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Sagacious Marcela Post by :intent Category :Short Stories Author :Dean S. Fansler Date :November 2011 Read :4560

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Sagacious Marcela

Version (a) Sagacious Marcela

Narrated by Lorenzo Licup, a Pampangan.

Long, long before the Spaniards came, there lived a man who had a beautiful, virtuous, and, above all, clever daughter. He was a servant of the king. Marcela, the daughter, loved her father devotedly, and always helped him with his work. From childhood she had manifested a keen wit and undaunted spirit. She would even refuse to obey unjust orders from the king. No question was too hard for her to answer, and the king was constantly being surprised at her sagacity.

One day the king conceived a plan by which he might test the ingenious Marcela. He bade his servants procure a tiny bird and carry it to her house. "Tell her," said the king, "to make twelve dishes out of that one bird."

The servants found Marcela sewing. They told her of the order of the king. After thinking for five minutes, she took one of her pins, and said to the servants, "If the king can make twelve spoons out of this pin, I can also make twelve dishes out of that bird." On receiving the answer, the king realized that the wise Marcela had gotten the better of him; and he began to think of another plan to puzzle her.

Again he bade his servants carry a sheep to Marcela's house. "Tell her," he said, "to sell the sheep for six reales, and with the money this very same sheep must come back to me alive."

At first Marcela could not make out what the king meant for her to do. Then she thought of selling the wool only, and not the whole sheep. So she cut off the wool and sold it for six reales, and sent the money with the live sheep back to the king. Thus she was again relieved from a difficulty.

The king by this time realized that he could not beat Marcela in points of subtlety. However, to amuse himself, he finally thought of one more scheme to test her sagacity. It took him two weeks to think it out. Summoning a messenger, he said to him, "Go to Marcela, and tell her that I am not well, and that my physician has advised me to drink a cup of bull's milk. Therefore she must get me this medicine, or her father will lose his place in the palace." The king also issued an order that no one was to bathe or to wash anything in the river, for he was going to take a bath the next morning.

As soon as Marcela had received the command of the king and had heard of his second order, she said, "How easy it will be for me to answer this silly order of the king!" That night she and her father killed a pig, and smeared its blood over the sleeping-mat, blanket, and pillows. When morning came, Marcela took the stained bed-clothing to the source of the river, where the king was bathing. As soon as the king caught sight of her, he said in a voice of thunder, "Why do you wash your stuff in the river when you know I ordered that nobody should use the river to-day but me?"

Marcela replied, "It is the custom, my lord, in our country, to wash the mat, pillows, and other things stained with blood, immediately after a person has given birth to a child. As my father gave birth to a child last night, custom forces me to disobey your order, although I do it much against my will."

"Nonsense!" said the king. "The idea of a man giving birth to a child! Absurd! Ridiculous!"

"My lord," said Marcela, "it would be just as absurd to think of getting milk from a bull."

Then the king, recollecting his order, said, "Marcela, as you are so witty, clever, and virtuous, I will give you my son for your husband."


Version (b) King Tasio.

Narrated by Leopoldo Faustino, a Tagalog, who says that the story is popular and common among the people of La Laguna province.

Juan was a servant in the palace of King Tasio. One day King Tasio heard Juan discussing with the other servants in the kitchen the management of the kingdom. Juan said that he knew more than anybody else in the palace. The king called Juan, and told him to go down to the seashore and catch the rolling waves.

"You said that you are the wisest man in the palace," said the king. "Go and catch the waves of the sea for me."

"That's very easy, O king!" said Juan, "if you will only provide me with a rope made of sand taken from the seashore."

The king did not know what to answer. He left Juan without saying anything, went into his room, and began to think of some more difficult work.

The next day he called Juan. "Juan, take this small bird and make fifty kinds of food out of it," said the king.

"Yes, sir!" said Juan, "if you will only provide me with a stove, a pan, and a knife made out of this needle," handing a needle to the king, "with which to cook the bird." Again the king did not know what to do. He was very angry at Juan.

"Juan, get out of my palace! Don't you let me see you walking on my ground around this palace without my consent!" said the king.

"Very well, sir!" said Juan, and he left the palace immediately.

The next day King Tasio saw Juan in front of the palace, riding on his paragos (31) drawn by a carabao.

"Did I not tell you not to stand or walk on my ground around this palace? Why are you here now? Do you mean to mock me?" shouted the king.

"Well," said Juan, "will your Majesty's eyes please see whether I am standing on your ground or not? This is my ground." And he pointed to the earth he had on his paragos. "I took this from my orchard."

"That's enough, Juan," said King Tasio. "I can have no more foolishness." The king felt very uncomfortable, because many of his courtiers and servants were standing there listening to his talk with Juan.

"Juan, put this squash into this jar. Be careful! See that you do not break either the squash or the jar," said the king, as he handed a squash and a jar to Juan. Now, the neck of the jar was small, and the squash was as big as the jar. So Juan had indeed a difficult task.

Juan went home. He put a very small squash, which he had growing in his garden, inside the jar. He did not, however, cut it from the vine. After a few weeks the squash had grown big enough to fill the jar. Juan then picked off the squash enclosed in the jar, and went to the king. He presented the jar to the king when all the servants, courtiers, and visitors from other towns were present. As soon as the king saw the jar with the squash in it, he fainted. It was many hours before he recovered.



A third version (c), a Bicol story entitled "Marcela outwits the King," narrated by Gregorio Frondoso of Camarines, resembles closely the Pampango story of Marcela, with these minor differences:--

The heroine is the daughter of the king's adviser Bernardo. To test the girl's wit, the king sends her a mosquito he has killed, and tells her to cook it in such a way that it will serve twelve persons. She sends back a pin to him, with word that if he can make twelve forks from the pin, the mosquito will serve twelve persons. The second and third tasks are identical with those in the Pampango version. At last, satisfied with her sagacity, the king makes her his chief counsellor.

In addition to the three popular tales of the "Clever Lass" cycle, two chap-book versions of the story, containing incidents lacking in the folk-tales, may be mentioned here:--

A Buhay nang isang pastorang tubo sa villa na naguing asaua nang hari sa isang calabasa. ("Life of a Shepherdess who was born in a town, and who became the Wife of a King because of a Pumpkin.") Manila, 1908. This story is in verse, and comprises sixty-six quatrains of 12-syllable assonanced lines. It is known only in Tagalog, I believe.

B Buhay na pinagdaanan ni Rodolfo na anac ni Felizardo at ni Prisca sa cahariang Valencia. ("Life of Rodolfo, Son of Felizardo and Prisca, in the Kingdom of Valencia.") Maynila, 1910. Like the preceding, this corrido is known only in Tagalog, and is written in 12-syllable assonanced lines.

Of these two printed versions, I give below a literal translation of the first (A), not only because it is short (264 lines), but also because it will be seen to be closely connected with the folk-tales. For help in making this translation I am under obligation to Mr. Salvador Unson, which I gratefully acknowledge. The second story (B) I give only in partial summary. It is much too long to be printed in full, and, besides, contains many incidents that have nothing to do with our cycle. It will be noticed that "Rodolfo" (B) resembles rather the European forms of the story; while A and the three folk-tales are more Oriental, despite the conventional historical setting of A.



"Cay Calabasa: The Life of a Shepherdess born in a town, who became the Wife of a King because of a Pumpkin."

1. Ye holy angels in the heavens, help my tongue to express and to relate the story I will tell.

2. In early times, when Adoveneis, King of Borgoña, was still alive, he went out into the plains to hunt for deer, and accidentally became separated from his companions.

3. In his wandering about, he saw a hut, which had a garden surrounding it. A beautiful young maiden took care of the garden, in which were growing melons and pumpkins.

4. The king spoke to the maiden, and asked, "What plants are you growing here?" The girl replied, "I am raising pumpkins and melons."

5. Now, the king happened to be thirsty, and asked her for but a drink. "We were hunting in the heat of the day, and I felt this thirst come on me."

6. The maiden replied, "O illustrious king! we have water in a mean jar, but it is surely not fitting that your Majesty should drink from a jar!

7. "If we had a jar of pure gold, in which we could put water from a blest fountain, then it would be proper for your Majesty. It is not right or worthy that you should drink from a base jar."

8. The king replied to the girl, "Never mind the jar, provided the water is cool." The maiden went into the house, and presently the king drank his fill.

9. After he had drunk, he handed her back the jar; but when the maiden had received it (in her hands), she suddenly struck it against the staircase. The jar was shattered to bits.

10. The king saw the act and wondered at it, and in his heart he thought that the maiden had no manners. For the impudence of her action, he decided to punish her.

11. (He said) "You see in me, the traveller, a noble king, and (you know) that I hold the crown. Why did you shatter that jar of yours, received from my hands?"

12. The maiden replied, "The reason I broke the jar, long kept for many years by my mother, O king! is that I should not like to have it used by another."

13. After hearing that, the king made no reply, but returned (back) towards the city, believing in his heart that the woman to whom he had spoken was virtuous.

14. After some time the king one day ordered a soldier to carry to the maiden a new narrow-necked jar, into which she was to put a pumpkin entire.

15. He also ordered the soldier to tell the girl that she should not break the jar, but that the jar and pumpkin should remain entire.

16. Inasmuch as the maiden was clever, her perception good, and her understanding bold, she answered with another problem: she sent him back a jar that already had a pumpkin in it.

17. She delivered it to the soldier, and the upshot of her reply was this: "The pumpkin and the jar are whole. The king must remove the pumpkin without breaking the jar."

18. The soldier shouldered it and went back to the king, and told him that her answer was that he should take the pumpkin out of the jar, and leave both whole.

19. When the king saw the jar, he said nothing; but he thought in his heart that he would send her another puzzle.

20. Again by the soldier he sent her a bottle, and requested that it be filled with the milk of a bull. (He further added,) that, if the order was not complied with, she should be punished.

21. The girl's answer to the king was this: "Last night my father gave birth to a child; and even though you order it, it is impossible for me to get (you?) any bull's milk (to-day?)."

22. Who would not wonder, when he comes to hear of it, at the language back and forth between the king and the girl! For what man can give birth to a child, and what bull can give milk?

23. At a great festival which the king gave, attended by knights and counts, he sent a pipit (32) to the girl, and ordered her to cook seven dishes of it.

24. The maiden (in reply) sent the king a needle, and asked him to make a steel frying-pan, knife, and spit out of it, which she might use in cooking the pipit.

25. The king again sent to her with this word: "If you are really very intelligent and if you are truly wise, you will catch the waves and bind them."

26. The soldier returned at once to the maiden, and told her that the orders of the king were that she should catch and bind the waves.

27. The maiden sent back word by the soldier that it is not proper to disobey a king. "Tell the king to make me a rope out of the loam I am sending."

28. Again the soldier returned to the palace, and, taking the black earth to the king, he said, "Make her a rope out of this loam, with which she will catch and bind the waves."

29. After the soldier had delivered his message, the king was almost shaking with rage. "Who under heaven can make a rope out of loam?"

30. Now he ordered the soldier to fetch the maiden. "And for her impudence," he said, "I will punish her."

31. He ordered the soldier to make haste and to return at once. The maiden did not resist her punishment, and was placed in a well.

32. Now, this well into which she was cast lay in front of the window of the king, so that whenever he should look out of the window he might see her.

33. One morning, as he looked out and saw her there below him, she asked him to give her fire.

34. The king said to her, "I am a world-famed king, and it is not my desire to descend just because of your request. Go ask fire from the mountain."

35. The girl made no answer to his jesting reply. Some time later the king held some games, and ordered that the maiden be taken out of the well.

36. The king told her that she was pardoned for all her offences. "But as long as I have visitors (?)," he said, "you are to be my cook."

37. Then this order was given to the girl: "You are to cook the food. Everything must be well prepared. All the food must be palatable and tasty."

38. The maiden, however, deliberately left all the food unsalted; but she fastened to the bottom of the plate the necessary salt.

39. When at the table the king and his council were not satisfied with the food, because there was no salt in it, the maiden was again summoned.

40. "I ordered you to cook because you were clever; but you took no care of the cooking. Why am I thus insulted and my honor destroyed before my guests?"

41. The maiden at once returned answer to the council and to his Majesty: "Look underneath the plates; and if there is not the necessary salt, my lord, condemn me as you see fit."

42. She had those near the king lift their plates, and she had him look under. The salt was found not lacking, and the king ceased from his contention and thought about the matter.

43. Then he said, "If you had mixed in a little with the food, then it would have been good and palatable. Explain to me the significance of your act."

44. "O great king!" answered the maiden, "I can easily reply to your question. By leaving the salt out, I meant me, and no one else (i.e., she meant to suggest her own case when she was in the well).

45. "You instructed me to get fire from the mountain. Why can you not taste this salt, which is just under the plate?

46. "Because I am an unfortunate person, an unworthy shepherdess from the woods. If I were a city-bred person, even though most ordinary, I should be honored in your presence."

47. To the reply of the girl the king shook his head, and pressed his forehead (in thought). He had fallen in love, and his heart was oppressed. He determined to marry her.

48. They were married at once, and at once she was clothed as a queen; although she was only a lowly shepherdess, she was loved because of the sweetness of her voice.

49. After living together a long time, they had a quarrel: the king had conceived a dislike for her cleverness.

50. "Return at once to your father and mother," he said. "Go back to the mountains and live there.

51. "I will allow you to take with you whatever you want,--gold, silver, dresses. Take with you also two maids."

52. The queen could not utter a word; silently she let her tears fall. She thought that bad fortune had come upon her.

53. To be brief, the king got up from his chair and lay down in his bed. He pretended to go to sleep in order that he might not see the queen depart.

54. When the queen saw that the king was really sleeping, she covered him up (in her sorrow), and summoned the servants.

55. She ordered them to lift him up and carry him to the mountains. "In carrying him, be careful not to wake him until the mountains are reached."

56. They lifted the bed and took him downstairs; but when they were carrying it out of the palace, the bed struck against the front door. The king awoke in surprise.

57. He said, "What is the reason for carrying away a sleeping man?" He asked them whether they intended to throw away their sovereign.

58. At once he summoned the guards of the palace and ordered the arrest of the servants; but they protested that they were merely obeying the orders of the queen.

59. Then the king asked where the queen was who had ordered that. He had her brought before him, and demanded of her why she wished to cast him away.

60. The queen answered, reminding him thus: "My husband, my beloved, what did you tell me some time ago when you were driving me away?

61. "Did you not tell me to select whatever I might desire, including gold and silver, and take it with me? You are my choice.

62. "Even if I should become very good and very rich, I should still be without honor before God and the people.

63. "It would be shameful to the Divine Word for us married people to separate. You would be taunted by your counsellors for having married some one beneath you."

64. Her reply reminded the king that whatever might happen, they were married, and should remain together all their lives.

65. "Forgive me, my wife, light of my eyes! Forgive the wrongs I have done! I am to blame for the mistake (i.e., for my thoughtlessness)."

66. From then on, they loved each other the more, and were happy because they never quarrelled further.




Rodolfo was the only son of Felizardo and Prisca, who lived in Valencia. When Rodolfo was seven years old, he was sent to school, and proved to be an apt scholar; but his father died within a few years, and the boy was obliged to abandon his studies because of poverty. At the suggestion of his mother, Rodolfo one day set out for the capital, where he sought a place in the palace as servant. In time he was appointed head steward (mayor-domo) in the royal household. The king became so fond of this trusty servant, whose bravery, executive ability, and cleverness he could not help noticing, that finally he determined to make him his son-in-law by marrying him to the princess Leocadia. When Rodolfo was offered Leocadio's hand by her father, however, he respectfully declined the honor, saying that though he admired the beauty of the princess, he did not admire her character, and could not take her as his wife. The king was so angry that he ordered Rodolfo cast into prison; but after a few days' consideration, he had him released, and promised to pardon him for the insult if within a month he could bring before the king as his wife just such a virtuous woman as he had stipulated his wife should be.

Rodolfo left the palace, taking with him only a pair of shoes and an umbrella. On his way he saw an old man, whom he invited to go along with him. Shortly afterwards they saw a funeral procession, and Rodolfo asked his companion whether the man that was to be buried was still alive. The old man did not reply, because he thought that his companion was a fool. Outside the city they met many persons planting highland rice on a mountain-clearing (kaingin). Again Rodolfo spoke, and asked if the rice that the farmers were planting was already eaten; but the old man remained silent. In the course of their journey they reached a shallow river. Rodolfo put on his shoes and waded across. When he reached the other bank, he removed his shoes again and carried them in his hand. Next they passed a great plain. When they became tired from the heat, they rested by the side of the road under a big tree. Here Rodolfo opened his umbrella, which he had not used when they were crossing the hot plain. Once more the old man believed that his companion was crazy.

At last the travellers reached the old man's house, but the old man did not invite Rodolfo to spend the night with him. Rodolfo went into the house, however, for he saw that a young woman lived in the house. This was Estela, the old man's daughter, who received the stranger very kindly. That night, when Estela set the table for supper, she gave to her father the head and neck of the chicken, the wings to her mother, the body to Rodolfo, and the legs to herself. After eating their meal, the old man and his wife left Estela and Rodolfo together in the dining-room. Rodolfo expressed his love for her, for he had already recognized her worth. When she found that he was in earnest, she said that she would accept him if her parents consented to the marriage. Then they joined the old couple in the main room; but there the father scolded her for showing hospitality to a visitor whom he considered a fool. He also felt insulted for having been given only the head and neck of the chicken. Accordingly the old man told his daughter how Rodolfo had foolishly asked him if the person to be buried was still alive, and whether the rice that the farmers were planting on the mountain-clearing had already been eaten. He also mentioned the fact that Rodolfo wore his shoes only when crossing the river, and that he had opened his umbrella only when they were in the shade of the tree. Estela, in reply, cleverly explained to her father the meaning of all Rodolfo had said and done. "The memory of a man who has done good during his lifetime will never be forgotten. Rodolfo wished to know whether the man to be buried was kind to his fellow-men. If he was, he will always be remembered, and he is not dead. When Rodolfo asked you whether the rice which the farmers were planting was already eaten, he wished to know if those farmers had borrowed so much rice from their landlords that the next harvest would only be enough to pay it back. In a river it is impossible to see the thorns which may hurt one's feet, so it is wise to wear shoes while crossing a river. The idea of opening an umbrella under a tree is a very good one, because it forms a protection against falling branches and fruits. I will tell you why I divided the chicken as I did. I gave you the head and neck because you are the head of the family; the wings I gave my mother because she took care of me in my childhood; the body I gave to Rodolfo, because it is courteous to please a visitor; the legs I kept myself, because I am your feet and hands."

The anger of Estela's father was pacified by her explanation. He was now convinced that Rodolfo was not a fool, but a wise man, and he invited Rodolfo to live with them. Rodolfo staid and helped with all the work about the house and in the field. At last, when the old man realized that Rodolfo loved Estela, he gave his consent to their marriage; and the next day they became husband and wife.

After his marriage, Rodolfo returned to Valencia, leaving Estela at her home in Babilonia, and reported to the king that he had found and taken as his wife a virtuous woman,--The rest of the story turns on the "chastity-wager" motif, and ends with the establishment of the purity of Rodolfo's wife. (For this motif, constituting a whole story, see "The Golden Lock," No. 30.)

An examination of the five representatives of this cycle of the "Clever Lass" in the Philippines reveals at least nine distinct problems (tasks or riddles) to be solved. For most of these, parallels may be found in other Oriental and in Occidental stories.

(1) Problem: catching waves of the sea. Solution: demanding rope of sand for the work. This identical problem and solution are found in a North Borneo story, "Ginas and the Rajah" (Evans, 468-469). In the "Maha-ummagga-jataka," No. 546, a series of nineteen tasks is set the young sage Mahosadha. One of these is to make a rope of sand. The wise youth cleverly sent some spokesmen to ask the king for a sample of the old rope, so that the new would not vary from the old. See also Child, 1 : 10-11, for a South Siberian story containing the counter-demand for thread of sand to make shoes from stone.

(2) Problem: making many kinds of food from one small bird, or twelve portions from mosquito. Solution: requiring king to make stove, pan, and bolo (or twelve forks) from needle (pin). Analogous to this task is Bolte and Polívka's motif B3 (2 : 349), the challenge to weave a cloth out of two threads. Bolte and Polívka enumerate thirty-five European folk-tales containing their motif B3.

(3) Problem: putting large squash whole into narrow-necked jar. Solution: hero grows squash in the jar (and sometimes demands that king remove the squash without breaking either it or the jar). I know of no other folk-tale occurrences of this task; it is not found in any of the European stories of this cycle, and may be an addition of the Tagalog narrators. It is a common enough trick, however, to grow a squash or cucumber in a small-necked bottle.

(4) Problem: getting milk from bull. Solution: hero tells king that his father has given birth to a child. Compare "Jataka," No. 546 (tr. by Cowell and Rouse, 6 : 167-168), in which the king sends his fattened bull to East Market-town with this message: "Here is the king's royal bull, in calf. Deliver him, and send him back with the calf, or else there is a fine of a thousand pieces." The solution of this difficulty is the same as above. See also Child, 1 : 10-11, for almost identical situation. This problem and No. 1 are to be found in a Tibetan tale (Ralston 2, 138, 140-141).

(5) Problem: selling lamb for a specified sum of money, and returning both animal and coin. Solution: heroine sells only the wool.

Two of these problems, (3) and (5), are soluble, and belong in kind with the "halb-geritten" motif, where the heroine is ordered to come to the king not clothed and not naked, not walking and not riding, not in the road and not out of the road, etc. The other three problems are not solved at all, strictly speaking: the heroine gets out of her difficulties by demanding of her task-master the completion of counter-tasks equally hard, or by showing him the absurdity of his demands. (See Bolte-Polívka, 2 : 362-370, for a full discussion of these subgroups.) "In all stories of the kind," writes Child, "the person upon whom a task is imposed stands acquitted if another of no less difficulty is devised which must be performed first. This preliminary may be something that is essential for the execution of the other, as in the German ballads, or equally well something that has no kind of relation to the original requisition, as in the English ballads." It will be seen that in the nature of the counter-demands the Filipino stories agree rather with the German than the English.

(6) Hero is forbidden to walk on the king's ground. To circumvent the king, hero fills a sledge with earth taken from his own orchard, and has himself drawn into the presence of his Majesty. When challenged, the hero protests that he is not on the king's ground, but his own. This same episode is found in "Juan the Fool," No. 49 (q. v.).

(7) The stealing of the sleeping king by the banished wife, who has permission to take with her from the palace what she loves best, is found only in A. This episode, however, is very common elsewhere, and forms the conclusion of more than seventy Occidental stories of this cycle. (See Bolte-Polívka, 2 : 349-355.)

(8) The division of the hen, found in B and also at the end of "Juan the Fool" (No. 49), is fully discussed by Bolte and Polívka (2 : 360). See also R. Köhler's notes to Gonzenbach, 2 : 205-206. The combination of this motif with the "chastity-wager" motif found in "Rodolfo" (B), is also met with in a Mentonais story, "La femme avisée" (Romania, 11 : 415-416).

(9) For wearing of shoes only when crossing rivers, and raising umbrella only when sleeping under a tree, see again "Juan the Fool." A rather close parallel to this incident, as well as to the seemingly foolish questions Rodolfo asks Estela's father, and the daughter's wise interpretation of them, may be found in the Kashmir story, "Why the Fish laughed" (Knowles, 484-490 = Jacob 1, No. XXIV). See also a Tibetan story in Ralston 2 : 111; Benfey in "Ausland," 1859, p. 487; Spence Hardy, "Manual of Buddhism," pp. 220-227, 364. Compare especially Bompas, No. LXXXIX, "The Bridegroom who spoke in Riddles."

Finally mention may be made of two Arabian stories overlooked by Bolte and Polívka, in one of which a woman sends supper to a stranger, and along with the food an enigmatical message describing what she has sent. The Negress porter eats a part of the food, but delivers the message. The stranger shrewdly guesses its meaning, and sends back a reply that convicts the Negress of theft of a part of the gift. The other story opens with the "bride-wager" riddle, and later enumerates many instances of the ingenuity of the clever young wife. See Phillott and Azoo, "Some Arab Folk-Tales from Hazramaut," Nos. I and XVII (in JRASB 2 (1906) : 399-439).

Benfey (Ausland, 1859, passim) traces the story of the "Clever Lass" back to India. The original situation consisted of the testing of the sagacity of a minister who had fallen into disgrace. This minister aids his royal master in a riddle-contest with a neighboring hostile king. Later in the development of the cycle these sagacity tests were transferred to a wife who helps her husband, or to a maiden who helps her father, out of similar difficulties. (Compare the last part of my note to No. 1 in this collection.) Bolte and Polívka, however (2 : 373) seem to think it probable that the last part of the story--the marriage of the heroine, her expulsion, and her theft of the sleeping king--was native to Europe.

The Filipino folk-tales belonging to this cycle appear to go back directly to India as a source. Incident 4 (see above) seems to me conclusive evidence, as this is a purely Oriental conception, being recorded only in India, Tibet, and South Siberia. The chap-book version (A) doubtless owes much to popular tradition in the Islands, although the anonymous author, in his "Preface to the Reader," says that he has derived his story from a book (unnamed),--hañgo sa novela. I have not been able to trace his original; there is no Spanish form of the tale, so far as I know.

Compare with this whole cycle No. 38, "A Negrito Slave," and the notes.



(31) Paragos, a kind of rude, low sledge drawn by carabaos and used by farmers.

(32) Pipit, a tiny bird.

(The end)
Dean S. Fansler's short story: Sagacious Marcela

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The Four Blind Brothers The Four Blind Brothers

The Four Blind Brothers
Version (a) The Four Blind Brothers Narrated by Eutiqiano Garcia, a Pampangan, who said he heard the story from a boy from Misamis, Mindanao. There was once a man who had eight sons. Four of them were blind. He thought of sending the children away, simply because he could not afford to keep them in the house any longer. Accordingly one night he called his eight children together, and said, "He who does not provide for the future shall want in the present. You are big enough and are able to support yourselves. To-morrow I shall send you away to seek