Philippine Folk Tales | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in November 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Carabao and the Shell, The

ONE very hot day, when a carabao went into the river to bathe, he met a shell and they began talking together.

               "You are very slow," said the carabao to the shell.

               "Oh, no," replied the shell. "I can beat you in a race."

               "Then let us try and see," said the carabao.

               So they went out on the bank and started to run.

               After the carabao had gone a long distance he stopped and called, "Shell!"

               And another shell lying by the river answered, "Here I am!"

               Then the carabao, thinking that it was the same shell with which he was racing, ran on.

               By and by he stopped again and called, "Shell!"

               Again another shell answered, "Here I am!"

               The carabao was surprised that the shell could keep up with him. But he ran on and on, and every time he stopped to call, another shell answered him. But he was determined that the shell should not beat him, so he ran until he dropped dead. [1]




[1]  Another version of this tale is found in British North Borneo in the story of the plandok and the crab, while to European children it is known as the race between the turtle and the hare.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Carabao and the Shell, The
Tale Author/Editor: Cole, Mabel Cook
Book Title: Philippine Folk Tales
Book Author/Editor: Cole, Mabel Cook
Publisher: Curtis Brown
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1916
Country of Origin: Philippines
Classification: unclassified

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