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Why Locusts Are Harmful Post by :Lateef_Olajide Category :Short Stories Author :Dean S. Fansler Date :November 2011 Read :1846

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Why Locusts Are Harmful

Narrated by Francisco M. Africa.

During the dawn of humanity, some angels headed by Satanas revolted against God. They wanted to establish a kingdom for themselves. In a battle against the army of God, in which God himself was present, Satanas threw a handful of sand into God's face; but the heavenly monarch just laughed, and said, "I turn the sand back to thee. The particles shall become the scourge of all ages to thee and to thy followers, O Satanas!"

No sooner had God uttered these words than the particles of sand became a mighty swarm of locusts, that flew in all directions. Such was the beginning of the pest.



A tribal Bicol-story narrated by Maximina Navarro of Albay runs thus:--


The Origin of Locusts.

Many years ago there lived a head man whose home was situated in a very fertile valley, all the inhabitants of which he governed. He was not a good ruler, however; for he was so greedy, that he wanted to hoard up all the rice produced by his people. Every year, therefore, he squeezed from his subjects as much rice as he could get, so that at the end of four years his granaries were full to bursting. It happened that in the fifth year the crop failed, and the people knew that they should starve unless their ruler would let them have rice from his barns. At first they were afraid to go petition the head man, for they feared that he would refuse them; but, when nearly one-half of the children had died from starvation, they agreed to send some representatives to beg for rice.

Seven men were chosen to be the ambassadors. When they reached the house of the datu, for so they called their ruler, they asked for admittance, crying that they wanted rice for their wives and children. When the datu heard their cry, he went to the door and made a motion as if he would knock the petitioners off the ladder leading to the house. He lost his balance and fell, striking his head sharply on the bottom of the ladder. Thinking that he was dead, the seven men made no attempt to help him, but went home, proclaiming that soon there would be rice enough for all.

But the datu was not dead, only badly stunned. The next morning, as he was walking around his granaries, they exploded with a loud noise; and all the rice flew away in the form of insects, and vanished from his sight. This kind of insect which originated from the rice we call doron (from the Spanish word duro), on account of the toughness of its skin.

A more intelligible version of this story is the following related by Felix de la Llana, who was told it by an old farmer of Candelaria, Zambales. It appears to represent old Pagan tradition modified somewhat by Christianity.


The Origin of Locusts.

When all the surface of the earth was yet a wilderness and the people were very few, there lived a farmer who wished to become rich all at once. So he told his wife to pray to Kayamanan, the goddess of riches, to give them fortune.

One night the goddess with arms extended appeared to them in a dream, and advised the ambitious farmer to build six large barns. Then she went to the goddess of plenty, Kainomayan, and asked her to give this farmer abundant crops. When the farmer harvested his rice the next season, he was astounded to find that the crop more than filled his six barns. So delighted was he, and so greedy, that he and his wife thought no more of the source of their good fortune, and they neglected to celebrate a feast in honor of God and his goddesses. He felt like a powerful monarch, and did not wish to work any more. However, his riches did not last long, as we shall see.

One day the goddess Kayamanan disguised herself, and in the form of a beggar came to the house of the rich farmer. She begged him to let her rest for a little while under his roof, for she had been travelling in many countries, she said. When she asked for some remnants of rice to eat, the ungrateful farmer said to her, "Get off my grounds! don't come here to bother me! If you don't leave at once, I shall let this dog loose, and you will be its food." The poor beggar went away without a word, but she begged almighty God to give her the power to change anything to any form or creature she wished. As she was God's favorite, her request was granted. So she assumed her own form, and went again to the farmer's house. To him she said, "You who became rich by my aid, and have denied food and shelter to a beggar, shall be punished. Since you have neglected your duty both to the poor and to me, I therefore, with the consent of the almighty God, punish you thus: your rice shall turn to a swarm of locusts, which will destroy all the crops of the farmers of your own race and those of other countries."

The punishment was carried out, and the farmer was left destitute.

This story is also known in the Tagalog province of Batangas.

In a Rumanian saga (Dähnhardt, 3 : 250) a swarm of locusts is sent by God to punish an emperor who would not invite any priests or nuns to his wedding-banquet. When the guests were about to eat the feast prepared, the insects appeared and devoured everything. Since that time locusts have appeared whenever mankind has forgotten God.

(The end)
Dean S. Fansler's short story: Why Locusts Are Harmful

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