July 18, 2008

Si Kabayan 1


For a long time Si Kabayan and his father-in-law had entertained the idea of making a deer trap, but nothing had ever come of their intention. One day Kabayan called his father in-law.

"Come, Pa," he said. "Let's dig a ditch. A deer is sure to fall into it, and then we'll slaughter it together."

"No," replied Kabayan's father-in-law. "You dig the ditch, Kabayan. I'd rather snare a bird."

"Good," said Kabayan. "But when I catch my deer, I won't give you any part of it."

"Never mind," replied the father-in-law. "When I catch my bird, you'll get no part of it either."

The next morning, very, very early, Kabayan's father-in-law went outside to have a look at the trap he had set up. It was just as-he had left it the night before. He walked over to Kabayan's trap and there he saw a fine, large deer. He looked about him stealthily and seeing no one, he tied a rope around the deer's neck, which he then fastened to his own trap. He quickly returned to the house and called his son-in-law.

"Kabayan, Kabayan, wake up!" he shouted. "Let's go out and see whether there's anything in our traps."

Kabayan yawned and stretched and joined his father-in-law.

"Alhamdullillah! The Lord be praised!" exclaimed Kabayan's father-in-law. "Look at that!" He pointed to the deen next to his trap.

Si Kabayan walked away without saying a word.

A little later, when Si Kabayan's wife called her father and husband for breakfast Kabayan did not appear. Kabayan's wife was worried. "Where is he?" she asked her father. They waited, but he did not come. Kabayan's wife began to cry.

"He's been eaten by a tiger," she sobbed, "Or choked by a devil in the forest - or kidnapped!"

Her father tried to console her and said he would go out immediately to search for Kabayan.

It was not long before he found him, sitting by the bank of a river in an attitude of meditation, watching the water flow by.

"Kabayan!" called his father-in-law. "What are you doing? Why didn't you come to breakfast?"

"Look, Pa!" said Kabayan, glancing up at his father-in-law, but leaving his questions unanswered. "Look at this water. If this isn't the strangest thing! ........"

"What's the matter?"

"Just look! The river is flowing upstream!"

"Ah, Kabayan, impossible, Kabayan! Water doesn't flow up stream. It has to flow downstream!"

"Why does it have to?" said Kabayan, if a deer can be caught in a trap for a bird?"

Kabayan's father-in-law looked very sheepish. He admitted that he had deceived Kabayan and he returned the deer to his son-in-law. But Kabayan took revenge, and when the deer was slaughtered his father-in-law got nothing but its bones.***