Juan Tamad Takes a Bride

Juan Tamad’s mother said, “My son, it is time you took a woman to wife, for your mother grows old every day, older and more feeble.”

“What manner of woman shall I bring home, mother?” said Juan.

“A woman of few words,” said the mother of Juan. So Juan went off in search of a wife and he went east and he went west but everywhere he went the women talked too much.

Finally, he came to a lonely house in the woods where, he was told, lived an old woman and her daughter.

“Tao po…” called Juan at the gate; but no one answered. He ventured into the yard and again called out—

“Tao po…” and still no one answered. He climbed the bamboo steps into the house and found a young girl lying upon a mat on the floor.

“Will you be my wife?” asked Juan. The maiden stared at him but said not a word.

“Ah!” said Juan, “you are the very wife my mother wants for me,” and he lifted the girl in his arms and took her home.

“Oh! You wretched boy!” cried the mother of Juan at sight of Juan’s bride. “You have brought my house enmity and bad luck, for surely at this very hour they are looking for this corpse and heaven help you when they find it here!”

No sooner had the mother of Juan spoken than the relatives of the dead girl arrived and fell to beating Juan with sticks and calling him the worst names. After which they took the corpse away to give it a burial.

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