Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tagalog Babes in the Woods.

Once upon a time there was a cruel father who hated his twin children,
Juan and Maria, and drove them from the house on every occasion.

The children used to live on the grains of rice that fell through
the bamboo floor, and such food as their mother could smuggle to them.

At last, when they were about six years old, their father took them
off into the forest and left them without food or drink. They wandered
for three days, being preserved by such fruits and leaves as they
could gather.

Finally poor Maria said she could go no farther, but that she would
die. Juan cut a mountain bamboo and from its hollow joints gave Maria
a refreshing drink. Then he climbed a tree and in the distance saw
a house. After much exertion they reached it and called out, "Tauo
po." [19] A voice from within said, "Come in, children." They went in
and found a table set, but no one was there, though the same voice
said, "Eat and drink all you want." They did so, and after saying,
"Thank you, good-by," they started to go away, but again they were
bidden to stay. So they stayed on for a long time until Juan was a
young man and Maria a young woman. From a great chest that stood in
the corner they took out new clothing as their old wore out, and the
chest was never empty, and there was always food in the magic dishes
on the table.

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