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A short story by Dean S. Fansler

How Salaksak Became Rich

Title:     How Salaksak Became Rich
Author: Dean S. Fansler [More Titles by Fansler]

Version (a) How Salaksak became Rich

Narrated by Lorenzo Licup, a Pampango from Angeles, Pampanga.

Once upon a time there lived two brothers. The elder was named Cucunu, and the younger Salaksak. Their parents were dead, so they divided the property that had been left to them. In accordance with this division, each received a cow and a piece of land. Salaksak separated from his brother, and built a small house of his own.

Now, the rice of Cucunu grew faster than that of his brother: so his brother became jealous of him. One night Salaksak turned his cow loose in his brother's field. When Cucunu heard of this, he went to his brother, and said to him, "If you let your cow come into my field again, I shall whip you." But Salaksak paid no attention to his brother's threat, and again he let his cow go into the field of Cucunu. At last his brother grew so impatient that he killed the cow. When Salaksak went to look for his animal, all he found was its skin. As he was ashamed of his deed and afraid of his brother, he dared not accuse him: so he took the skin and put it into a basket.

Not long afterward several hundred cows passed him along the road. He followed them. While the herdsmen were eating their dinner, Salaksak threw his skin among the cows. Then he went up to the hut where the herdsmen were, and said to the chief of the herdsmen, "Friend, it is now a week since I lost my cow, and I am afraid that she has become mixed up with your herd. Please be so kind, therefore, as to count them." The chief immediately went over to where the cows were. As he was counting them, Salaksak picked up the skin, and, shaking his head, he said, "Alas! here is the mark of my cow, and this must be my cow's skin. You must pay me a thousand pesos, or else you shall be imprisoned. My cow was easily worth a thousand pesos; for when she was alive, she used to drop money every day." In their great fear, the herdsmen paid Salaksak the money at once.

Salaksak now went home and told his brother of his good fortune. Hoping to become as rich as his brother, Cucunu immediately killed his cow. He took the skin with him, and left the flesh to Salaksak. As he was in the street calling out, "Who wants to buy a hide?" he was summoned by the ruler of the town, and was accused of having stolen the hide, and he was whipped so badly that he could hardly walk home.

Maddened by the disgrace he had suffered, Cucunu burned the house of his brother one day while he was away. When Salaksak came home, he found nothing but ashes. These he put into a sack, however, and set out to seek his fortune again. On his way he overtook an old man who was carrying a bag of money on his back. Salaksak asked him, "Are you going to the ruler's house?"

"Yes," replied the old man, "I have to give this money to him."

"I am sorry for you, old man. I, too, am going to the palace. What do you say to exchanging loads? Mine is very light in comparison with yours."

"With all my heart, kind boy!" said the old man; and so they exchanged sacks.

After they had travelled together a short distance, Salaksak said, "Old man, you seem to be stronger when you have a light load. Let me see how fast you can run." The old man, having no suspicion of his companion, walked ahead as fast as he could. As soon as Salaksak came to a safe place along the road to hide, he deserted his companion. He went to his brother's house, and told him that he had gotten a sack of silver for a sack of ashes.

"Why," said his brother, "my house is bigger than yours! I ought to get two sacks of ashes if I burn it. I think that would be a good bargain." So he burned his house, too. Then he went through the town, crying, "Who wants to buy ashes?"

"What a foolish man!" said the housewives. "Why should we buy ashes when we don't know what to do with those that come from our own stoves?" When Cucunu came near the house of the ruler, the ruler said to his servants, "I think that fellow is the same one I bade you whip before. Call him in and give him a good thrashing, for he is only making a fool of himself." So Cucunu was summoned and lashed again.

Thoroughly enraged, Cucunu determined that his brother should not deceive him a third time. He thought and thought of what he should do to get rid of him. At last he decided to throw his brother into the river. For this purpose he made a strong cage. One day he caught his brother and confined him in it.

"I will give you three days to repent," said Cucunu. "Now you cannot deceive me any more." He then left his brother in the cage by the bank of the river.

As a young man was passing by, Salaksak began to cry out, "They have put me into this cage because I do not want to marry the ruler's daughter." The young man, who had vainly striven for the hand of the girl, immediately approached Salaksak, and said, "If you will let me take your place, so that I may marry her, I will give you all the cows I have with me."

So by this trick Salaksak escaped. Cucunu, thinking that the man in the cage was his brother, would not listen to what he said, but unmercifully threw him into the river. A few days later, Salaksak went to his brother's house, and told him that it was quite beautiful under the water. "There," he said, "I saw our father and mother. They told me I was not old enough to stay with them, so they sent me back here with a large number of cows."

"Well, well!" said Cucunu, "I too must go see our parents." He then hastened to the river, and threw himself in and was drowned. Thus Salaksak grew rich because of his craftiness.


Version (b) Clever Juan and Envious Diego.

Narrated by Pablo Anzures, a Tagalog from Manila, who heard the story from another Tagalog from Santa Maria, Bulakan.

There were once two brothers named Diego and Juan. Their father had died a long time before, so they lived only with their good mother. In character these two brothers were very different. Diego, the older, was envious and foolish; Juan was clever.

One morning, while Diego was away, Juan called his mother, and said, "Mother, help me fool Diego! Please lie down as if you were dead; and when he arrives, I will blow air through your nose through a bamboo tube. As soon as you feel me blowing, get up and try to look like a woman that has risen from the dead." His mother agreed to do all that she had been told. Then Juan watched and waited for Diego. When he saw him coming, he called to his mother and told her to lie down. Then he pretended to be crying.

When Diego came in and saw his brother, he said, "Juan, why are you crying?"

"Don't you see? Our mother is dead," said Juan. Then Diego felt very sorry, and he too began to weep. Juan then said, "O brother! I remember that I have a magic instrument that resuscitates dead persons." He opened his trunk and took out a short bamboo tube, and began to blow through it into his mother's nose. His mother then pretended to revive, as she had been told. Diego rejoiced; he too was very much surprised at his brother's possession.

The next day the envious Diego stole the bamboo tube and went to the churchyard. There he waited for a funeral to pass by. After a short time the funeral procession of a small boy came along. Diego stopped it, and called to the mother of the boy, "Don't cry! your son is only sleeping. Lay him down here, and you will soon see that he is alive." The mother then ordered the carriers to lay the coffin on the ground. Diego took out his bamboo tube, and, after he had opened the coffin, he began to blow air into the boy's nose; but the boy did not move. He blew harder and harder, but the boy remained as stiff and lifeless as ever. Then the mother of the dead boy became angry; she kicked Diego, and said, "You are only trying to fool us!" Diego was very much ashamed, so he threw away the bamboo tube and ran home.

Some days later the mother of Diego and Juan became ill and died. She left her sons two carabaos for an inheritance. As Diego was the older, he took the fat carabao for himself, and gave the thin one to Juan. Juan was angry: so he killed his carabao, and decided to sell the hide. He tried to sell it in the neighboring villages, but he could not find a buyer. He then walked on and on until he came to a forest. Not very far off, and coming towards him, he saw a band of Tulisanes. [65] They were on horseback, and had a large amount of treasure with them. Juan was afraid: so he climbed a tree, and hid himself with his hide among the branches and leaves. He had no more than concealed himself when the Tulisanes came up and stopped to eat under that very tree. Juan watched them closely. He unintentionally moved the hide which was on the branch beside him, and it fell crashing down on the Tulisanes. Frightened by this most unexpected noise, they ran away as fast as they could, not stopping to take anything with them. Juan descended quickly, mounted a horse, and made off with as much as he could carry.

When he reached home, his brother said to him, "Where did you get all those riches?" Juan replied that he had been given them by the neighboring villages in return for his carabao-hide. Again Diego envied his brother. He went out and killed his fat carabao and dried its hide. Next he went to the neighboring villages and tried to sell it; but many days passed, and still no one would buy.

Now Diego was very angry. He took a wooden box and put his brother inside. He bound the box and carried it to the seashore. He was about to throw it into the water when he remembered that it was not locked: so he left it, and went back to the house to get the key. Meanwhile a Chinese peddler selling gold rings came along. Juan heard him, and shouted, "Chino, Chino, come and see these beautiful and precious things inside!" The Chinaman approached, and opened the box. Juan came out, and said, "I will put you inside, and you will see many beautiful things in the bottom." The Chinaman was willing, so Juan put him in and closed the box. He then took the Chino's gold rings and ran away. Not many minutes later Diego came up, and, after locking the box, he threw it into the ocean.

That same day, while Diego was eating his dinner, Juan came along with some fine gold rings. Diego was astonished to see his brother, and said, "How did you manage to get out of the box, and where did you get those rings?" Juan answered that he sank to the bottom of the ocean, where he saw his mother, and that she had given him all those rings. The foolish Diego believed everything that Juan told him, so he asked his brother to put him into a box and throw him into the ocean. Juan lost no time in obeying. He got a box, put Diego inside, took it to the seashore, and there cast it into the deep water. After that Juan lived happily for many years.


Version (c) Ruined because of Invidiousness.

Narrated by Facundo Esquivel, a Tagalog from Jaen, Nueva Ecija, who was told the story when he was a boy.

In time out of memory there lived two brothers, Pedro and Juan. Pedro was rich, for he had a large herd of cattle: consequently he did not have much use for his younger brother, who was very poor. Juan had nothing that he could call his own but a cow. One day, disappointed over his life of poverty, he killed his cow, and some days afterward he set out to find his fortune. He took nothing with him but the hide of his cow. When he reached the next town, he saw large piles of cattle-hides in front of a butcher's shop. Late that night he stole out secretly and put the skin of his cow in one of the piles. The next morning he went to the shop to talk with the butcher.

"Mr. Butcher," he said, "I have come here to look for my lost cow. Have you not killed a cow with a mark J on the right hip?"

"No," answered the honest man, "all the cows which were killed here came from my herd out there in the mountains."

Juan stood musing for a few moments, and then said, "Let us look through these piles of hide to see whether you killed my cow or not!"

"All right," answered the butcher, and so they began the investigation.

When they found the hide which Juan had put there, he began to quarrel with the man. "You must pay me five hundred pesos for my cow, or else I shall bring a law-suit before the court against you," he said angrily.

"I wonder how this could have happened!" the butcher exclaimed.

"There is no use of wondering," said Juan impatiently. "You stole my cow, and now you have to pay for it." The man, who was very much afraid of being brought before the court, gave Juan the five hundred pesos; and Juan went away with the money in his pocket, and the hide on his head.

On his way home he came to a tree standing at a cross-roads. He was very tired and thirsty, but he could not find a house where to ask for water. He climbed the tree to look for a place to go to, but, instead of a house, he saw a company of armed men coming down the road. The men stopped under the tree to rest. Juan was so terrified that he hardly knew what to do. As he was trembling with fright, the hide fell down from the tree and frightened the men away. They thought that it was a curse from heaven because of their misdeeds. When Juan realized that the men were gone, he recovered from his fright and quickly descended. There on the ground he saw a number of sacks full of money, and, loading a horse with two of the sacks, he started for his home town.

As soon as he reached his house, he went to his brother's to borrow a salop. [66] Then he inserted several pesetas and ten-centavo pieces in the cracks of the salop, and returned the measure. When Pedro saw the coins sticking in the cracks of his measure, he said, "What did you do with the salop?"

"I measured money," said Juan.

"Where did you get the money?" Pedro demanded.

"Where did I get the money?" retorted Juan. "Don't you know that I went to the neighboring town to sell my cowhide?"

"Yes," said Pedro. Then he added, "The price of hides there must be very high, I suppose."

"There is no supposing about it," said Juan. "Just think! one hide is worth two sacks of money."

Pedro, who was envious of his brother's good fortune, killed all his cattle, old and young, and threw the meat into the river. The he started with several carretons [67] full of hides; but he was disappointed when he came to the town, for nobody would buy hides. Discouraged and tired out, he returned. He found Juan living comfortably in a fine new home. Thus Pedro lost all his property because of his invidiousness.


Version (d) The Two Friends.

Narrated by Tomas V. Vargas (of Iloilo?).

Once there lived in a certain village two friends, Juan and Andres. Juan, a very rich man, was tall, big, and strong; while Andres, a very poor man, was small, weak, and short. Andres worked very hard to earn his living, while Juan spent most of his time on pleasure.

One morning Andres went to his friend Juan, and asked to borrow one of his mules. Juan consented, but told Andres that, if any one should ask who the owner of the mule was, he should tell the truth. Andres promised, and went off with the mule. He set to work immediately to plough his small farm. Very soon two neighbors of Andres passed by, and, seeing him with a mule, asked him where he got it. Andres said that he had bought it. The men wondered how a poor man like Andres could buy a mule, and they spread the news about the village. When this news reached Juan, he was very angry, and he ordered his servant to go bring back the mule. The animal was brought back, and Juan was determined not to lend it to his friend any more.

A week later two of Juan's mules, including that which Andres had borrowed, died. Juan threw the carcasses away, but Andres took the skins of those dead mules and dried them to sell in the next town.

The next day Andres set out for the town, resting now and then on account of his heavy load. He was overtaken by night near a solitary house between his village and the town where he was going to sell the hides. He knocked at the house, and asked a woman he found there for a night's lodging. She told him that she could not do anything for him until her husband arrived. So Andres had to wait on the road near the house. Not long afterwards a man came towards the house. Andres went up to him, and asked him if he was the master of the house; but the man said he was not, so Andres had to go back to the road. From where he was sitting, Andres could see that the woman inside was preparing a good supper for the stranger, who meanwhile had entered. While she and the stranger were sitting at the table, Andres saw another man approaching in the distance. The woman hastily opened a big empty trunk and hid the man inside, then she put all the cooked fish in the cupboard.

When the other man, who was the husband, arrived, Andres asked for a night's lodging, and was received kindly. While the husband and Andres were talking, the wife told them that supper was ready, and they went to the table to eat: but there they found nothing for them but rice; so Andres told the husband that he had an enchanted hide, and that they could have fish if he wished. The husband wished to see the skin tested. Andres ordered the skin to bring a man into the trunk; and when the trunk was opened, there was the man. Next he ordered the skin to bring cooked fish to the cupboard; and when the cupboard was opened, there was the cooked fish. The husband then offered Andres a very high price for the enchanted skin, and Andres willingly sold it.

Early the next morning Andres left the house before the others were up. It was not long, however, before the husband found out that the skin was not magic, and he was determined to punish the skin-seller if he should catch him again. Meanwhile Andres had returned to the village. There he met Juan, who, noticing the money in his pocket, asked him where he had gotten it. Andres told him that it was the price of the skins of his dead mules, which he had sold in the neighboring town. On hearing this, Juan went directly home, killed all his mules, and flayed them. As he was passing by the solitary house on his way to the town, he cried out that he had skins for sale. The husband in the house thought that it must be the same man who had sold him the enchanted skin, so he went down and whipped Juan nearly to death.

After this experience, Juan returned home, determined to kill his friend. But Andres was very cunning, and avoided him. Finally Juan, angry beyond all measure, killed the mother of Andres. When Andres found that his mother was dead, he dressed her very well and took her to town. Then he went directly to the town doctor, to whom he explained definitely the sickness of his mother. The doctor immediately prepared medicine for the patient; but just after she had been given the medicine, he noticed that the woman was dead. Andres then accused him of having poisoned his mother; and the doctor, fearing the consequences if Andres should seek justice, agreed to pay him a large sum of money.

Andres returned to his village richer than ever. Juan became friendly again, and asked him where he had gotten his money. Andres told him that it was the price of his mother's corpse, which he had sold in the town. When Juan heard this, he went home and killed his mother. Then he took the corpse to town to sell it; but, as he was passing along the street, a crowd of men began to abuse him, and he narrowly escaped with his life.

Now, Juan was determined not to let Andres escape him. He was after him all the time. Finally one day he caught Andres. He put him inside a sack and carried it down to the seashore. On the way to the sea, he saw a house, and, wishing to have a smoke, he left Andres on the road, and went to the house to get a light. Meanwhile Andres, who was bound in the sack, was crying out that he did not wish to marry the daughter of the king, and that he was being forced against his will. At this instant a cowboy with his herd of cows passed by. He heard Andres, and said that he was willing to marry the king's daughter. Andres told him to unbind the sack, then. He did so, and Andres put the cowherd in his stead. Then Andres hurried away with the cows. Juan came back, picked up the sack, and threw it into the sea. When he returned home, he found Andres there with a fine herd of cows. He asked Andres where he had found them, and Andres said that he had gotten them from under the sea. So Juan, envious as ever, ordered Andres to put him in a sack and throw him into the sea. Andres gladly did so.


Version (e) Juan the Orphan.

Narrated by Leopoldo Uichanco, a Tagalog from Calamba, La Laguna.

There once lived a boy whose name was Juan. His parents had died, leaving Juan nothing but a horse. As he did not have a place at home in which to keep the animal, he begged his Uncle Diego to let the horse stay in his stable. From time to time Juan went to the stable to feed his horse. He loved the animal, and took as great care of it as a father would of a son.

One day Uncle Diego noticed that Juan's horse was growing fatter and more beautiful than any of his own animals. In his envy he killed the horse of his nephew, and said to the innocent boy that the animal had been stricken by "bad air." Being thus deprived of his sole wealth, Juan cut off the best meat from the dead horse, and with this food for his only provision he set out to seek his fortune in another country. On his way through a forest he came across an old man dying of starvation; but the old man had with him a bag full of money.

"Pray," said the old man, talking with difficulty in his pain and weakness, "what have you in your sack, my son?"

"Some dried horse-meat," said Juan.

"Let me see!" The old man looked into the sack, and saw with watering mouth the sweet-smelling meat. "Will you exchange your sack of meat for my sack of money?" he said to Juan. "I have money here, but I cannot eat it. Nor can I go to the town to buy food, because I am too weak. Since you are stronger, my son, pray take this sack of money in exchange, and go to the town and buy meat with it for yourself. For God's sake, leave this meat to me! I am starving to death."

Juan accepted the money in exchange for his meat, and pretended to feel great pity for the old man. He put the heavy bag of money on his shoulder, and with difficulty carried it home. "Uncle Diego!" Juan called out from the foot of his uncle's ladder, "come here! Please come here and help me carry this bag upstairs!"

"Tremendous sum of money," Uncle Diego remarked to his nephew. "Where did you get it?"

"I sold the meat of my dead horse. This is what I got for it," said Juan.

The uncle once more became jealous of Juan. "If with only one horse," he muttered to himself, "he could gain so much money, how much should I get for my fifteen horses!" So he killed all the horses he had in his stable and cut the meat from them. Then he placed the meat in bags, and, carrying two on his shoulders, he cried as he went along the street, "Meat, meat! Horse-meat! Who wishes to buy fresh horse-meat?"

"How much?" asked a gray-headed old woman who was looking out of the window.

"Three hundred ninety-nine thousand pesos, ninety-nine pesetas, six and one half centavos a pound," said Uncle Diego.

The people who heard him only laughed, and thought that something was the matter with his head. Nobody would buy his meat. Nobody cared to deal with him in earnest, and all his meat decayed.

He went home in despair, and planned to take vengeance on his nephew for the mischief he had done him. He cast the little orphan into a big sack, and sewed the mouth of the little prison all up. Then he said that at night he would take the sack and throw it into the river. However, Juan managed to get out of the bag, and in his place he put a muzzled dog. When night came, the uncle shouldered the bag, took it to the river, and hurled it into the deep water. He hoped that Juan would perish there, and that he himself could gain full possession of his nephew's money.

But when morning came, Uncle Diego saw Juan smilingly enter the door of his house. "Juan," said the uncle, "I am surprised to see you again. Tell me all about how you managed to escape from the sack."

"Oh, no, Uncle!" returned Juan, "I haven't time; there is not a moment to lose. I have only come here to bid you good-by."

"And where are you going?"

"Back to the bottom of the river. My love, the Sirena, [68] is waiting for me."

"O Juan!" pleaded the uncle, "if I could only go with you!"

"No, no, no!" protested the boy. "Only one can go at a time. The Sirena would be angry, and she would consequently refuse to admit to her glorious habitation any being from this outside world."

"Then let me go first!"

"No, no, no!" said the boy.

But the uncle pleaded so earnestly, that finally the boy yielded with pretended reluctance. The uncle then covered himself with a rice-sack, and Juan tied the mouth of the bag securely. "I will fool him," Uncle Diego said to himself. "When I am under the water and the Sirena takes me to her house to become her husband, I shall never come back to Juan. Ha, ha, ha!"

"I will fool him," Juan said to himself. "There is no such thing as the Sirena in the river. Thank God, my dreadful uncle will soon be disposed of!" At midnight Juan hurled his happy uncle into the river, saying, "There is no one who owes that must not pay his debt. [69] May my act be justified!"

The heavy sack sank to the bottom of the river, and nothing more was heard of Uncle Diego.



Two other variants, which were collected by Mr. Rusk, and which I have only in abstract, run about as follows:--

Juan the Ashes-Trader.--Juan, a poor dealer in ashes, was in the woods when he heard some robbers coming, and climbed a tree for safety. While they were busy at the foot of the tree, counting their money, he dropped the sack of ashes among them. They ran away in fright, and he acquired all their gold. When the people of the town heard Juan tell how valuable ashes had become, they all burned their houses and took the ashes to the forest, where they arrived just in time to suffer from the wrath of the robbers. Only two escaped to accuse Juan; but Juan was already on a journey, doing good with his money. A dying woman, whom he helped, gave him a magic cane; and when the angry villagers at last found him, he summoned a legion of soldiers by means of his cane, and all of his assailants were killed. [With the second half of this story, cf. No. 28 and notes.]

Colassit and Colaskel.--Colassit was good but poor; Colaskel, rich but bad. Colaskel, quarrelling with Colassit, killed the latter's only carabao. Colassit skinned his dead animal, and took the hide to Laoag to sell it, but could find no purchaser. At night he asked for shelter at a house, but was refused on the ground that the husband was away from home; yet he boldly staid under the house. At midnight he heard the clatter of dishes above, looked up through a hole in the floor, and saw the woman dining merrily with a man. Just then the husband arrived home and knocked at the door. Colassit saw the woman put her paramour into a box in the corner, and the food in another box. Colassit now appeared at the door, and was invited in by the hospitable husband. On being asked what was in his bag, Colassit replied that it was a miraculous thing, which, when it made a noise, as it had a moment before when he had stepped on it, desired to say something. On being asked to interpret, Colassit said that the skin told him that there was delicious food in one of the boxes. Thereupon the food was produced. Now, it was said in the neighborhood that this house was haunted by the Devil, and the owner thought this a good opportunity to find out by magic where the Devil was. Colassit interpreted for the carabao-hide. The Devil was in the other box, he said. After tying the box with heavy ropes, Colassit started toward the river with it. He repeated a jingle which informed the man inside of his imminent fate. The latter replied (also in verse) that he would give a thousand pesos ransom. Colassit accepted, and so became rich. [The narrator says that this is only one of ten adventures belonging to the complete story. It is a pity that the other nine are missing.]

The cycle of tales to which all our variants belong, and which may appropriately be called the "Master Cheat" cycle, is one of the most popular known. It occurs in many different forms; indeed, the very nature of the story--merely a succession of incidents in which a poor but shrewd knave outwits his rich friend or enemy (the distinction matters little to the narrator), and finally brings about his enemy's death while he himself becomes rich--is such as to admit of indefinite expansion, so far as the number and variety of the episodes are concerned. There have been at least four comprehensive descriptive or bibliographical studies of this cycle made,--Köhler's (on Campbell's Gaelic story, No. 39), Cosquin's (notes to Nos. 10 and 20), Clouston's (2 : 229-288), and Bolte-Polívka's (on Grimm, No. 61). Of these, the last, inasmuch as it is the latest (1914) and made use of all the preceding, is the most complete. From it (2 : 10) we learn that the characteristic incidents of this family of drolls are as follows:--

A1 A rabbit (goat, bird) as carrier of messages. A2 A wolf sold for a ram.

B A gold-dropping ass (or horse).

C A self-cooking vessel.

D A hat which pays the landlord.

E1 Dirt (ashes) given (sold, substituted) for gold. E2 Money which was alleged to be in a chest, demanded from the storer of the chest.

F1 Cowhide (or "talking" bird) sold to adulteress, or (F2) sold to her husband, or (F3) exchanged for the chest in which the paramour is concealed, or (F4) elsewhere exchanged for money.

G1 A flute (fiddle, staff, knife) which apparently brings to life again the dead woman. G2 The dead mother killed a second time, and paid for by the supposed murderer.

H Escape of the hero from the sack (chest) by exchanging places with a shepherd.

J Death of the envious one, who wishes to secure some "marine cattle."

The opponents in this group of stories, says Bolte, "are either village companions, or unacquainted marketers, or a rich and an avaricious brother." In addition to the episodes enumerated above, might be mentioned two others not uncommonly found in this cycle:--

F5 Frightening robbers under tree by dropping hide or table on them.

F6 Borrowed measure returned with coins adhering to it.

As these last two occur in other stories, both droll and serious (e.g., Grimm, No. 59; and "1001 Nights," "Ali Baba"), they may not originally have belonged to our present group. However, see Cosquin's notes on his No. xx, "Richedeau" (1 : 225 f.). It is hard to say with certainty just what was originally the one basic motif to which all the others have at one time or another become attached; but it seems to me likely that it was incident H, the sack-by-the-sea episode, for it is this which is the sine qua non of the cycle. To be sure, our third story (c) lacks it, but proves its membership in the family by means of other close resemblances.

Of the elements mentioned by Bolte-Polívka, our five stories and two variants have the following: "How Salaksak became Rich," F4BE1HJ; "Clever Juan and Envious Diego," G1F5HJ; "Ruined because of Invidiousness," F4F5F6; "The Two Friends," F2G2HJ; "Juan the Orphan," F4H (modified) J; "Juan the Ashes-Trader," E1F5; "Colassit and Colaskel," F3. In a Visayan tale (JAFL 19 : 107-109) we find a combination of HJ with a variant of our No. 1. Incident D (hat paying landlord) forms a separate story, which we give below,--No. 50, "Juan and his Painted Hat." Incident B is also narrated as a droll by the Tagalogs; the sharper of the story scattering silver coins about the manure of his cow, and subsequently selling the "magic" animal for a large sum. An examination of the incidents distributed among the Filipino members of this cycle reveals the fact that episode A1 (hare as messenger) is altogether lacking. I have not met with it in any native story, and am inclined to believe that it is not known in the Islands. It is found widespread in Europe, but does not appear to be common in India: among fifteen Indian variants cited by Bolte it is found only twice (i.e., Indian Antiquary, 3 : 11 f.; Bompas, No. 80, p. 242). These Indian versions show, however, that the story in one form or another is found quite generally throughout that country, the Santali furnishing the largest number of variants (six, in all). It would seem reasonable to conclude, therefore, considering the fact that at least seven forms of the tale are known in the Philippines, extending from the Visayas to the northernmost part of Luzon, that the source of the incidents common to these and the Indian versions need not be sought outside the Orient. The case of incidents F1F2F3 seems different. They are lacking in the Far-Eastern representatives of this cycle; and their appearance in the Philippines may be safely traced, I think, to European influence. However, an Indian source for these incidents may yet be discovered, just as sources already have been for so many Italian novella and French fabliaux of a similar flavor. The fact that the earliest form of the "Master Cheat" cycle known is a Latin poem of the eleventh, possibly tenth, century (Köhler-Bolte, 233-234), is of course no proof that elements F4G1HJ, found in that poem, were introduced into India from Europe, though it might be an indication.



[65] Tulisanes, highway robbers or bandits.

[66] Salop, a dry measure of about fifteen centimetres cube.

[67] Carreton, a heavy two-wheeled springless cart.

[68] Sirena, a beautiful enchantress, half woman and half fish, who was supposed to dwell in certain rivers. This belief is fairly common in La Laguna province, especially in the town of Pagsanjan.

[69] One of the most common Tagalog proverbs.

[The end]
Dean S. Fansler's short story: How Salaksak Became Rich