Amomongo and Iput-Iput
(The Ape and the Firefly)
(Fable / Pabula) - Page 2 of 2
On Sunday evening, just before six o’clock, they assembled on the plaza and found the firefly already waiting for them. Just then the church bells rang the Angelus, so the firefly proposed that they should all pray. Immediately after the prayer, the firefly signified the he was ready to begin. The ape had drawn up his company in line, with himself at the head.
Suddenly the firefly lighted upon the ape’s nose. The ape next in line struck at the firefly but succeeded only in striking the captain such a terrible blow on the nose as to kill him. The firefly meanwhile, seeing the blow coming, had jumped upon the nose of the second ape, who was killed by the next in line just as the captain had been killed; and so on down the whole line, until there was but one ape left. He threw down his club and begged the firefly to spare him. The firefly graciously allowed him to live, but since that time the apes have been in mortal terror of the fireflies.
This tale belongs to the large cycle of tales which portray a war between the winged creatures of the air and the four-footed beasts. The leading idea in these tales is that by their cunning, the small creatures triumph over the large ones.
Source: Eugenio, Damiana L. Philippine Folk Literature : An Anthology. Quezon City: UP Press, 2007, pp. 265-266.