Once upon a time in a beautiful village lived two orphan brothers. Their parents died when they were young, so they had to live with their grandfather. They were very poor and often time had nothing to eat. The time came when their grandfather got sick and died. The orphans were very much worried for there was nobody to take care of them. They were still young and they did not know what to do in order to live. They could not earn their living. They tried to ask for food from their relatives, but their relatives did not care to give them help.
The brothers thought that the only way for them to live was to beg for food from the village people, but the people of the village did not mind them. Instead they cursed the brothers. The orphans thought of going to the pig pens at eating time so they might share with the food of the pigs. They had been doing this for sometime, but later, they were discovered by the people and were driven out of the village.
The poor orphans decided to go to the forest. They reached the forest hungry, and as they roamed they found a big tree bearing plenty of fruits. The poor boys climbed the tree, picked the fruits, and ate them. The next day they noticed that they had horns on their heads. They were terribly frightened and worried.
The orphans continued roaming through the thick forest and at last found another big tree with many beautiful birds singing gaily. This made them forget their ugly appearance and the worries of the past. They climbed the tree, picked the fruits and ate them.
The next day, after eating the fruits of the second tree, the orphans discovered that the horns on their heads had disappeared. They thanked the tree and remembered the spot where it was growing. The orphans discovered that they had grown big, tall, and handsome. They decided to return to their village.
When the boys reached the village, the people did not recognize them, so they made themselves known and the people became interested in what had happened. The orphan brothers told the people what happened to them in the forest when they were driven out of the village. The whole barrio requested the orphans to let them do what they did so that they might also become handsome and beautiful. The orphan brothers were very willing to help them.
The brothers started at once for the forest to get the fruits of the first tree that could make horns grow on the heads of people. They returned with plenty of good-looking fruits and each person was given a fruit to eat. The next morning, the people found out that they had horns on their heads. The people got very angry with the orphan brothers and wanted to kill them. The orphans pretended to be ignorant of what happened to the people. They told the people that they would try to find a way to make the horns on their heads disappear on condition that they would share them lands, household property, and a house.
The people did not like the condition demanded by the orphans, at first, but when they saw that the horns on their heads were getting longer they agreed to the terms. They shared the poor orphans with their lands and household properties a very nice house was built for them. After all the demands of the orphans were granted, the two brothers went to the forest to get some fruits of the tree that could make horns on the head of the people disappear. The villagers eagerly waited for the early return of the orphan brothers. At last the orphans returned with the fruits. All the people were given one fruit each.
The next morning the people were surprised to find out that they no longer had horns. The men became very handsome and the women became very beautiful. Since then people of the village respected and honored the poor orphan brothers. They became distinguished leaders of the village. The cruelty and hatred of the village people turned to love and honor.
Dekdeken, Mariano. “The Orphans.” In Folk Tales of Mountain Province: Retold for Children-Grade V. 1st ed. Baguio City: n.p., 1960, 73-75.
This folk tale was produced by Area - - A during a Division Curriculum Workshop held in Baguio City, Philippines on February 9-17, 1960. The workshop’s theme was “Enriching the Curriculum Through the Development of Local Materials.”
“Division” in Division Curriculum Workshop refers to a schools division of the Department of the Education. It could have been then the “Mountain Province Schools Division.” (YBelen,12December2014)