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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

AFRO ASIAN STORIES WITH ANALYSIS

Author: Yssa Marie Lopez
Title: The Fox and the Bear
Body of the story: Long ago, deep in the hills of Japan, there lived a fox and a bear. One day, the fox came to the bear with a plan.
“I have a good idea, Mrs. Bear,” the fox said. “will you listen?”
“yes, of course,” answered the bear.
“well, at the edge of this forest there is a great, wide field,” the fox explained. “There’s nothing growing in it now, but it could be full of cabbages and onions and good things to eat.”
“How?” the bear asked.
“Why we’ll put them there,” the fox went on. “All we need to do is to till the soil and plant some seeds.”
So the two of them went off to inspect the field at the edge of the forest, and to decide what had to be done. Soon the bear was plowing the field. The fox went for the seeds and then planted them. When they were finished, the fox sat down by the bear. “Let’s decide who is going to get which half of the crop, so we won’t quarrel about it later,: he suggested. “That’s good idea,” replied the bear.
Before she could say anything else, the fox quickly added, “I’ll take the half that grows under the soil.”
The bear could say nothing except, “Very well I’ll take the half that grows on top of the soil.”
Before long, tiny green shoots began to appear in even rows over the field. Finally, one day the fox and the bear decided it was time to harvest their crops.
“Look, Mrs. Bear,” the fox said cheerfully, “you are going to get all that lovely green that’s growing on top of the soil.” The bear nodded happily and lumbered out into the field to harvest the crop.

While the bear was busy pulling up the crops, the fox was busy cutting off the roots for himself. Soon, he filled his own baskets full and slipped away quietly. The bear gathered her green and carried them to her cave.
But next morning, when the bear got up, she found the leaves had begun to wither and die. She tried eating the few, but they were bitter.
“I wonder how the fox made out,” the bear thought to herself and hurried over to visit him.
When she got to the fox’s home she found him lying in the sun, nibbling on a tender, juicy carrot. And she saw that the fox had many baskets full of tender sweet carrots.
“Were those the roots I pulled up yesterday?” the bear asked in surprised.
“why, yes, Mrs. Bear,” the fox answered without even looking up. “How were your greens?”
“They have already begun to dry. I couldn’t eat any this morning,” she said forlornly. “ Could I have a few of yours carrots, Mr. fox?”
The fox shook his head. “Remember we made a bargain. You got everything that grew on top of the soil, and I got everything underneath. A bargain is a bargain.”

A few weeks later, just when the bear had begun to forget about the clever fox, he appeared again in front of the bear’s cave.
“I admit I wasn’t very fair the last time,” said the fox. “let’s plant another crop and this time,you choose which half of the crop you’d like. ”
The bear wasn’t going to be fooled again.
“very well,” she said, “this time , I want the half that grows beneath the soil. You take that grows on top.”
“Anything you say,” the fox answered and again he trotted away to get the seeds while the bear plowed ang dug up the field.
After a few weeks, the bear and the fox met look at their crop. There were rows and rows of beautiful green leaves.
“Now, Mr. fox, you take what’s on top,” said the bear. “I’ll take what’s under the ground.”
The fox nodded and quickly got to work picking his crop. When his arms is full, he went home.
When the bear dug up the roots, she found a few thin, scraggly things about an inch long.
 “why, these aren’t carrots!” she thought angrily. “I can’t eat these tiny roots.” She ran to see what the fox had taken home. She found him with several baskets full of beautiful red strawberries.
“Mr. fox, you’ve tricked me again,” the bear cried angrily. “let me at least taste one of your strawberries.” But the fox shook his head. “you chose the bottom half. You can’t have any of the top.” And so the bear wandered off sad and hungry.
One day as the bear was eating some meat, the fox strolled up. “good day, mrs. Bear”, he said, bowing low . “my, that looks like a piece of meat. May I have just a taste.”
The bear suddenly had a plan. “go right ahead,” she said, “take all you want.”
The fox ate until he was full. “where did you get such good meat?”
The bear smile to herself. “It’s really very easy, especially for someone your size,” she said.
“tell me,” the fox asked anxiously. “where do I go? What do I do?”
“well,” the bear went on, “I discovered that just beyond the mountain is a wide meadow. The meadow is full of green grass, and you will see man horses grazing there.”
“yes, yes,” the fox said, listening carefully.
“pick out the biggest horse. Tie your tail to its tail, and then bite one of its hind legs as hard as you can.”
“is it all?” asked the fox.
The bear nodded, “as soon as you bite, the horse will weaken and die. You will then have all the meat you can eat.”
The fox ran quickly as he could to the meadow. He stole up behind a big, white horse and tied his own tail securely to the horses. Then he bit one of its hind legs as hard as he could. The horse gave a terrible cry, kicked up its hind legs , and run wildly over the field, dragging the fox behind it.
“Help! Stop!”  Shouted the fox, but  the frightened horse just ran all the more.  The fox was kicked and dragged over all the stones and stumps that lay in the meadow, and finally was thrown against a big tree. He was sitting there holding his aching head and moaning to himself when the bear came along to see what had happened.
“ look at me!” the fox whimpered, licking his wounds. “look what that terrible horse did to me!”
But the bear didn’t feel a bit sorry for the fox. “mr. fox,” she said quietly, “ you got exactly what you deserved.” And she walked away into the forest without even looking back.
ANALYSIS:
Author’s biography:
 Yoshiko Uchida almost single-handedly created a body of Japanese-American literature for children, where none existed before. As the first Nissei writer to devote an entire career to writing for young people about her own rich cultural heritage, she expanded the range of children's reading, with important results for young readers of all ethnic backgrounds.
Uchida was born in Alameda, California, on 24 November 1921, the second daughter of Takashi ("Dwight") and Iku Umegaki Uchida. Dwight Uchida immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1903 and worked for the San Francisco offices of Mitsui and Company, where he eventually became a manager. His daughter remembered him as a cheerful man with gregarious habits and a love of gardening. Iku Umegaki, the eldest daughter of a prefectural governor of Japan, immigrated to the United States in 1916 to marry Dwight Uchida. Both were graduates of Doshisha University, one of the early Christian universities of Japan, where relationships between students and teachers were exceptionally close; following the advice of two professors at Doshisha, Dwight and Iku began a year-long correspondence that culminated in their marriage.

Story Analysis
Title: the fox and the bear
Characters:  Mrs. Bear
                        Mr. Fox
Settings: Japan
Plot:  the fox and the bear had a planned that they will plant a crop. They plant a crop and when the crop grows they will divide it in to two.  The fox decide that he will take the half that grows under the soil. Then the bear agreed. After the fox had finished taking the half of the crop, he slipped away quietly. And after the bear gathered her green, she carried them to her cave. Morning came then the bear woke up. She found the leaves had begun to wither and die. She tried eating the few, but they were bitter.
She go to the fox and saw that the fox was eating. She came near to the fox and asked if where the roots she pulled out yesterday are. In addition she said that the leaves dried. And the bear add, if she could taste some of the carrots. The fox then said that they have a bargain. 
a few weeks later, the fox appeared again to the bear . Then he said that they plant another crop and the bear would choose now. The bear is tricked again by the fox so the bear planned to tricked the fox. The bear is eating meat and the fox saw it. So the fox immediately went to the bear to asked if where did she get the delicious meat. And the bear said that he get it from a horse, so the fox run quickly and bit the leg of the horse. But the horse kicked the fox and was throwned and was stocked in a biggest tree.
Summary:
                    The fox and the bear had a planned that they will plant a crop. They plant a crop and when the crop grows they will divide it in to two.  The fox decide that he will take the half that grows under the soil. Then the bear agreed. After the fox had finished taking the half of the crop, he slipped away quietly. And after the bear gathered her green, she carried them to her cave. Morning came then the bear woke up. She found the leaves had begun to wither and die. She tried eating the few, but they were bitter.
She go to the fox and saw that the fox was eating. She came near to the fox and asked if where the roots she pulled out yesterday are. In addition she said that the leaves dried. And the bear add, if she could taste some of the carrots. The fox then said that they have a bargain. 
a few weeks later, the fox appeared again to the bear . Then he said that they plant another crop and the bear would choose now. The bear is tricked again by the fox so the bear planned to tricked the fox. The bear is eating meat and the fox saw it. So the fox immediately went to the bear to asked if where did she get the delicious meat. And the bear said that he get it from a horse, so the fox run quickly and bit the leg of the horse. But the horse kicked the fox and was throwned and was stocked in a biggest tree.
Cultural Strains:
Crops
Meat
Reflection:
         In the story, we get a lesson from it. We have no right to deceived or cheat to others because time will come that the one who you cheated will cheat on you too.
Title:
The trial of the stone
Body of the story:
The boy Ah Niew was an orphan whose mother died when he was two years old. His grandmother brought him up by selling cakes cooked in oil. He carried the cakes in the basket lined with oily paper and peddled these in the streets.
One day, Ah Niew was especially lucky. He had sold the three hundred cakes very fast. He was about to go home home when he saw an old woman crossing the street with a basketful of fruits . In her haste, she stumble and her fruits rolled in the streets. Ah Niew put down his basket with the money in it and came to the woman’s rescue. He gathered the fruits, rubbed off the dust from them, and returned them in the basket.
When he turned to get his own basket, it was gone. He looked around and saw it beside a big stone. But the money was gone.
Ah Niew cried so loud that the people came to see what was the matter. “Oh!Oh! My money is gone…” Ah Niew wailed. “What will my grandmother say? She work so hard baking all those dakes in oil – and I sold them all. But the money is gone.
Paw Kong, a Mandarin who was a kindhearted judge, happened to be passing by. Ah Niew ran to him for help. Paw Kong scrutinized the faces of the onlookers. He said to a young man, “Did you take the boy’s money?”
“No,” replied the young man.
“Did you take it?” he asked a stout man.
“No,” he replied.
All the people around whom he had asked denied that they had taken the money.
Paw Kong said, “I have asked all of you and none would admit theft. The only remaining object nearby is this stone, so it must be the thief. Servants, take that stone to the court. I shall try it for taking the boy’s money.
The people laughed but they were curious to see the trial of the stone, so they went with Paw Kong to the court.
“You must each pay twenty cents to enter the court,” Paw Kong told them.
The judge instructed the servants to put a pot of water at the entrance to the court. “Each person must put twenty cents in the pot of water before he enters the court,” he told the people.
Paw Kong stood by the pot of water, looking intently at the water as each man dropped  in hid twenty cents. The pot was nearly full of money.
At last, the man with a big nose put in twenty cents.
“That is the man who took the money,” said Paw Kong. “Servants, take him! Look in his bag and you will find the money.”
The mandarin’s servants seized the man, opened his bag, and true enough! They found two hundred eighty cents.
“That is my money,” shouted Ah Niew.
“Yes, that is your money,” agreed Paw Kong.
“How did you know that is the boy’s money?” asked the people.
“Look!” said Paw Kong. “Look at the water. Ah NIew put his money under the paper lining of the basket. I saw the paper. So his money has oil in it. There is oil on the water, which appeared only when the man put his twenty cents in the pot.”
Then Paw Kong told his servants, “Give Ah Niew his money, plus all the money in the pot.” Turning to Ah Niew, he said, “Your grandmother makes very delicious cakes. You may ask her to make twenty of them, and you bring them to me.”
“Thank you, thank you, Sir,” replied the grateful Ah Niew as he skipped gaily home to his grandmother.
ANALYSIS:
Authors biography:
Richardo Keens-Douglas, born in 1953, is a Canadian film and stage actor.
Richardo Keens-Douglas is one of Canada's best known names in storytelling circles as well as in literature and art. He is also very well known for his work as an actor, playwright, television and radio host. He was born in the fifties in the southern Caribbean island of Grenada commonly known as the “Isle of Spice”, and spent his childhood there. He is the youngest of seven brothers and sisters, including popular Trinidadian writer, Paul Keens-Douglas. His love of acting and performing blossomed at a young age and when he was seventeen, Keens-Douglas moved to Montreal to attend Dawson Theater School.Continuing his love affair with the stage, he went on to perform at the Ontario’s Stratford Festival. But when he came up against the systemic racism that existed within the performing arts in Canada at that time, he made a decision to concentrate on writing and performing his own material.
Keens-Douglas had been living in Toronto for more than fifteen years, moving back and forth between the city and his Grenadian home. Since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, however, he has moved back to Grenada in order to help rebuild the island, and to write and perform in benefit events.
A review of Keens-Douglas’ work and themes shows that he is mainly inspired to bring to life the stories of the Caribbean -- to the stage and to the page. He emphasizes the mystical and magical art of oral culture and storytelling, not only in English, but also in French and Spanish. Most of his work has been published by Annick Press and is written mainly for young adults, although he is well known for his work for children.
His first book, The Nutmeg Princess has a very important message: “Follow your dreams, and if you believe in yourself all things are possible.” Two of his other works for children, La Diablesse and the Baby and Freedom Child of the Sea can all be found in the anthology, Tales from the Isle of Spice (2004). Keens-Douglas performs his children's stories at schools and universities and draws on a diversity of sources that include anthologies, his poetry and his musical performances.
Over the years, Keens-Douglas’ career has spanned working on the stage and in films across Canada. His latest musical play, St. George's: Aye Yay Yay Ivan was performed in Toronto in 2005 to raise funds for hurricane-hit Grenada. Other plays written and acted in by Keens-Douglas include the stage rendition of his book The Nutmeg Princess; Mama God, Papa God; and the well known production, Playboy of the West Indies. Keens-Douglas has hosted the CBC radio program, Cloud Nine and has also written for radio. Titles include Tell me a Tale, Once Upon an Island and Caribbean Cindy.
Keens-Douglas has received many awards for his work in theater and his literary work. He received a nomination for the Dora Mavor Moore in 1985 for best actor in his personally penned musical The Obeah Man. He won the same award in 2000 for his musical rendition of his first children's book, The Nutmeg Princess. This play was also a finalist in 2000 for the Chalmers Canadian Play Awards. His 1991 play, Once Upon an Island was nominated for a Sterling Award for best touring production.
For his literary work, Keens-Douglas won a Storytelling World Honor Award for La Diablesse and the Baby, his second book for children. He also won the Oak Adult Literacy Book Award for Tales from the Isle of Spice, an award sponsored by the Ontario Library Association.

Title:
The trial of the stone
Characters:
Ah Niew
Paw Kong
Settings:
China
Plot:
There was a boy named Ah NIew selling cakes cooked in oil. One day Ah niew was lucky because he sell all the cakes. But there were bad happens, he saw an old woman crossing a street with a basket of fruits. She stumbled and her fruits rolled in the streets. Ah Niew put her bag with the money on it and came to the woman’s rescue. And then when he was done, he turned to egt his basket, but it was gone. He looked around and saw it beside the bid stone. But the money was gone. So, Ah Niew cried loud. And a kind-hearted judge helped Ah Niew. And Paw Kong asked the people to pay twenty cents. So everyone pay twenty cents. And atlast the the man with big nose put twenty cents. Then Paw Kong ordered his servants to get the man because he is the one who stole the money of Ah Niew. The servants of Paw Kong check the bag of the man and they found the money of ah niew. And the man give the money back to Ah Niew.
Summary:
 There was a boy named Ah NIew selling cakes cooked in oil. One day Ah niew was lucky because he sell all the cakes. But there were bad happens, he saw an old woman crossing a street with a basket of fruits. She stumbled and her fruits rolled in the streets. Ah Niew put her bag with the money on it and came to the woman’s rescue. And then when he was done, he turned to egt his basket, but it was gone. He looked around and saw it beside the bid stone. But the money was gone. So, Ah Niew cried loud. And a kind-hearted judge helped Ah Niew. And Paw Kong asked the people to pay twenty cents. So everyone pay twenty cents. And atlast the the man with big nose put twenty cents. Then Paw Kong ordered his servants to get the man because he is the one who stole the money of Ah Niew. The servants of Paw Kong check the bag of the man and they found the money of ah niew. And the man give the money back to Ah Niew.
Cultural strain:
Cakes cooked in oil
Reflection:
We don’t neeed to steal money for others. We should work hard and obey other people and their properties.

Title:
The Lion-makers
Body of the story:
In a certain town were 4 Brahmans who lived in friendship. Three of them had reached the far shore of scholarship but lacked sense. The other found scholarship distasteful; he had nothing but sense.
One day they mey for consultation. “What is the use of attainments,” they said, “if one does not travel, win the favor of kings, and acquire money?  Whatever we do, let us all travel.”
But when they has gone a little way, the eldest of them said, “One of us, the fourth, is a dullard having nothing but sense. Now nobody gains the favorable attention of kings by sense without scholarship. Therefore, we will not share our earnings with him. Let him turn back and go home.”
Then the second said, “My intelligent friend, you lack scholarship. Please go home.” But the third said, “No,no. This is no way to behave. For we have played together since we were little boys. Come along, my noble friend. You shall have a share of the money we will earn.”
With this agreement, they continued their journey, and in a forest found the bones of a dead lion.   Thereupon one of them said,, “A good opportunity to test the ripeness of our scholarship. Here lies some kind of creature, dead. Let us bring it to life by means of our  scholarship that we have honestly won.”
Then the first said, “I know how to assemble the skeleton.” The second said, “I can supply skin, flesh, blood.” The third said, “I can give it life.”
So the first assembled the skeleton, the second provided the skin, flesh, and blood. But while the third was intent on giving the breath of life, the man of sense advises against it, remarking, “This is a lion. If you bring him to life, he will kill everyone of us.”
“You simpleton!” said the other. “It is not I who will reduce scholarshipto nullity.” “In that case,” came the reply, “wait a moment, while I climb this convenient tree.”
And that is why they say:
Scholarship is less than sense;
Therefore seek intelligence;
Senseless scholars in their pride
Made a lion, then they died.

Authors Biography:
Vishnu Sharma was an Indian scholar and author who is believed to have written the Panchatantra collection of fables. The exact period of the composition of the Panchatantra is uncertain, and estimates vary from 1200 BCE to 300 CE. Some scholars place him in the 3rd century BCE.
Vishnu Sharma is one of the most widely translated secular authors in history. ThePanchatantra was translated into Pahlavi in 570 CE by Borzūya and into Arabic in 750 CE by Persian scholar Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa as Kalīlah wa Dimnah (Arabic: كليلة و دمنة‎). In Baghdad, the translation commissioned by Al-Mansur, the second Abbasid Caliph, is claimed to have become "second only to the Qu'ran in popularity." "As early as the eleventh century this work reached Europe, and before 1600 it existed in Greek,Latin, Spanish, Italian, German, English, Old Slavonic, Czech, and perhaps otherSlavonic languages. Its range has extended from Java to Iceland."  In France, "at least eleven Panchatantra tales are included in the work of La Fontaine."
Title: the lion- maker
Characters:
Four Brahmans
Settings: India

Plot:
In a certain town were four Brahmans who lived in friendship. Three of them had reached the far shore of all scholarship,, but lacked sense. The other found scholarship distasteful; he had nothing but sense. 
One day they met for consultation. "What is the use of attainments," said they, "ifone does not travel, win the favor of kings, and acquire money? Whatever we do, let us all travel." 
But when they had gone a little way, the eldest of them said: "One of us, the fourth, is a dullard, having nothing but sense. Now nobody gains the favorable attention of kings by simple sense without scholarship. Therefore we will not share our earnings with him. Let him turn back and go home."
Then the second said: "My intelligent friend, you lack scholarship. Please go home." But the third said: "No, no. This is no way to behave. For we have played together since we were little boys. Come along, my noble friend. You shall have a share of the money we earn. With this agreement they continued their journey, and in a forest they found the bones of a dead lion. Thereupon one of them said: "A good opportunity to test the ripeness of our scholarship. Here lies some kind of creature, dead. Let us bring it to life by means of the scholarship we have honestly won." 
Then the first said: "I know how to assemble the skeleton." The second said: "I can supply skin, flesh, and blood." The third said: "I can give it life." So the first assembled the skeleton, the second provided skin, flesh, and blood. But while the third was intent on giving the breath of life, the man of sense advised against it, remarking: "This is a lion. If you bring him to life, he will kill every one of us."  "You simpleton !" said the other, "it is not I who will reduce scholarship to a nullity." "In that case," came the reply, "wait a moment, while I climb this convenient tree."
When this had been done, the lion was brought to life, rose up, and killed all three. But the man of sense, after the lion had gone elsewhere, climbed down and went home.
And that is why I say:
Scholarship is less than sense, ... and the rest of it."
               
Summary:
In a certain town were four Brahmans who lived in friendship. Three of them had reached the far shore of all scholarship,, but lacked sense. The other found scholarship distasteful; he had nothing but sense. 
One day they met for consultation. "What is the use of attainments," said they, "ifone does not travel, win the favor of kings, and acquire money? Whatever we do, let us all travel." 
But when they had gone a little way, the eldest of them said: "One of us, the fourth, is a dullard, having nothing but sense. Now nobody gains the favorable attention of kings by simple sense without scholarship. Therefore we will not share our earnings with him. Let him turn back and go home."
Then the second said: "My intelligent friend, you lack scholarship. Please go home." But the third said: "No, no. This is no way to behave. For we have played together since we were little boys. Come along, my noble friend. You shall have a share of the money we earn. With this agreement they continued their journey, and in a forest they found the bones of a dead lion. Thereupon one of them said: "A good opportunity to test the ripeness of our scholarship. Here lies some kind of creature, dead. Let us bring it to life by means of the scholarship we have honestly won." 
Then the first said: "I know how to assemble the skeleton." The second said: "I can supply skin, flesh, and blood." The third said: "I can give it life." So the first assembled the skeleton, the second provided skin, flesh, and blood. But while the third was intent on giving the breath of life, the man of sense advised against it, remarking: "This is a lion. If you bring him to life, he will kill every one of us."  "You simpleton !" said the other, "it is not I who will reduce scholarship to a nullity." "In that case," came the reply, "wait a moment, while I climb this convenient tree."
When this had been done, the lion was brought to life, rose up, and killed all three. But the man of sense, after the lion had gone elsewhere, climbed down and went home.
And that is why I say:
Scholarship is less than sense, ... and the rest of it."
               

Reflection:
We must use our senses before doing something.
MAY DAY EVE  by  Nick Joaquin
The old people had ordered that the dancing should stop at ten o’clock but it was almost midnight before the carriages came filing up the departing guests, while the girls who were staying were promptly herded upstairs to the bedrooms, the young men gathering around to wish them a good night and lamenting their ascent with mock signs and moaning, proclaiming themselves disconsolate but straightway going off to finish the punch and the brandy though they were quite drunk already and simply bursting with wild spirits, merriment, arrogance and audacity, for they were young bucks newly arrived from Europe; the ball had been in their honor; and they had waltzed and polka-ed and bragged and swaggered and flirted all night and where in no mood to sleep yet--no, caramba, not on this moist tropic eve! not on this mystic May eve! --with the night still young and so seductive that it was madness not to go out, not to go forth---and serenade the neighbors! cried one; and swim in the Pasid! cried another; and gather fireflies! cried a third—whereupon there arose a great clamor for coats and capes, for hats and canes, and they were a couple of street-lamps flickered and a last carriage rattled away upon the cobbles while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush, their tile roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wile sky murky with clouds, save where an evil young moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled, whistling and whining, smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable childhood fragrances or ripe guavas to the young men trooping so uproariously down the street that the girls who were desiring upstairs in the bedrooms catered screaming to the windows, crowded giggling at the windows, but were soon sighing amorously over those young men bawling below; over those wicked young men and their handsome apparel, their proud flashing eyes, and their elegant mustaches so black and vivid in the moonlight that the girls were quite ravished with love, and began crying to one another how carefree were men but how awful to be a girl and what a horrid, horrid world it was, till old Anastasia plucked them off by the ear or the pigtail and chases them off to bed---while from up the street came the clackety-clack of the watchman’s boots on the cobble and the clang-clang of his lantern against his knee, and the mighty roll of his great voice booming through the night, "Guardia serno-o-o! A las doce han dado-o-o.
And it was May again, said the old Anastasia. It was the first day of May and witches were abroad in the night, she said--for it was a night of divination, and night of lovers, and those who cared might peer into a mirror and would there behold the face of whoever it was they were fated to marry, said the old Anastasia as she hobble about picking up the piled crinolines and folding up shawls and raking slippers in corner while the girls climbing into four great poster-beds that overwhelmed the room began shrieking with terror, scrambling over each other and imploring the old woman not to frighten them.
"Enough, enough, Anastasia! We want to sleep!"
"Go scare the boys instead, you old witch!"
"She is not a witch, she is a maga. She is a maga. She was born of Christmas Eve!"
"St. Anastasia, virgin and martyr."
"Huh? Impossible! She has conquered seven husbands! Are you a virgin, Anastasia?"
"No, but I am seven times a martyr because of you girls!"
"Let her prophesy, let her prophesy! Whom will I marry, old gypsy? Come, tell me."
"You may learn in a mirror if you are not afraid."
"I am not afraid, I will go," cried the young cousin Agueda, jumping up in bed.
"Girls, girls---we are making too much noise! My mother will hear and will come and pinch us all. Agueda, lie down! And you Anastasia, I command you to shut your mouth and go away!""Your mother told me to stay here all night, my grand lady!"
"And I will not lie down!" cried the rebellious Agueda, leaping to the floor. "Stay, old woman. Tell me what I have to do."
"Tell her! Tell her!" chimed the other girls.
The old woman dropped the clothes she had gathered and approached and fixed her eyes on the girl. "You must take a candle," she instructed, "and go into a room that is dark and that has a mirror in it and you must be alone in the room. Go up to the mirror and close your eyes and shy:
Mirror, mirror, show to me him whose woman I will be. If all goes right, just above your left shoulder will appear the face of the man you will marry." A silence. Then: "And hat if all does not go right?" asked Agueda. "Ah, then the Lord have mercy on you!" "Why." "Because you may see--the Devil!"
The girls screamed and clutched one another, shivering. "But what nonsense!" cried Agueda. "This is the year 1847. There are no devil anymore!" Nevertheless she had turned pale. "But where could I go, hugh? Yes, I know! Down to the sala. It has that big mirror and no one is there now." "No, Agueda, no! It is a mortal sin! You will see the devil!" "I do not care! I am not afraid! I will go!" "Oh, you wicked girl! Oh, you mad girl!" "If you do not come to bed, Agueda, I will call my mother." "And if you do I will tell her who came to visit you at the convent last March. Come, old woman---give me that candle. I go." "Oh girls---give me that candle, I go."
But Agueda had already slipped outside; was already tiptoeing across the hall; her feet bare and her dark hair falling down her shoulders and streaming in the wind as she fled down the stairs, the lighted candle sputtering in one hand while with the other she pulled up her white gown from her ankles. She paused breathless in the doorway to the sala and her heart failed her. She tried to imagine the room filled again with lights, laughter, whirling couples, and the jolly jerky music of the fiddlers. But, oh, it was a dark den, a weird cavern for the windows had been closed and the furniture stacked up against the walls. She crossed herself and stepped inside.
The mirror hung on the wall before her; a big antique mirror with a gold frame carved into leaves and flowers and mysterious curlicues. She saw herself approaching fearfully in it: a small while ghost that the darkness bodied forth---but not willingly, not completely, for her eyes and hair were so dark that the face approaching in the mirror seemed only a mask that floated forward; a bright mask with two holes gaping in it, blown forward by the white cloud of her gown. But when she stood before the mirror she lifted the candle level with her chin and the dead mask bloomed into her living face.
She closed her eyes and whispered the incantation. When she had finished such a terror took hold of her that she felt unable to move, unable to open her eyes and thought she would stand there forever, enchanted. But she heard a step behind her, and a smothered giggle, and instantly opened her eyes.
"And what did you see, Mama? Oh, what was it?" But Dona Agueda had forgotten the little girl on her lap: she was staring pass the curly head nestling at her breast and seeing herself in the big mirror hanging in the room. It was the same room and the same mirror out the face she now saw in it was an old face---a hard, bitter, vengeful face, framed in graying hair, and so sadly altered, so sadly different from that other face like a white mask, that fresh young face like a pure mask than she had brought before this mirror one wild May Day midnight years and years ago.... "But what was it Mama? Oh please go on! What did you see?" Dona Agueda looked down at her daughter but her face did not soften though her eyes filled with tears. "I saw the devil." she said bitterly. The child blanched. "The devil, Mama? Oh... Oh..." "Yes, my love. I opened my eyes and there in the mirror, smiling at me over my left shoulder, was the face of the devil." "Oh, my poor little Mama! And were you very frightened?" "You can imagine. And that is why good little girls do not look into mirrors except when their mothers tell them. You must stop this naughty habit, darling, of admiring yourself in every mirror you pass- or you may see something frightful some day." "But the devil, Mama---what did he look like?" "Well, let me see... he has curly hair and a scar on his cheek---" "Like the scar of Papa?" "Well, yes. But this of the devil was a scar of sin, while that of your Papa is a scar of honor. Or so he says." "Go on about the devil." "Well, he had mustaches." "Like those of Papa?" "Oh, no. Those of your Papa are dirty and graying and smell horribly of tobacco, while these of the devil were very black and elegant--oh, how elegant!" "And did he speak to you, Mama?" "Yes… Yes, he spoke to me," said Dona Agueda. And bowing her graying head; she wept.
"Charms like yours have no need for a candle, fair one," he had said, smiling at her in the mirror and stepping back to give her a low mocking bow. She had whirled around and glared at him and he had burst into laughter. "But I remember you!" he cried. "You are Agueda, whom I left a mere infant and came home to find a tremendous beauty, and I danced a waltz with you but you would not give me the polka." "Let me pass," she muttered fiercely, for he was barring the way. "But I want to dance the polka with you, fair one," he said. So they stood before the mirror; their panting breath the only sound in the dark room; the candle shining between them and flinging their shadows to the wall. And young Badoy Montiya (who had crept home very drunk to pass out quietly in bed) suddenly found himself cold sober and very much awake and ready for anything. His eyes sparkled and the scar on his face gleamed scarlet. "Let me pass!" she cried again, in a voice of fury, but he grasped her by the wrist. "No," he smiled. "Not until we have danced." "Go to the devil!" "What a temper has my serrana!" "I am not your serrana!" "Whose, then? Someone I know? Someone I have offended grievously? Because you treat me, you treat all my friends like your mortal enemies." "And why not?" she demanded, jerking her wrist away and flashing her teeth in his face. "Oh, how I detest you, you pompous young men! You go to Europe and you come back elegant lords and we poor girls are too tame to please you. We have no grace like the Parisiennes, we have no fire like the Sevillians, and we have no salt, no salt, no salt! Aie, how you weary me, how you bore me, you fastidious men!" "Come, come---how do you know about us?"
"I was not admiring myself, sir!" "You were admiring the moon perhaps?" "Oh!" she gasped, and burst into tears. The candle dropped from her hand and she covered her face and sobbed piteously. The candle had gone out and they stood in darkness, and young Badoy was conscience-stricken. "Oh, do not cry, little one!" Oh, please forgive me! Please do not cry! But what a brute I am! I was drunk, little one, I was drunk and knew not what I said." He groped and found her hand and touched it to his lips. She shuddered in her white gown. "Let me go," she moaned, and tugged feebly. "No. Say you forgive me first. Say you forgive me, Agueda." But instead she pulled his hand to her mouth and bit it - bit so sharply in the knuckles that he cried with pain and lashed cut with his other hand--lashed out and hit the air, for she was gone, she had fled, and he heard the rustling of her skirts up the stairs as he furiously sucked his bleeding fingers. Cruel thoughts raced through his head: he would go and tell his mother and make her turn the savage girl out of the house--or he would go himself to the girl’s room and drag her out of bed and slap, slap, slap her silly face! But at the same time he was thinking that they were all going to Antipolo in the morning and was already planning how he would maneuver himself into the same boat with her. Oh, he would have his revenge, he would make her pay, that little harlot! She should suffer for this, he thought greedily, licking his bleeding knuckles. But---Judas! He remembered her bare shoulders: gold in her candlelight and delicately furred. He saw the mobile insolence of her neck, and her taut breasts steady in the fluid gown. Son of a Turk, but she was quite enchanting! How could she think she had no fire or grace? And no salt? An arroba she had of it!
"... No lack of salt in the chrism At the moment of thy baptism!" He sang aloud in the dark room and suddenly realized that he had fallen madly in love with her. He ached intensely to see her again---at once! ---to touch her hands and her hair; to hear her harsh voice. He ran to the window and flung open the casements and the beauty of the night struck him back like a blow. It was May, it was summer, and he was young---young! ---and deliriously in love. Such a happiness welled up within him that the tears spurted from his eyes. But he did not forgive her--no! He would still make her pay, he would still have his revenge, he thought viciously, and kissed his wounded fingers. But what a night it had been! "I will never forge this night! he thought aloud in an awed voice, standing by the window in the dark room, the tears in his eyes and the wind in his hair and his bleeding knuckles pressed to his mouth.
But, alas, the heart forgets; the heart is distracted; and May time passes; summer lends; the storms break over the rot-tipe orchards and the heart grows old; while the hours, the days, the months, and the years pile up and pile up, till the mind becomes too crowded, too confused: dust gathers in it; cobwebs multiply; the walls darken and fall into ruin and decay; the memory perished...and there came a time when Don Badoy Montiya walked home through a May Day midnight without remembering, without even caring to remember; being merely concerned in feeling his way across the street with his cane; his eyes having grown quite dim and his legs uncertain--for he was old; he was over sixty; he was a very stopped and shivered old man with white hair and mustaches coming home from a secret meeting of conspirators; his mind still resounding with the speeches and his patriot heart still exultant as he picked his way up the steps to the front door and inside into the slumbering darkness of the house; wholly unconscious of the May night, till on his way down the hall, chancing to glance into the sala, he shuddered, he stopped, his blood ran cold-- for he had seen a face in the mirror there---a ghostly candlelight face with the eyes closed and the lips moving, a face that he suddenly felt he had been there before though it was a full minutes before the lost memory came flowing, came tiding back, so overflooding the actual moment and so swiftly washing away the piled hours and days and months and years that he was left suddenly young again; he was a gay young buck again, lately came from Europe; he had been dancing all night; he was very drunk; he s stepped in the doorway; he saw a face in the dark; he called out...and the lad standing before the mirror (for it was a lad in a night go jumped with fright and almost dropped his candle, but looking around and seeing the old man, laughed out with relief and came running.
"Oh Grandpa, how you frightened me. Don Badoy had turned very pale. "So it was you, you young bandit! And what is all this, hey? What are you doing down here at this hour?" "Nothing, Grandpa. I was only... I am only ..." "Yes, you are the great Señor only and how delighted I am to make your acquaintance, Señor Only! But if I break this cane on your head you maga wish you were someone else, Sir!" "It was just foolishness, Grandpa. They told me I would see my wife."
"Wife? What wife?" "Mine. The boys at school said I would see her if I looked in a mirror tonight and said: Mirror, mirror show to me her whose lover I will be.
Don Badoy cackled ruefully. He took the boy by the hair, pulled him along into the room, sat down on a chair, and drew the boy between his knees. "Now, put your cane down the floor, son, and let us talk this over. So you want your wife already, hey? You want to see her in advance, hey? But so you know that these are wicked games and that wicked boys who play them are in danger of seeing horrors?"
"Well, the boys did warn me I might see a witch instead."
"Exactly! A witch so horrible you may die of fright. And she will be witch you, she will torture you, she will eat
your heart and drink your blood!"
"Oh, come now Grandpa. This is 1890. There are no witches anymore."
"Oh-ho, my young Voltaire! And what if I tell you that I myself have seen a witch.
"You? Where?
"Right in this room land right in that mirror," said the old man, and his playful voice had turned savage.
"When, Grandpa?"
"Not so long ago. When I was a bit older than you. Oh, I was a vain fellow and though I was feeling very sick that night and merely wanted to lie down somewhere and die I could not pass that doorway of course without stopping to see in the mirror what I looked like when dying. But when I poked my head in what should I see in the mirror but...but..."
"The witch?"
"Exactly!"
"And then she bewitch you, Grandpa!"
"She bewitched me and she tortured me. l She ate my heart and drank my blood." said the old man bitterly.
"Oh, my poor little Grandpa! Why have you never told me! And she very horrible?
"Horrible? God, no--- she was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen! Her eyes were somewhat like yours but her hair was like black waters and her golden shoulders were bare. My God, she was enchanting! But I should have known---I should have known even then---the dark and fatal creature she was!"
A silence. Then: "What a horrid mirror this is, Grandpa," whispered the boy.
"What makes you slay that, hey?"
"Well, you saw this witch in it. And Mama once told me that Grandma once told her that Grandma once saw the devil in this mirror. Was it of the scare that Grandma died?"
Don Badoy started. For a moment he had forgotten that she was dead, that she had perished---the poor Agueda; that they were at peace at last, the two of them, her tired body at rest; her broken body set free at last from the brutal pranks of the earth---from the trap of a May night; from the snare of summer; from the terrible silver nets of the moon. She had been a mere heap of white hair and bones in the end: a whimpering withered consumptive, lashing out with her cruel tongue; her eye like live coals; her face like ashes... Now, nothing--- nothing save a name on a stone; save a stone in a graveyard---nothing! was left of the young girl who had flamed so vividly in a mirror one wild May Day midnight, long, long ago.
And remembering how she had sobbed so piteously; remembering how she had bitten his hand and fled and how he had sung aloud in the dark room and surprised his heart in the instant of falling in love: such a grief tore up his throat and eyes that he felt ashamed before the boy; pushed the boy away; stood up and looked out----looked out upon the medieval shadows of the foul street where a couple of street-lamps flickered and a last carriage was rattling away upon the cobbles, while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush, their tiled roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wild sky murky with clouds, save where an evil old moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled, whistling and whining, smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable the window; the bowed old man sobbing so bitterly at the window; the tears streaming down his cheeks and the wind in his hair and one hand pressed to his mouth---while from up the street came the clackety-clack of the watchman’s boots on the cobbles, and the clang-clang of his lantern against his knee, and the mighty roll of his voice booming through the night:
"Guardia sereno-o-o! A las doce han dado-o-o!"
ANALYSIS
Authors biography:
Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín (May 4, 1917–April 29, 2004) was a Filipino writer, historian and journalist, best known for hisshort stories and novels in the English language. He also wrote using the pen name Quijano de Manila. Joaquin was conferred the rank and title of National Artist of the Philippines for Literature.
Title:
May day eve
Characters:
Votaire
Anastasia
Badoy
Doña agueda
Settings:
Manila
Plot:
The ball had ended, the girls were sent upstairs to sleep, while the guest from Europe who were feeling bad for they want to party some more went out to finish their drink and have some more fun in that tropical country.
At the girls room Anastasia was telling the girls that witches were abroad for it was a night of divination, night of lovers, and those who cared might peer in a mirror and would there behold the face of whoever it was they were fated to marry. One girl told Anastasia to stop and get out of the room and told her that she is a witch, but another girl said that Anastasia is a maga and was born on Christmas Eve.
One girl is very eager and much interested on Anastasia's story and want Anastasia to tell her everything, so Anastasia for tell to the girls what to do. That she must go to a mirror close her eyes and say, "mirror mirror show to me him whose woman I will be", then Anastasia continued that if all goes right then her lover will appear above her left shoulder and if it does not go right she will see the devil.
Agueda walked to the hall down to the sala bravely. The girls have not able to stop her and in their facing the mirror, she whispered the incantation. Agueda felt different and after a while, she has a company.
Then she heared her little child talk that she almost forgets was in her lap. The child asks if what did she saw, if she saw the devil. Then she told her child that yes she saw the devil, it was smiling at her. The devil has a scar in its face like what his father has but the difference is that of the devil is a mark of sin while that of his father is a sign of honor. Agueda continued that the devil has mustache too but unlike to that of his husband that smells of tobacco and is gray, that of the devil is so black and elegant. Agueda told her child that if she does not want to see a devil, she must stop her habbit of always looking at the mirror.
"Charms Like Yours have no need for a candle, faire one" Badoy Monitiya told Agueda then mockingly told her how vain she is that even in the middle of the night she is looking at her face. Agueda got mad and was about to walk away, but Badoy stop her and told her that she cannot go upstairs until she will dance with him. For during the ball Agueda has not dance the polka with him. Forcefully Agueda refuses and then the two got into a talk fight. After a while Agueda piteously cried and Badoy felt sorry for it and ask forgiveness. He told Agueda that he would let her go upstairs if she will forgive him, but instead of forgiving Badoy, she bit his knucklesand fled upstairs.
Filled with pain, Badoy did not know what to do, If he will call his mother to let know what happened or he himself will go upstairs to the girls room and drag Agueda out of the house. Then it came to him how Agueda looks, those curves and that pretty face. Feeling the pain consciousness came that he must take revenge. Later he realize, he want to see, touch and hear her harsh voice. Then it came to his mind that he is madly deeply in love with her, yet he must let her pay.
One May Night Don Badoy Monitiya walks home not even caring to remember what happened years ago. He walks to the hall and as he glanced at the mirror, he suddenly felt something. A familiar sense, then he called the ghostly figure in front the mirror then saw that it was his grandson. Voltaire told his grandpa what the boys in school told him of how he could see his future wife. Don Badoy led his grandsoninto a seat, and then they talked. He told him about the witch he saw when he was about his age and was so vain that he wants to see himself dieing because of drunkenness. Voltaire ask how awful the witch look like, then he told his grandsonthat the witch he saw was a hell so very beautiful lad and how that witch ate his heart and drank his blood.
Voltaire told his grandpa what his mother told him, about the story of his grandma who as well is eager to see her lover but then saw the devil. At the very moment Don Badoy realized, that was so long ago. Now she was dead, perished, that she were at last at peace and that her body was free from the brutal pranks of the earth from the trap of a May Night, from a snare of summer.
Don Badoy went up to the window and with tears, reminisce that old love.


Summary:
The ball had ended, the girls were sent upstairs to sleep, while the guest from Europe who were feeling bad for they want to party some more went out to finish their drink and have some more fun in that tropical country.
At the girls room Anastasia was telling the girls that witches were abroad for it was a night of divination, night of lovers, and those who cared might peer in a mirror and would there behold the face of whoever it was they were fated to marry. One girl told Anastasia to stop and get out of the room and told her that she is a witch, but another girl said that Anastasia is a maga and was born on Christmas Eve.
One girl is very eager and much interested on Anastasia's story and want Anastasia to tell her everything, so Anastasia for tell to the girls what to do. That she must go to a mirror close her eyes and say, "mirror mirror show to me him whose woman I will be", then Anastasia continued that if all goes right then her lover will appear above her left shoulder and if it does not go right she will see the devil.
Agueda walked to the hall down to the sala bravely. The girls have not able to stop her and in their facing the mirror, she whispered the incantation. Agueda felt different and after a while, she has a company.
Then she heared her little child talk that she almost forgets was in her lap. The child asks if what did she saw, if she saw the devil. Then she told her child that yes she saw the devil, it was smiling at her. The devil has a scar in its face like what his father has but the difference is that of the devil is a mark of sin while that of his father is a sign of honor. Agueda continued that the devil has mustache too but unlike to that of his husband that smells of tobacco and is gray, that of the devil is so black and elegant. Agueda told her child that if she does not want to see a devil, she must stop her habbit of always looking at the mirror.
"Charms Like Yours have no need for a candle, faire one" Badoy Monitiya told Agueda then mockingly told her how vain she is that even in the middle of the night she is looking at her face. Agueda got mad and was about to walk away, but Badoy stop her and told her that she cannot go upstairs until she will dance with him. For during the ball Agueda has not dance the polka with him. Forcefully Agueda refuses and then the two got into a talk fight. After a while Agueda piteously cried and Badoy felt sorry for it and ask forgiveness. He told Agueda that he would let her go upstairs if she will forgive him, but instead of forgiving Badoy, she bit his knucklesand fled upstairs.
Filled with pain, Badoy did not know what to do, If he will call his mother to let know what happened or he himself will go upstairs to the girls room and drag Agueda out of the house. Then it came to him how Agueda looks, those curves and that pretty face. Feeling the pain consciousness came that he must take revenge. Later he realize, he want to see, touch and hear her harsh voice. Then it came to his mind that he is madly deeply in love with her, yet he must let her pay.
One May Night Don Badoy Monitiya walks home not even caring to remember what happened years ago. He walks to the hall and as he glanced at the mirror, he suddenly felt something. A familiar sense, then he called the ghostly figure in front the mirror then saw that it was his grandson. Voltaire told his grandpa what the boys in school told him of how he could see his future wife. Don Badoy led his grandsoninto a seat, and then they talked. He told him about the witch he saw when he was about his age and was so vain that he wants to see himself dieing because of drunkenness. Voltaire ask how awful the witch look like, then he told his grandsonthat the witch he saw was a hell so very beautiful lad and how that witch ate his heart and drank his blood.
Voltaire told his grandpa what his mother told him, about the story of his grandma who as well is eager to see her lover but then saw the devil. At the very moment Don Badoy realized, that was so long ago. Now she was dead, perished, that she were at last at peace and that her body was free from the brutal pranks of the earth from the trap of a May Night, from a snare of summer.
Don Badoy went up to the window and with tears, reminisce that old love.
Reflection:
we don’t need to believe to others when we don’t have a proof.
Title:
How my brother Leon brought home a wife Manuel E. Arguilla
Body os the story:
She stepped down from the carretela of Ca Celin with a quick, delicate grace. She was lovely. SHe was tall. She looked up to my brother with a smile, and her forehead was on a level with his mouth. 

"You are Baldo," she said and placed her hand lightly on my shoulder. Her nails were long, but they were not painted. She was fragrant like a morning when papayas are in bloom. And a small dimple appeared momently high on her right cheek.  "And this is Labang of whom I have heard so much." She held the wrist of one hand with the other and looked at Labang, and Labang never stopped chewing his cud. He swallowed and brought up to his mouth more cud and the sound of his insides was like a drum. 
I laid a hand on Labang's massive neck and said to her: "You may scratch his forehead now."

She hesitated and I saw that her eyes were on the long, curving horns. But she came and touched Labang's forehead with her long fingers, and Labang never stopped chewing his cud except that his big eyes half closed. And by and by she was scratching his forehead very daintily. 

My brother Leon put down the two trunks on the grassy side of the road. He paid Ca Celin twice the usual fare from the station to the edge of Nagrebcan. Then he was standing beside us, and she turned to him eagerly. I watched Ca Celin, where he stood in front of his horse, and he ran his fingers through its forelock and could not keep his eyes away from her.
"Maria---" my brother Leon said. 

He did not say Maring. He did not say Mayang. I knew then that he had always called her Maria and that to us all she would be Maria; and in my mind I said 'Maria' and it was a beautiful name. 

"Yes, Noel."

Now where did she get that name? I pondered the matter quietly to myself, thinking Father might not like it. But it was only the name of my brother Leon said backward and it sounded much better that way. 

"There is Nagrebcan, Maria," my brother Leon said, gesturing widely toward the west. 

She moved close to him and slipped her arm through his. And after a while she said quietly. 

"You love Nagrebcan, don't you, Noel?"

Ca Celin drove away hi-yi-ing to his horse loudly. At the bend of the camino real where the big duhat tree grew, he rattled the handle of his braided rattan whip against the spokes of the wheel. 

We stood alone on the roadside. 

The sun was in our eyes, for it was dipping into the bright sea. The sky was wide and deep and very blue above us: but along the saw-tooth rim of the Katayaghan hills to the southwest flamed huge masses of clouds. Before us the fields swam in a golden haze through which floated big purple and red and yellow bubbles when I looked at the sinking sun. Labang's white coat, which I had wshed and brushed that morning with coconut husk, glistened like beaten cotton under the lamplight and his horns appeared tipped with fire.

He faced the sun and from his mouth came a call so loud and vibrant that the earth seemed to tremble underfoot. And far away in the middle of the field a cow lowed softly in answer. 

"Hitch him to the cart, Baldo," my brother Leon said, laughing, and she laughed with him a big uncertainly, and I saw that he had put his arm around her shoulders. 

"Why does he make that sound?" she asked. "I have never heard the like of it."

"There is not another like it," my brother Leon said. "I have yet to hear another bull call like Labang. In all the world there is no other bull like him."

She was smiling at him, and I stopped in the act of tying the sinta across Labang's neck to the opposite end of the yoke, because her teeth were very white, her eyes were so full of laughter, and there was the small dimple high up on her right cheek. 

"If you continue to talk about him like that, either I shall fall in love with him or become greatly jealous."

My brother Leon laughed and she laughed and they looked at each other and it seemed to me there was a world of laughter between them and in them. 

I climbed into the cart over the wheel and Labang would have bolted, for he was always like that, but I kept a firm hold on his rope. He was restless and would not stand still, so that my brother Leon had to say "Labang" several times. When he was quiet again, my brother Leon lifted the trunks into the cart, placing the smaller on top. 

She looked down once at her high-heeled shoes, then she gave her left hand to my brother Leon, placed a foot on the hub of the wheel, and in one breath she had swung up into the cart. Oh, the fragrance of her. But Labang was fairly dancing with impatience and it was all I could do to keep him from running away. 

"Give me the rope, Baldo," my brother Leon said. "Maria, sit down on the hay and hold on to anything." Then he put a foot on the left shaft and that instand labang leaped forward. My brother Leon laughed as he drew himself up to the top of the side of the cart and made the slack of the rope hiss above the back of labang. The wind whistled against my cheeks and the rattling of the wheels on the pebbly road echoed in my ears. 

She sat up straight on the bottom of the cart, legs bent togther to one side, her skirts spread over them so that only the toes and heels of her shoes were visible. her eyes were on my brother Leon's back; I saw the wind on her hair. When Labang slowed down, my brother Leon handed to me the rope. I knelt on the straw inside the cart and pulled on the rope until Labang was merely shuffling along, then I made him turn around. 

"What is it you have forgotten now, Baldo?" my brother Leon said. 

I did not say anything but tickled with my fingers the rump of Labang; and away we went---back to where I had unhitched and waited for them. The sun had sunk and down from the wooded sides of the Katayaghan hills shadows were stealing into the fields. High up overhead the sky burned with many slow fires. 

When I sent Labang down the deep cut that would take us to the dry bed of the Waig which could be used as a path to our place during the dry season, my brother Leon laid a hand on my shoulder and said sternly: 

"Who told you to drive through the fields tonight?"

His hand was heavy on my shoulder, but I did not look at him or utter a word until we were on the rocky bottom of the Waig. 

"Baldo, you fool, answer me before I lay the rope of Labang on you. Why do you follow the Wait instead of the camino real?"

His fingers bit into my shoulder. 

"Father, he told me to follow the Waig tonight, Manong."

Swiftly, his hand fell away from my shoulder and he reached for the rope of Labang. Then my brother Leon laughed, and he sat back, and laughing still, he said: 

"And I suppose Father also told you to hitch Labang to the cart and meet us with him instead of with Castano and the calesa."

Without waiting for me to answer, he turned to her and said, "Maria, why do you think Father should do that, now?" He laughed and added, "Have you ever seen so many stars before?"

I looked back and they were sitting side by side, leaning against the trunks, hands clasped across knees. Seemingly, but a man's height above the tops of the steep banks of the Wait, hung the stars. But in the deep gorge the shadows had fallen heavily, and even the white of Labang's coat was merely a dim, grayish blur. Crickets chirped from their homes in the cracks in the banks. The thick, unpleasant smell of dangla bushes and cooling sun-heated earth mingled with the clean, sharp scent of arrais roots exposed to the night air and of the hay inside the cart. 

"Look, Noel, yonder is our star!" Deep surprise and gladness were in her voice. Very low in the west, almost touching the ragged edge of the bank, was the star, the biggest and brightest in the sky. 

"I have been looking at it," my brother Leon said. "Do you remember how I would tell you that when you want to see stars you must come to Nagrebcan?"

"Yes, Noel," she said. "Look at it," she murmured, half to herself. "It is so many times bigger and brighter than it was at Ermita beach."

"The air here is clean, free of dust and smoke."

"So it is, Noel," she said, drawing a long breath. 

"Making fun of me, Maria?"

She laughed then and they laughed together and she took my brother Leon's hand and put it against her face. 

I stopped Labang, climbed down, and lighted the lantern that hung from the cart between the wheels. 

"Good boy, Baldo," my brother Leon said as I climbed back into the cart, and my heart sant. 

Now the shadows took fright and did not crowd so near. Clumps of andadasi and arrais flashed into view and quickly disappeared as we passed by. Ahead, the elongated shadow of Labang bobbled up and down and swayed drunkenly from side to side, for the lantern rocked jerkily with the cart. 

"Have we far to go yet, Noel?" she asked. 

"Ask Baldo," my brother Leon said, "we have been neglecting him."

"I am asking you, Baldo," she said. 

Without looking back, I answered, picking my words slowly: 

"Soon we will get out of the Wait and pass into the fields. After the fields is home---Manong."

"So near already."

I did not say anything more because I did not know what to make of the tone of her voice as she said her last words. All the laughter seemed to have gone out of her. I waited for my brother Leon to say something, but he was not saying anything. Suddenly he broke out into song and the song was 'Sky Sown with Stars'---the same that he and Father sang when we cut hay in the fields at night before he went away to study. He must have taught her the song because she joined him, and her voice flowed into his like a gentle stream meeting a stronger one. And each time the wheels encountered a big rock, her voice would catch in her throat, but my brother Leon would sing on, until, laughing softly, she would join him again. 

Then we were climbing out into the fields, and through the spokes of the wheels the light of the lantern mocked the shadows. Labang quickened his steps. The jolting became more frequent and painful as we crossed the low dikes. 

"But it is so very wide here," she said. The light of the stars broke and scattered the darkness so that one could see far on every side, though indistinctly. 

"You miss the houses, and the cars, and the people and the noise, don't you?" My brother Leon stopped singing. 

"Yes, but in a different way. I am glad they are not here."

With difficulty I turned Labang to the left, for he wanted to go straight on. He was breathing hard, but I knew he was more thirsty than tired. In a little while we drope up the grassy side onto the camino real. 

"---you see," my brother Leon was explaining, "the camino real curves around the foot of the Katayaghan hills and passes by our house. We drove through the fields because---but I'll be asking Father as soon as we get home."

"Noel," she said. 

"Yes, Maria."

"I am afraid. He may not like me."

"Does that worry you still, Maria?" my brother Leon said. "From the way you talk, he might be an ogre, for all the world. Except when his leg that was wounded in the Revolution is troubling him, Father is the mildest-tempered, gentlest man I know."

We came to the house of Lacay Julian and I spoke to Labang loudly, but Moning did not come to the window, so I surmised she must be eating with the rest of her family. And I thought of the food being made ready at home and my mouth watered. We met the twins, Urong and Celin, and I said "Hoy!" calling them by name. And they shouted back and asked if my brother Leon and his wife were with me. And my brother Leon shouted to them and then told me to make Labang run; their answers were lost in the noise of the wheels. 

I stopped labang on the road before our house and would have gotten down but my brother Leon took the rope and told me to stay in the cart. He turned Labang into the open gate and we dashed into our yard. I thought we would crash into the camachile tree, but my brother Leon reined in Labang in time. There was light downstairs in the kitchen, and Mother stood in the doorway, and I could see her smiling shyly. My brother Leon was helping Maria over the wheel. The first words that fell from his lips after he had kissed Mother's hand were: 

"Father... where is he?"

"He is in his room upstairs," Mother said, her face becoming serious. "His leg is bothering him again."

I did not hear anything more because I had to go back to the cart to unhitch Labang. But I hardly tied him under the barn when I heard Father calling me. I met my brother Leon going to bring up the trunks. As I passed through the kitchen, there were Mother and my sister Aurelia and Maria and it seemed to me they were crying, all of them. 

There was no light in Father's room. There was no movement. He sat in the big armchair by the western window, and a star shone directly through it. He was smoking, but he removed the roll of tobacco from his mouth when he saw me. He laid it carefully on the windowsill before speaking. 

"Did you meet anybody on the way?" he asked. 

"No, Father," I said. "Nobody passes through the Waig at night."

He reached for his roll of tobacco and hithced himself up in the chair. 

"She is very beautiful, Father."

"Was she afraid of Labang?" My father had not raised his voice, but the room seemed to resound with it. And again I saw her eyes on the long curving horns and the arm of my brother Leon around her shoulders. 

"No, Father, she was not afraid."

"On the way---"

"She looked at the stars, Father. And Manong Leon sang."

"What did he sing?"

"---Sky Sown with Stars... She sang with him."

He was silent again. I could hear the low voices of Mother and my sister Aurelia downstairs. There was also the voice of my brother Leon, and I thought that Father's voice must have been like it when Father was young. He had laid the roll of tobacco on the windowsill once more. I watched the smoke waver faintly upward from the lighted end and vanish slowly into the night outside. 

The door opened and my brother Leon and Maria came in. 

"Have you watered Labang?" Father spoke to me. 

I told him that Labang was resting yet under the barn. 

"It is time you watered him, my son," my father said. 

I looked at Maria and she was lovely. She was tall. Beside my brother Leon, she was tall and very still. Then I went out, and in the darkened hall the fragrance of her was like a morning when papayas are in bloom.
ANALYSIS:
Authors biography:
Manuel Estabillo Arguilla (1911-1944) was an Ilokano writer in English, a patriot, and a martyr.
Title:
How my brother Leon brought home a wife
Characters:
Baldo - younger brother of Leon, fetched Leon and Maria from the road to Nagrebcan
Leon (or Noel) - older brother of Baldo who studied in Manila where he met his wife
Maria - the beautiful and stunning wife of Leon from Manila
Labang
 - the bull whom Baldo considers as his “pet”

Norman Tabios - Maria's ex-boyfriend who happened to be a loro
Gagambino - Leon's favorite fictional character who gave him lots of guts to study in Manila
Churita - Labang's girlfriend/fiance
Settings:
Manila
Plot:
The story is told from the point of view of Baldo, the younger brother of Leon. (The second paragraph gives you the clue.)

Leon is called Noel by his wife, the beautiful Maria. In the story, you'll get the feeling that Baldo makes a distinction between traditional names and modern ones. For example, he takes note that his brother calls his wife "Maria" instead of "Mayang", while Baldo's sister-in-law calls Baldo's brother Noel, which is the reverse of "Leon."

Baldo also wonders if their father will approve of Leon's new nickname.

Anyway, Baldo fetches his brother and Maria, and takes them home. They do not pass through the usual route. Instead, they take a shortcut through a field.

I don't know if symbolism is used in How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife. What I felt while reading the story is Manuel Arguilla's great love of Nagrebcan (Bauang, La Union). Arguilla takes the time to note the shape of clouds, the sounds made by the rolling wheels or even the rope near the neck of Labang (the bull), and even the scent of the air.

It's as if Arguilla transports you right there, among Maria and the two brothers. Right there with their father, mother, and sister Aurelia.
Summary:
The story is told from the point of view of Baldo, the younger brother of Leon. (The second paragraph gives you the clue.)

Leon is called Noel by his wife, the beautiful Maria. In the story, you'll get the feeling that Baldo makes a distinction between traditional names and modern ones. For example, he takes note that his brother calls his wife "Maria" instead of "Mayang", while Baldo's sister-in-law calls Baldo's brother Noel, which is the reverse of "Leon."

Baldo also wonders if their father will approve of Leon's new nickname.

Anyway, Baldo fetches his brother and Maria, and takes them home. They do not pass through the usual route. Instead, they take a shortcut through a field.

I don't know if symbolism is used in How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife. What I felt while reading the story is Manuel Arguilla's great love of Nagrebcan (Bauang, La Union). Arguilla takes the time to note the shape of clouds, the sounds made by the rolling wheels or even the rope near the neck of Labang (the bull), and even the scent of the air.

It's as if Arguilla transports you right there, among Maria and the two brothers. Right there with their father, mother, and sister Aurelia.
Reflection:
For me, this story is telling us about what kind of lovers we filipinos are before, and the difference of a provincial guy with the "manila" type of girl, this story also tells us that, all of us changes in some way, and in some time, and also this story is like telling us that no matter who you are, you can possibly do and get whatever you like, as long as you trust yourself. well that is what i felt when im reading the story.

Project in English

Submitted by : Yssa Mari Lopez
Submitted to : Ms. Gerlie Traya

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