The Monkey and the Turtle (B'Laan Version)

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The Monkey and the Turtle
(B’laan Version)
(Region 12)

One morning, a monkey and a turtle who were close friends talked about their situation. After a while, the monkey said, Let's go to the forest and make a trap for wild pigs." The turtle agreed. When they came upon a dakit tree, they saw the tracks of wild pigs. "Let's make a trap here." said the turtle, pointing to a base of the tree.

"No, let's make one trap up the tree because pigs go there and gather fruit," said the monkey.

"No, let's stay down here because the tracks are here."

"All right, you make your trap here while I make one up the tree."

So the monkey and the turtle went their separate ways. After setting their traps, the monkey said, "Let's return after two days. Wild pig should be here by then."

But the day after the traps were laid, the monkey went back to the dakit tree by himself. The turtle's trap had a pig, his has a bird. The turtle was right. To save face, the monkey brought the pig from the turtle's trap to his own and replaced it with the bird caught in his.

On his way home, he met the turtle.

"Where have you been?" asked the turtle.

"I went to the river to take a bath," was the reply.

As agreed, on the day after the traps were laid, the monkey and the turtle went to the dakit tree. 

"Let's hurry so we can get there early. Last night, I had a good dream. Our traps must surely have something in them," the monkey said.

The turtle was surprised to find a pig up the tree and a bird in his trap which was set on the ground. He knew the monkey tricked him and told the monkey so. The monkey insisted that he had nothing to do with the result of their catch. Without saying another word, the monkey and the turtle went home with the pig and the bird respectively. 

When they came near the monkey's house, they decided to fight it out.

"Wait," the monkey said. "I'll build myself a fort." He proceeded to make a fort out of banana leaves. He believed them impregnable. 

"Shoot first," the turtle said. "After all you challenged me to this fight. If it were true that my trap caught a bird, pray that i will be killed at once."

The monkey took careful aim while his family watched from behind the banana fort. The turtle was hit. The monkey rejoiced. 

The turtle cried, "You hit my back but I'm protected by my shell. Can't you see I am alive?"

The monkey was dismayed he was a good sport. "Then shoot," he called from the fort.

The turtle took careful aim and when his arrow found its mark, he heard a monkey cry. One of the monkey's children was killed.

"No, I was not hit. It was one of my children," lied the monkey.

The monkey's turn to shoot came but the turtle was not afraid, His shell was very thick. The arrows bounced.

Each Each time the turtle released an arrow, it hit the monkey. One by one, the monkey's wife and children died.

"Why don't we become friends again?" shouted the monkey from his fort. "I'll tell you the truth. Your trap caught the pig. It's yours."

The moneky and the turtle reconciled once more. If the monkey did not shout after the last of his children was killed, the turtle would have killed him too. They sealed their friendship by partaking of nama from the monkey's chew box.

Sometimes later, the monkey felt lonely because his wife and children were dead. "Please keep me company," the monkey pleaded. "We can go to the river and fish."

They left for the river to fish. At the river bank they saw a banana stalk. "Let's cut this in two," the monkey suggested. I'll take the upper half because the leaves and the fruit are too heavy for you."

The monkey and the turtle went to their respective kaingin and planted their respective parts. The ext visit to their kaingin brought happiness to turtle and sadness to the monkey. The turtle saw his plant heavy with fruit. The monkey's plant had wilted.

The monkey volunteered to get the fruit for the turtle. When he was up there, He did...
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