Juan Tamad Escapes a Beating

One day, Juan’s father was very angry.

“Aie!” cried the father of Juan Tamad in great anger. “Juan has again forgotten to water the carabao and the beast is hot and dry. When that good-for-nothing son of yours comes home, he will surely feel my lash on his lazy hide.”

The kind mother who is always  there to shiled his son said, “It was my fault. This morning, I craved the taste of duhat and your son fetched me a handful of the fruit which, unwitting, I shared with him. There may be truth in what my mother used to say that any man or woman or child who partakes of food craved by a conceiving woman will suffer from fits of forgetfulness…”

“Last night, your son was forgetful,” the father grumbled. “And other times before, he was forgetful, too. Surely, you did not share duhat fruit with him yesterday nor the day before?”

“Yesterday, it was guavas,” the mother smiled, “and the day before yesterday it was tamarind. Why, mother used to say also that if a conceiving woman takes a notion either to like or dislike a person, that one will become absent-minded. Also, that, whichever person or object attracts her fancy or incurs her displeasure, will leave a mark on her baby that is yet to be born.”

“My mother also used to tell me,” said the father of Juan Tamad, “that a pregnant woman may not eat of twin bananas if she does not wish to give birth to twins.”

“Nor mend or hem a dress she has on, lest she suffers a difficult birth-giving…”

Nor this and that and the other, continued Juan Tamad’s father through tale after tale, thus forgetting his anger, and the mother smiled, knowing her son has escaped a beating  that night.

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