5. General Stories

Too clever for his own good

Once upon a time a fox and a donkey made a plan to go hunting together. “With my cunning and your speed,” said the fox, “we’re sure to be successful.” All went well until suddenly a fierce lion jumped out in their path.

The fox though quickly, and went and whispered in the lion’s ear. “If you let me go I’ll lead the donkey into a cave from which it can’t escape,” he promised.

“Then you’ll have an easy supper.

The lion agreed, and so the fox did as he said, and turned to the lion looking pleased with himself. “There you are,” he said . “The donkey is trapped, just as I promised.”

“Well done, my friend,” said the lion. “Now I can eat you for tea and enjoy the donkey for supper later on.” And with that he killed the treacherous fox.

5. General Stories

Your money or your life

The big bad wolf gobbled up the little lamb so fast that a bone got stuck in his throat. He was feeling very sorry for himself until he met a heron with a long, long beak.

“Ah, Mr. Heron,” he gasped. I’ll give you a big reward if you reach down my throat and pull out this bone.”

“How much?” said the heron, suspiciously. “Oh, lots and lots,” croaked the wolf. So the heron put his head down the wolf’s throat and pulled it out.

“Pay up,” said the heron. The wolf looked surprised. “You should be happy I didn’t bite your head off when it was in my mouth!”

5. General Stories

Tuglay and Tuglibung

Long long ago, there lived on earth a man named Tuglay and a woman called Tuglibung. Those were the early days of the earth and Tuglay and Tuglibung were the only man and woman on the planet.

But they were not born on earth. Before they came to earth, they used to live in a beautiful garden in heaven where there was no sadness. There was only happiness, for none had to work hard for a living. Tuglay and Tuglibung were the only people to live in the garden, which was owned by god. God came to visit them everyday and told them many nice stories.

One day, god told them a story about a very bad man who could change his shape as he liked and always tempted people to do bad things. He warned them that this man might come and tell them to pluck and eat a certain fruit in the garden that god had forbidden them to have. Both Tuglibung and Tuglay promised not to listen to anyone other than god. They vowed that they would listen to him forever.

But soon they had a visit from this man. The bad man had changed himself into a talking snake. He came to meet Tuglibung and Tuglay when they were alone and God was not there. He passed sometime with Tuglay and Tuglibung and won their trust. Then he asked them to taste the fruit that God had forbidden them to eat.

Tuglay at once understood that the snake was none other than the bad man God had warned them about. They drove the snake away and went on to live peacefully as before.

But the words of the snake went on and on in their minds till one day, Tuglibung could control herself no longer. She plucked the forbidden fruit and had a bite of it. When God came to know about it, he was very angry with Tuglibung. He said that he would punish Tuglibung by making her go away to earth and live there all alone by herself. When Tuglay heard this, he too had a bite of the fruit, for he could not live alone without Tuglibung.

So God banished Tuglay and Tuglibung to earth. Soon, two little children were born to them. Their eldest son was named Malaki; their eldest daughter, Bia. Together, they lived at the centre of the earth. But Tuglibung and Tuglay could not see god any more.

5. General Stories

The Spider and the Fly

Now and then, you rest your eyes on a wall and you can find a huge black spider rushing towards a fly to trap her in his web and eat her. You feel horrified and get disgusted at the behaviour of the spider.

But it was no so in the early days. Long long ago, there was a spider who fell in love with a lady fly. Several times Mr. Spider went to Miss Fly and declared his love to him. But his proposals were spurned everytime and poor Mr. Spider waited patiently hoping that Miss Fly would change her mind one day.

One day, as Mr. Spider was passing by the house of Miss Fly, he saw her lady love humming a romantic song. Thinking that the song was addressed to him, Mr. Spider was overwhelmed with love. He could contain his emotions no longer and he proposed to her again.

Miss Fly was greatly annoyed this time.

“How dare the foolish spider propose to me again and again? Hasn’t my constant rejections still given him the message that I dislike him to no end?” she thought. “Wait till I teach this creature a lesson”.

So she asked Mr. Spider to wait outside her house. Then she closed the doors and windows of her home and began to boil a pot of water. After sometime, when the water had boiled enough, she opened the door and called him in.

As soon as Mr. Spider entered the house, Miss Fly threw the boiling water at him. Poor Mr. Spider jumped with pain and ran out of the house as fast as his eight legs could carry him.

“Wait till I return” screamed Mr. Spider, “You have spurned my love, now you will taste my hatred. I and my descendants shall be avenged upon you and yours. We will never give you a moment’s peace.”

And true to his word, Mr. Spider chased Miss Fly wherever he could see her. From that day, he began to hate the fly with all his heart and his descendants can still be seen to continue this tradition of animosity towards the offsprings of Miss fly.

5. General Stories

How Iro Met the S’iring

Many years ago, there lived in a small village a young man named Iro. Iro was a good man and he had a friend named Atun who lived in the same village as him.

Like most villagers in his days, Iro used to smoke now and then. He liked to smoke after his lunch and he always bought some tobacco in the morning and kept it in his reserve as all shops in the village remained closed in the afternoon because their owners took a little nap after their lunch.

One day, after Iro had his lunch, he took out his pouch to find that it was empty. He remembered that he had to forgot to buy tobacco in the morning and there was not even a little bit of it left in his pouch that he could use. It was about two o’clock in the afternoon, too late for him to go to any of the local shops. So he decided to get some tobacco from one of his neighbors.

As Iro came out of his house, he found the road empty. It was late in the afternoon and he could not see anyone.

“I should go to Atun. Maybe, he can borrow me some of his tobacco.” thought Iro. And he walked in the direction of Atun’s house.

But as he neared Atun’s house, he heard someone calling him. He turned back to find Atun standing near him.

“What’s the matter Iro?” asked his friend.

Iro asked Atun if he could lend him some tobacco. Atun replied that he had none.

“But I’ve got some tobacco hidden away in a place in the woods. Let us go and get it.” he said.

So the two friends started walking towards the woods. As they were about to enter the forest, Iro was suddenly called from behind. He turned again to find that it was Atun who was calling him.

Iro was startled. It was just seconds ago that Atun was walking before him. How did he go back then? He turned and saw that there was none before him.

“Are you looking for someone?” asked Atun.

“Were you not walking before me?” asked an astonished Iro “how did you go behind?” But his friend Atun laughed, and said, “I have not been anywhere. I saw you just now and I was curious as to why you were going into the woods.”

Then Iro was convinced that a S’iring had impersonated Atun and tried to lure him into the forest. S’irings are just like ghouls who feed on the dead bodies in graves and is also known to lure innocent people into lonely places and kill them to eat their flesh. It was Atun’s timely intervention that saved Iro from getting killed in the hands of the ghoul.

When you have a companion, S’irings cannot hurt you.

5. General Stories

How the Farmer Deceived the Demon

Very many years ago, in a far-away land where the trees never changed their green leaves and where the birds always sang, there lived on an island a farmer with a large family. Though all alone on the island and knowing nothing of people in the outer world, they were always happy,–as happy as the laughing rills that rippled past their home. They had no great wealth, depending from year to year on the crops which the father raised. They needed no money, for they lacked nothing; and they never sold their produce, for no people were near to buy.

One day in the middle of the year, after the crops were well started, a loud, unusual roar was heard. Suddenly a stiff gale blew up from the southwest, and with it came clouds which quickly hid the entire sky. The day turned to night. The birds ceased to sing and went to their nests. The wild beasts ran to their caves. The family sought shelter in the house from a heavy downpour of rain which continued for many days and nights. So long did it last that they became very anxious about the condition of things around them.

On the eighth day the birds again began to sing, and the sun was, as usual, bright. The farmer arose early and went out to look at his fields, but, lo! his crop was all destroyed. He went back to the house and told the family that the water-god was angry and had washed away all that he had hoped to have for the coming year.

What were they to do? The supply in the house was getting low and it was too late to raise another crop. The father worried night and day, for he did not know how he could keep his children from starvation.

One day he made a long journey and came into a place that was strange to him. He had never before seen the like of it. But in the midst of a broad meadow he saw a tree with spreading branches like an elm, and as his legs and back were stiff from walking, he went over and sat down under it. Presently, looking up, he discovered that on the tree were large red fruits. He climbed up and brought some down, and after satisfying his hunger he fell asleep.

He had not slept long when he was awakened by a loud noise. The owner of the place was coming. He was fearful to look upon. His body was like that of a person, but he was of enormous size; and he had a long tail, and two horns growing out of his head. The farmer was frightened and did not know what to do. He stood motionless till the master came up and began to talk to him. Then he explained that he had come there in search of food to keep his family alive. The monster was delighted to hear this, for he saw that he had the man and the man’s family in his power. He told the traveller that in return for a certain promise he would help him out of his troubles.

The demon, as he was called by some travellers to that land, showed the farmer a smooth, round stone, which, he said, gave its possessor the power of a magician. He offered to lend this to the farmer for five years, if at the expiration of that time the farmer and family would become his slaves. The farmer consented.

Then the demon was glad. He said to the farmer, “You must squeeze the stone when you wish to become invisible; and must put it in your mouth when you wish to return to human form.”

The man tried the power of the magic stone. He squeezed it, and instantly became invisible to the demon; but he bade him farewell, and promised to meet him in the same place at the appointed time.

In this invisible form the man crossed the water that washed the shore of the island on which he lived. There he found a people who lived in communities. He wanted something to eat, so he went into the shops; but he found that a restaurant owned by a Chinaman was the one to which most people of the city went. He put the stone in his mouth, thus appearing in visible form, and, entering the restaurant, ordered the best food he could find. He finished his meal quickly and went out. The waiter, perceiving that he did not pay, followed him. The man had no money; so he squeezed the stone and shot up into the air without being seen. The Chinaman, alarmed by the cry of the waiter, came out and ran in all directions, trying to find and catch the man. No one could find him; and the people thought he must indeed be a fast runner to escape so quickly, for they did not know of the gift of the demon.

Not far from that place he saw groups of men and women going in and out of a large building. It was a bank. The farmer went in to see what he could find. There he saw bags of money, gold and silver. He chuckled with joy at this opportunity. In order to use his hands freely, he put the stone in his mouth; but before he could fill all his pockets with money, he was discovered by the two guards, who began to pound him on the head. He struggled to save his life, and finally took the stone out of his mouth and squeezed it. Instantly he vanished from their sight; but he was vexed at the beating he had received, so he carried off all the gold they had in the bank. The people inside as well as outside the building became crazy. They ran about in all directions, not knowing why. Some called the firemen, thinking the bank was on fire; but nothing had happened, except that the farmer was gone and the two guards were “half dead frightened.” They danced up and down the streets in great excitement, but could not utter a word.

Straight home went the farmer, not stopping by the way. His wife and children were awaiting him. He gave them the money, and told them all about the fortune which he had gotten from the man on their own island,–told all his secrets. Prosperous they became, and with the money which he had brought they purchased all they needed from the city just opposite them.

The time passed so pleasantly that the man was surprised to discover that his promise would be due in two more days. He made preparations to go back to the land of his master. Arrived there, he met the same monster under the same tree. The demon was displeased to see the old man alone, without the family which also had been promised. He told the man that he would shut him in a cave and then would go and capture those left at home.

But the farmer would not go to the cave. The demon tried to pull him into a deep hole. Both struggled; and at last the farmer squeezed the magic stone and disappeared. He took a green branch of the tree and beat the demon. The demon surrendered. He begged for mercy.

The farmer went home, and from that day thought no more of the demon. He knew that while he held the stone the monster would never come to trouble him. And the family lived on in peace and happiness, as they had done before the water-god became angry with them.

5. General Stories

The Monkey and the Turtle

One day a Monkey met a Turtle on the road, and asked, “Where are you going?”

“I am going to find something to eat, for I have had no food for three whole days,” said the Turtle.

“I too am hungry,” said the Monkey; “and since we are both hungry, let us go together and hunt food for our stomachs’ sake.”

They soon became good friends and chatted along the way, so that the time passed quickly. Before they had gone far, the Monkey saw a large bunch of yellow bananas on a tree at a distance.

“Oh, what a good sight that is!” cried he. “Don’t you see the bananas hanging on that banana-tree? [pointing with his first finger toward the tree]. They are fine! I can taste them already.”

But the Turtle was short-sighted and could not see them. By and by they came near the tree, and then he saw them. The two friends were very glad. The mere sight of the ripe, yellow fruit seemed to assuage their hunger.

But the Turtle could not climb the tree, so he agreed that the Monkey should go up alone and should throw some of the fruit down to him. The Monkey was up in a flash; and, seating himself comfortably, he began to eat the finest of the fruit, and forgot to drop any down to the Turtle waiting below. The Turtle called for some, but the Monkey pretended not to hear. He ate even the peelings, and refused to drop a bit to his friend, who was patiently begging under the tree.

At last the Turtle became angry, very angry indeed: “so he thought he would revenge” (as my informant puts it). While the Monkey was having a good time, and filling his stomach, the Turtle gathered sharp, broken pieces of glass, and stuck them, one by one, all around the banana-tree. Then he hid himself under a cocoanut-shell not far away. This shell had a hole in the top to allow the air to enter. That was why the Turtle chose it for his hiding-place.

The Monkey could not eat all the bananas, for there were enough to last a good-sized family several days; “but he ate all what he can,” and by and by came down the tree with great difficulty, for the glass was so sharp that it cut even the tough hand of the Monkey. He had a hard time, and his hands were cut in many places. The Turtle thought he had his revenge, and was not so angry as before.

But the Monkey was now very angry at the trick that had been played upon him, and began looking for the Turtle, intending to kill him. For some time he could not find his foe, and, being very tired, he sat down on the cocoanut-shell near by. His weariness increased his anger at the Turtle very much.

He sat on the shell for a long time, suffering from his wounds, and wondering where to find the Turtle,–his former friend, but now his enemy. Because of the disturbance of the shell, the Turtle inside could not help making a noise. This the Monkey heard; and he was surprised, for he could not determine whence the sound came. At last he lifted his stool, and there found his foe the Turtle.

“Ha! Here you are!” he cried. “Pray now, for it is the end of your life.”

He picked up the Turtle by the neck and carried him near the riverbank, where he meant to kill him. He took a mortar and pestle, and built a big fire, intending to pound him to powder or burn him to death. When everything was ready, he told the Turtle to choose whether he should die in the fire or be “grounded” in the mortar. The Turtle begged for his life; but when he found it was in vain, he prayed to be thrown into the fire or ground in the mortar,–anything except be thrown into the water. On hearing this, the Monkey picked the Turtle up in his bleeding fingers, and with all his might threw him into the middle of the stream.

Then the Turtle was very glad. He chuckled at his own wit, and laughed at the foolishness of the Monkey. He came up to the surface of the water and mocked at the Monkey, saying, “This is my home. The water is my home.”

This made the Monkey so angry that he lost his self-possession entirely. He jumped into the middle of the river after the Turtle, and was drowned.

Since that day monkeys and turtles have been bitter enemies.

5. General Stories

The wolf puts his foot in it

King lion lay in his cave feeling very ill. The other animals hurried off to visit him. The lion could be very fierce if they did not show him enough respect. only the fox did not go at once. The wolf hated the fox, who was smarter than he was. “What a good chance to get him into trouble,” he thought, and began telling the lion terrible stories about the fox. The fox arrived in time to hear the end of them. He saw how angry the lion was. “Wait,” said the fox. “Instead of standing here talking, I have been searching for a cure for your illness. If you wrap the skin of a wolf around you while it’s still warm, you’ll feel better at once.”

With a roar, the lion killed the wolf and wrapped his skin round him.

“The wolf would have done better to make the lion feel happy,” the fox told the other animals.

5. General Stories

The wicked fox gets a nasty shock

Danny the dog and Roger the rooster lived in the same farmyard and became the best of friends. They decided to go on holiday together. Roger wrapped some seeds in a leaf and tucked them under his wing, Danny took some bones, and off they set. That night, Roger perched in a tree to see the sun rising and be ready to crow. Danny, who liked a good night’s sleep, found a comfy bed at the foot of the tree. At dawn, Roger started crowing loudly to wake everyone up.

Danny was turning over to go back to sleep when he heard a voice.

It was a wicked fox, whose mouth was watering as he looked up at the rooster and thought of breakfast. “What a fine voice,” he said.

“Please come down so I can hear you better.” “You’ll have to ask my friend.” said Roger, pointing a wing at the dog. with a growl, Danny leapt out and killed the fox.

5. General Stories

The Ungrateful crow

Because the crows were always raiding the farmer’s field, he put down traps to catch them. One careless crow was caught by the foot, and stood there crying piteously.

An eagle, the king of birds, was flying overhead. “Please save me,” called the crow, “and I’ll catch five mice and bring them to you.” So the eagle pulled the trap apart with its strong beak, the crow escaped. But once he was free, it forgot all about its promise.

One day, it was caught in another of the farmer’s traps. Again, he cried for help, but this time the eagle flew on saying “Don’t expect me to save you a second time when you couldn’t keep your first promise.”