, "What a wonder Don Juan is! In two days without any
difficulty he has found the reliquary. I did not even tell him the
exact place where I lost it, and many people failed to come across it
as soon as it was missed. Here in Marsella he has no equal." Then he
said to Don Juan, "I am astonished at the ability you have shown. There
is no tongue that can express my gratitude to you for bringing me
back my reliquary, the delight of my heart."
Don Juan replied, "If there is yet something to be done, let your
Highness command his loyal vassal, who is always ready to obey."
"If that is so, in order that you may obtain what you wish," said
the king, "go to Rome and take my letter to the Pope. Wait for his
answer. I will also send another person to carry the same message. The
one who comes after the other shall receive death as a punishment,"
said the king.
"Your loyal subject will try to obey you," said Don Juan.
So the king wrote two letters to the holy Pope, and gave one to Don
Juan, who immediately left the palace and went to his friends. He
was sad, meditating on his fate.
The king's messenger, Bruja,  set out for Rome that very moment. He
was told to use his charm and to hurry up. So he went flying swiftly,
like an arrow shot from a bow.
When Don Juan reached his comrades, he said, "I gave the reliquary
to the king. Now he wants me to go to Rome to deliver this letter
to the Pope and wait for his answer. At the same time the king has
sent another messenger. If I come after his arrival in Marsella,
I shall lose my life. You see what a hard task the king has given
me. I do not know very well the way to Rome, and, besides, the wise
Bruja is winged."
"Do not worry," said Noet Noen. "If God will, we shall defeat the
king. Even if he has Bruja to send, you have some one also: so pluck
up your courage!"
"What do you say, Curan Curing? Show your skill, and go to Rome flying
like the wind," said Noet Noen.
"Do not be troubled, Don Juan," said Curan Curing. "I will carry the
letter even to the gates of heaven. For me a journey to Rome is not
far--in just one leap I shall be there. Give me the letter. To-morrow
I will set out. To-day I will rest, so that I can walk fast." Don Juan
gave Curan Curing the letter, and they all went to sleep. Perhaps by
this time Bruja had already arrived at Rome.
The next morning Curan Curing started on his journey to deliver
the letter to the Pope. When he was half way to Rome, he met Bruja
walking very swiftly, and already returning to Marsella. "Are you
Don Juan?" said Bruja, "and are you just going to Rome now? You are
beaten. Do not waste your energy any more. If you walk like that,
you cannot reach Rome in two months."
Bruja spoke so, because Curan Curing was walking on only one leg. But
when he heard these words, he let loose his other leg and went faster
than a bullet. He arrived almost instantly at Rome, and delivered
the letter to the holy Pope, who, after reading it, wrote an answer
and gave it to the messenger.
Curan Curing then made his way back towards his companions. He went as
fast as the wind, and overtook Bruja on the road. "What! Are you still
here? What is the matter? How is it that you have not reached Marsella
yet? Where is that boast of yours, that I am already beaten? Now I
am sure that you will disappoint your king, who relies too much upon
your skill," said Curan Curing.
Bruja, fearing that he should be defeated, for Don Juan's messenger
was very spry, planned to trick Curan Curing. So Bruja said, "Friend,
let us rest here a while! I have a little wine with me. We will drink
it, if it pleases you, and take a little rest while the sun is so hot."
"Oh, yes! if you have some wine. It will be a fine thing for us to
drink to quench our thirst," replied Curan Curing.
The wine was no sooner handed to him than he fell asleep. Then Bruja
put on one of Curan Curing's fingers a ring, so as to insure victory
for the king. Whoever had Bruja's ring would sleep soundly and never
wake as long as the charmed ring was on his finger. So Bruja, with
a light heart, flew away and left the sleeping messenger. Bruja
flew so swiftly, that in a moment he was seen by Curan Curing's
companions. When they saw the king's messenger coming swiftly near
them, they felt very sad. But as soon as Supla Supling was sure that
it was Bruja flying through the air toward them, he said, "Let me
manage him! I will make his journey longer. I will blow him back,
so that he will not win." Supla Supling then breathed deeply and
blew. Bruja was carried back beyond Rome. How Don Juan's companions
rejoiced! Bruja did not sleep during the whole night: he was trying
his best to reach Marsella.
The next morning Noet Noen said, "I never thought that our friend
Curan Curing would be so slow. He has not come yet. Bruja has made him
drink wine and has put him to sleep. The trickish fellow has placed
on one of Curan Curing's fingers a magic ring, which keeps him in a
When Punta Punting heard Noet Noen's words, he shot his arrow, though
he could not see the object he was aiming at. But the ring was hit,
and the arrow returned to its master with the magic ring on it. Such
was the virtue of Punta Punting's arrow. As for Curan Curing, he was
awakened. He felt the ring being moved from his finger; but the charm
was still working in him, and he fell asleep again.
Noet Noen, knowing that Curan Curing was again asleep, called Miran
Miron, and said, "Pray, wake the sleeper under the tree !"
Miran Miron then shouted. Curan Curing awoke suddenly, frightened
at the noise. Now, being wide awake, he realized the trick Bruja
had played on him. He looked to see if he still had the Pope's
letter. Luckily Bruja had not stolen it. Curan Curing then began
his journey. Though he went faster than the lightning, he could not
overtake Bruja, who was very far ahead of him. In the mean time Bruja
was seen by Miran Miron. He was enraged, and cried out loud. When Supla
Supling heard his friend shout, he blew strongly. Bruja got stuck
in the sky: he was scorched by the glowing sun. Not long afterwards
Curan Curing arrived, and gave the letter to Don Juan.
Don Juan at once set out for Marsella. When he reached the palace,
he delivered the Pope's letter to the king. The king, realizing that
he was beaten, said to Don Juan, "Though you have won, I will not
grant your request, for you are too inferior. You may go."
Don Juan replied, "Great King, nobody ordered your Highness to issue
the decree to which your hand did sign your name. I trusted your
word, and I ventured to take part in the wager. Now, honorable king,
my complaint is that your Majesty breaks his word."
The king was meditating as to what to do next to check Don Juan. At
last he said, "I want you to show me some more of your wisdom. If
you can sail on dry land, and I can see your ship to-morrow morning
moored here in front of the palace, I will believe in your power and
wisdom. So you may go. My subjects, the queen, and I will be here to
see you sail on dry land to-morrow morning."
Don Juan did not complain at all. He rose from his seat, sad and
melancholy, and bade the king good-by. When he reached his companions,
Noet Noen said, "You need not speak. I know what is the matter. I
will manage the business, and all our comrades will help, so that our
sailing on dry land to-morrow will not be delayed.--Carguen Cargon,
my friend, go to the inn and fetch a large strong ship."
Carguen Cargon went on his errand. It was not long before he found the
right ship. So, shouldering it, he brought it back to his companions.
The next day everything was ready for the journey. Noet Noen said,
"You will be in charge of the rudder, Carguen Cargon, so that the ship
may go smoothly.--Supla Supling, sit at the stern and blow the sails,
so that we may go fast.--The rest of us will serve as mariners. Cry
'Happy voyage!' as soon as we enter the city."
Accordingly Supla Supling blew the sails. The wind roared, and many
trees fell down. The little band sailed through the kingdom. All the