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It is said that a long time ago, the first cow and the first carabao wore skins that fit them exactly.
They could both walk on only their two hind feet then. They both served a farmer who demanded
much of them as beasts of burden. But the cow and the carabao were thinking that he made them
work too much.
"No one should work this much under the heat of the sun!" the cow remarked. "We deserve a
"What say you we play hooky one noon," the carabao proposed, "while the farmer is resting in
the shade, as he always does when the sun is at its most furious?"
So it was that one noon, while the farmer who owned the first cow and the first carabao was fast
asleep, the two friends shrugged off the plow and raced to the nearby river. They took off their
skins, hung them on the low branch of a tree at the riverbank, and dived underwater. But alas, as
they were having their fun, the farmer woke up, saw that his two beasts were missing from the
fields where they belonged, took up his whip and went out searching for them. By following
their footprints he found them almost immediately, bathing in the nearby river.
The farmer frightened the two beasts with his whip and made them scramble up to the bank. In
their haste to appear decent before their master, the cow and the carabao switched skins, but then
they were not able to get the false skins off again. As the carabao was larger than the cow, his
skin sagged at the cows belly, and the cows skin clung tight to his flesh. And then it was
impossible to retain their pride. They came before their master on all fours, begging to be
forgiven. The farmer said they were forgiven, but they could no longer walk on only two legs,
and they could never take off the false skins they wore. The cow and the carabao accepted their
fate timidly, and handed down to their offspring their symbols of shame.


The tortoise and the monkey came upon a well-grown banana plant. Both wanted to have
the plant to himself. "Wait a minute," the monkey said. "Lets be fair. Lets divide the plant into two,
and then assign halves for the both of us."
"Yes, thats fair," the tortoise said at once.
"And since I thought of it, I get to choose which half shall be mine!" the monkey declared,
and immediately he set to work cutting the banana plant. He kept the top part, the part which was
golden with fruit, and left the ugly stump to the tortoise.
The tortoise did not complain. He only went up to the monkey and said "Were good friends.
Will you let me have some of your fruit?"
"No!" the monkey snapped. "Wed agreed to stick to our halves of the plant. I get to keep
whatever comes of my half and you get to keep whatever comes of yours."
After finishing off all the bananas, the monkey planted the top part of the plant with the hope
of growing some more fruit. The tortoise did not have to do anything with his half of the plant at all,
as it was still rooted to the ground as a stump. But the top part of the banana plant could not grow
roots, and thus it shriveled up and died. The tortoises stump, on the other hand, grew to be another
beautiful banana plant, and soon enough it made the monkey drool by having twice as many
bananas as he had been able to extract from what had been his half.
The tortoise would not let the monkey come anywhere near his full-grown banana plant.
"Wed agreed to stick to our halves of the plant," he said wryly. The monkey went home and plotted.
The monkey decided to sneak into the tortoises yard one night and steal the bananas
straight from the plant. But the tortoise had been prepared for such a breach of friendship. He waited
until the monkey had climbed too high up to be aware of anything going on at the ground, and then
he laid sharp pebbles all around the roots of the plant. It was so that the monkey jumped down from
the plant after having eaten as many bananas as he could, and was stung in so many places all at
The monkey was furious. He hunted all around for the tortoise. And when he did find the
tortoise, he grabbed the slow-paced creature by the shell so that it could not get away, and said at
once that he would be killed.
"But, as we had been good friends, I will let you choose," said the monkey. "I am thinking of
grinding you and your difficult shell in a mortar and scattering your ashes. I am also thinking of
throwing you into the sea. In which manner would you like to die?"
"Grind me to ashes," cried the tortoise, "for I cannot bear the touch of saltwater!"
"Aha! So you hate saltwater!" The monkey raced off down to the seashore and flung the
screaming, flailing tortoise into the water, as far away as his strong arms could manage. "Good
riddance," the monkey said, thinking that he had dealt the tortoise the ultimate revenge for spiting his
But then, just as the monkey was leaving the shore, he heard familiar laughter drifting in the
sea-breeze. He turned around and saw the tortoise only too near the shore, chuckling merrily.
"Id fooled you, monkey!" he was shouting. "The sea is the tortoises home!"
The monkey gave a howl of rage and bounded back to where the sand met the surf, but the
tortoise had already gone back, still laughing, into the oceans heart.


There was once a turtle who talked so much that no creature could bear to be near him.
He talked about anything and everything, and his favorite topics were flying and himself. How
he would love to fly, he said, like the geese when the cold season comes. It must be wonderful to
be up so high. Older and wiser creatures advised him to speak less and be more content with his
lot, but the turtle would listen to no one.
He wanted to fly. He called out to a goose in flight, once, as she was flying off to meet
her flock.
"Teach me how to fly," the turtle said.
"I cant right now," the goose answered. "My flock is migrating for the cold season."
"But I want to fly!" the turtle cried. "And I want to fly NOW!"
"Well have to ask my flock," the gentle goose said.
So the goose and the turtle came to the flock, and asked if anyone could help the turtle
"He could bite sideways on a thick, strong stick, while two of us would hold either end of
the stick in our beaks," someone volunteered. "But he should not speak while biting the stick, or
else he will fall and we could do nothing about it."
In truth, the flock did not like the idea of having the turtle fly with them in such a
manner. They knew how boastful he was, and besides that, they thought he belonged better on
the ground. But the turtle bullied the geese into taking him along.
"Mind you, never open your mouth while we are above ground!" they reminded the turtle,
as they started to lift themselves off the ground.
So, biting a stick held horizontally by two strong geese, the boastful turtle became the
very first of his kind to experience flight. Far below him he saw the most wondrous things: trees
shrinking until they were the size of mere mushrooms, fields looking like small patches of grass,
rivers turning into silver snakes. But, most of all, he saw the other earthbound creatures of the
world looking up at him, watching him, and he was deeply affected by their silent awe.
"They must think I am a magnificent creature, to have come so high above," the turtle
thought. "Well, I really am so marvelous! I feel like I am the greatest turtle in the world!"
The turtle became so caught up in this delusion that, while looking down on his
earthbound brothers, he opened his mouth to boast. The poor beings mindless conceit made him
plunge to his untimely death.


The Sun and the Moon were married, but the Sun was very ugly and quarrelsome. One day he
became angry at the Moon and started to chase her. She ran very fast until she was some distance
ahead of him, when she grew tired and he almost caught her. Ever since he has been chasing her, at
times almost reaching her, and again falling far behind.
The first child of the Sun and Moon was a large star, and he was like a man. One time the
Sun, becoming angry at the star, cut him up into small pieces and scattered him over the whole sky
just as a woman scatters rice, and ever since there have been many stars.
Another child of the Sun and Moon was a gigantic crab. 135 He still lives and is so powerful
that every time he opens and closes his eyes there is a flash of lightning. Most of the time the crab
lives in a large hole in the bottom of the sea, and when he is there we have high tide; but when he
leaves the hole, the waters rush in and there is low tide. His moving about also causes great waves
on the surface of the sea.
The crab is quarrelsome like his father; and he sometimes becomes so angry with his mother,
the Moon, that he tries to swallow her. 136 When the people on earth, who are fond of the Moon,
see the crab near her, they run out of doors and shout and beat on gongs until he is frightened away,
and thus the Moon is saved.


A donkey found a lion's skin and put it on. In this frightening disguise, he grazed in a farmer's
field. He amused himself by frightening all the animals he met. He felt so powerful!
Along came a fox. The donkey under the lion's skin tried to frighten him. The donkey stood
tall under the skin and let out a sound that he thought would resemble a roar. Alas, his donkey voice
was all that was heard.
The fox laughed and said, "Silly donkey, if you really want to frighten me you'll have to
disguise your bray. Clothes MAY disguise a fool you know. But, his words always give him away!"


On a mango tree in a jungle, there lived many birds. They were happy in their small nests.
Before the onset of the rainy season, all the animal of the jungle repaired their homes. The birds
also made their homes more secure.
Many birds brought twigs and leaves and others wove their nests. We should also store
some food for our children, chirped one of the birds. And they collected food, until they had
enough to see them through the rainy season. They kept themselves busy preparing for the tough
Soon the rains came. It was followed by thunder and lighting. All the animals and birds
stayed in their homes.
It continued raining for many days. One day, a monkey wet in the rain came into the forest.
He sat on a branch, shivering with cold, water dripping from its body.
The poor monkey tried his best to get shelter, but in vain. The leaves were not enough to
save him from the rains. Brrr! It is so cold! said the monkey.
The birds were watching all this. They felt sorry for the monkey but there was little they
could do for him. One of them said, Brother! Our small nests are not enough to give you shelter.
Another bird said, All of us prepared for the rainy season. If you had, you would not be in
this piteous situation.
How dare you tell me what to do? said the monkey, growling at the bird. The monkey
angrily pounced on the birds nest, tore it and threw it on the ground. The bird and her chicks were
The poor bird thought, Fools never value good advice. It is better not to advise them.

Butterflies Story
Once there were three butterflies, a white, red, and yellow, playing in the
sunshine. Soon the rain fell and wet them and they hastened to fly home, but the door
was shut and the key was nowhere to be found, so they went to the tulip, all gaily
striped in red and yellow, and said:
"Tulip open your flower a little, and will you kindly let me slip in, out of the rain?"
The tulip said, "I will open to the red and yellow ones, because they are like me,
but I won't let the white one in."
Then the red and yellow butterflies said, "If you won't take in our little brother we
won't come in either, thank you." Now it rained harder and harder, and they flew away
to the lily.
"Dear lily, will you please let us in?"
The lily answered, "I'll let the white one in, because he is like me, but I won't let in
the other two."
Then the white butterfly said, "If my two brothers can't come in I will not come in
either, thank you."
So they all flew away together. Now the sun behind the clouds had heard how
the butterflies were true to each other, and shone out again bright and clear, and very
soon dried the wings of the three butterflies. They danced once more over the flowers
and played until it was night, and then went home; the door was wide open, the last
sunbeam had opened it for them, in they flew and all went to bed.

The Three Fishes

Once, three fishes lived in a pond. One evening, some fishermen passed by the
pond and saw the fishes. 'This pond is full of fish', they told each other excitedly. 'We
have never fished here before. We must come back tomorrow morning with our nets
and catch these fish!' So saying, the fishermen left.
When the eldest of the three fishes heard this, he was troubled. He called the
other fishes together and said, 'Did you hear what the fishermen said? We must leave
this pond at once. The fishermen will return tomorrow and kill us all!'
The second of the three fishes agreed. 'You are right', he said. 'We must leave the
But the youngest fish laughed. 'You are worrying without reason', he said. 'We
have lived in this pond all our lives, and no fisherman has ever come here. Why should
these men return? I am not going anywhere - my luck will keep me safe.'
The eldest of the fishes left the pond that very evening with his entire family. The
second fish saw the fishermen coming in the distance early next morning and left the
pond at once with all his family. The third fish refused to leave even then.
The fishermen arrived and caught all the fish left in the pond. The third fish's luck
did not help him - he too was caught and killed.
The fish who saw trouble ahead and acted before it arrived as well as the fish
who acted as soon as it came both survived. But the fish who relied only on luck and did
nothing at all died. So also in life.

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