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The Lost Necklace Post by :bgall Category :Short Stories Author :Dean S. Fansler Date :November 2011 Read :3665

Click below to download : The Lost Necklace (Format : PDF)

The Lost Necklace

Version (a) The Lost Necklace

Narrated by Facundo Esquivel, a Tagalog, who heard
the story from a friend from Cebu. The story is Visayan.

Once a crow bought a fine necklace from a merchant. He was very proud of his purchase, which he immediately put around his neck, so that everybody could see it. Then he flew away, and came to a beautiful little garden, where he met his old friend the hen strutting about, with her chicks following her. The hen said to him, "Oh, what a fine necklace you have! May I borrow it? I will return it to you to-morrow without fail."

Now, the crow liked the hen: so he willingly lent her the necklace for a day. The next morning, when the crow returned for his property, he found the hen and her chicks scratching the ground near an old wall. "Where is my necklace?" said the crow.

"It is lost," said the hen. "My chicks took it yesterday while I was asleep, and now they do not remember where they put it. We have been looking for it all day, and yet we have not been able to find it."

"You must pay for it at once," said the crow, "or else I shall go to the king and tell him that you stole my necklace."

The hen was frightened at this reply, and she began to wonder how she could raise the necessary money. The crow, who was on his way to a fiesta, at last said impatiently, "I will take one of your chicks every day in payment of what you owe me. As soon as you find the necklace, give it to me, and then I will stop eating your chicks." The hen had to be satisfied with this arrangement, for she feared that the crow would go to the king if she refused.

Unto this day, then, you can find hens and chicks together looking for the lost necklace by scratching the ground; and the crows are still exacting payment for the lost jewel by eating chicks. It is said that the hens and chickens will never cease scratching the ground until the lost necklace is found.


Version (b) The Cock and the Sparrow-Hawk.

Narrated by Dolores Asuncion of Manila. She heard the story from an old Tagalog.

Long ago the sparrow-hawk and the cock were very good friends. Once, when the cocks were going to hold a great fiesta in the neighboring village, a proud young rooster, who wished to get the reputation for being rich and consequently win him a wife, went to the sparrow-hawk, and said, "My friend, please lend me your bracelet! I am going to our fiesta; and I wish to make some young hens there believe that I am rich, in order that they may love me."

The sparrow-hawk answered, "With much pleasure, my friend."

So the cock went to the fiesta wearing the borrowed bracelet. While he was dancing, however, he lost the jewel, and could find it nowhere. At last he went back to the sparrow-hawk, and said, "I am very sorry, my friend, but I lost your bracelet while I was dancing, and I can find it nowhere. What do you wish me to give you in payment for it?"

The sparrow-hawk answered, "Since that bracelet was an heirloom, I valued it very highly. You must go back to the place where you think you lost it, and there look for it until you find it. In the mean time I reserve the right to take from your flock a chicken whenever I please."

So, ever since that time sparrow-hawks are often seen carrying off young chickens, while the cocks have been busy scratching the ground to find the lost bracelet. Hens also scratch the soil, for they hate to lose their chicks, and they want to find the bracelet as soon as possible. They look up into the sky to see if the sparrow-hawk is near; then they scratch the soll vigorously, and cry, "Tac-ta-laoc!" which means, "Come and help me!"


Another Visayan variant of these two stories may be found in the "Journal of American Folk-Lore" (20 : 100), whence it has been reprinted by M. C. Cole (p. 212), "The Hawk and the Hen." An African analogue may be found in Dayrell (No. xv, p. 62).

(The end)
Dean S. Fansler's short story: Lost Necklace

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