Philippine folk tales ( 1916) PDF book by Mabel Cook Cole

Download Philippine folk tales ( 1916) PDF book by Mabel Cook Cole

Philippine folk tales


We had planned to reach the distant Tinguian village in the late afternoon but had failed to reckon with the deliberateness of native carriers. It was only by urging our horses that we were able to ford the broad Abra ere the last rays of the sun dropped behind the mountains. And then, in this land of no twilights, night had settled quickly over us. 

We had made our way up the mountain-side, through the thick jungle, only to find that the trail, long imperceptible to us, had escaped even the keen eyes of our guide. For several hours we wandered about, lost in the darkness. On and on we went, through narrow paths, steep in places, and made rough and dangerous by sharp rocks as well as by those long creepers of the jungle whose thorny fingers are ever ready to seize horse or rider. 

Occasionally we came out of the forest, only to cross rocky mountain streams; or perhaps it was the same stream that we crossed many times. Our horses, becoming weary and uncertain of the foot, grew more and more reluctant to plunge into the dark, swiftly flowing water. And our patience was nearly exhausted when we, at last, caught sight of dim lights in the valley below. Half an hour later we rode into Manabu. 

I shall never forget that first picture. It was a weird spectacle. Coming out of the darkness, we were almost convinced that we had entered a new world. Against the blackness of the night, grass-roofed houses stood outlined in the dim light of a bonfire; and squatting around that fire, unclad save for gay blankets wrapped about their shoulders, were brown-skinned men smoking long pipes, while women bedecked with bright beads were spinning cotton. As they worked in the flickering light, they stretched their distaffs at arm's length into the air like witches waving their wands; and with that the elfland picture was complete.

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