The Monkey, the Turtle, and the Crocodile

(Folktale / Kuwentong-bayan)

There was once a monkey who used to deceive everybody whom he met.  As is the case with most deceivers, he had many enemies who tried to kill him.

One day, while he was walking in the streets of his native town, he met in a by-lane a turtle and a crocodile.  They were so tired that they could hardly breathe.  I'll try to deceive these slow creatures of the earth, said the monkey to himself.  So said, so done.  He approached the crocodile and turtle, and said to them, My dear sirs, you are so tired that you can hardly move!  Where did you come from?

The two travellers were so much affected by the kind words of the monkey, that they told him all about themselves with the greatest candor imaginable.  They said, We are strangers who have just made a long journey from our native town.  We don't know where to get food or where to spend this cold night.

I'll conduct you to a place where you can spend the night and get all you want to eat, said the monkey.

All right, said the two travellers.  Lead on!  For we are very hungry and at the same time very tired.

Follow me, said the crafty monkey.

The turtle and the crocodile followed the monkey, and soon he brought them to a field full of ripe pumpkins.  Eat all the pumpkins you want, and then rest here.  Meanwhile I'll go home and take my sleep, too.

While the two hungry travellers were enjoying a hearty meal, the owner of the plantation happened to pass by.  When he saw the crocodile, he called to his laborers, and told them to bring long poles and their bolos.  The turtle clung to the tail of the crocodile, and away they went.

Don't cling to my tail! Don't cling to my tail! said the crocodile.  I cannot run fast if you cling to my tail.  Let go!  For the men will soon overtake us.

I have to cling to your tail, said the turtle, or else there will be no one to push you.

But their attempt to escape was unsuccessful.  The men overtook them and killed them both.  Such was the unhappy end of the turtle and the crocodile.

MORAL: Never trust a new friend or an old enemy.

Learn this Filipino word: