Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Queen and the Aeta Woman

There was once a king who was sick unto death. Though he was already
married to a beautiful and charming woman, he promised to marry any
woman who could save his life or recall him after death. Then he died
and after his death the queen was superintending the preparations
for burial and getting ready the collation for the mourners. While
she was busy, an Aeta (Negrito) woman, black, ill-favored, dirty,
and smelling like a goat went into the room. Kneeling by the body,
she began pulling out pins from the flesh, and soon the king awoke,
but his mind was lost. He clasped the Aeta woman to him and showered
on her terms of endearment, thinking that she was the queen, while
all the time the real queen was without.

Seeing how matters stood, the Aeta woman called the queen, "Maria,
Maria, bring food for the king," and she forced the queen to obey
her and work as a slave in the kitchen, while she wore the queen's
robes and lay on the queen's couch. Of course this made a scandal,
but no one could interfere until at last a soldier passed through the
kitchen and seeing the queen's face red with the fire and noting her
beauty, he called the king's attention to her. Then the king remembered
Maria and that she was the real queen, and that the other was only a
hideous Aeta usurper, and he had the Aeta woman tied in a sack with
stones and thrown into the sea.

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