The Four Blind Brothers

There was once a man who had eight sons. Four of them were blind. He thought of sending the children away, simply because he could not afford to keep them in the house any longer. Accordingly one night he called his eight children together, and said, “He who does not provide for the future shall want in the present. You are big enough and are able to support yourselves. To-morrow I shall send you away to seek your fortunes.”

When morning came, the boys bade their father good-by. The blind sons went together in one party, and the rest in another. Now begins the pathetic story of the four blind brothers.

They groped along the road, each holding the hand of the other. After a day of continuous walking, the four brothers were very far away from their town. They had not tasted food during all that time. In the evening they came to a cocoanut-grove.

“Here are some cocoanut-trees,” said one of them. “Let us get a bunch of cocoanuts and have something to eat!”

So the eldest brother took off his camisa china and climbed up one of the trees. When he reached the top, the tree broke.

“Bung!” Down came the poor fellow. “One!” cried the youngest brother. “Three more!” shouted the rest.

“Don’t come down until you have dropped four!” they all cried at once. Who would answer them? Their brother lay dead on the ground.

While they were waiting for the second “Bung!” the second brother climbed up the same tree. What had happened to the first happened also to him, and so to the third in turn. As soon as the youngest brother heard the third fall, he thought of looking for his share. He crept about to find the cocoanuts. Alas! he discovered that his three brothers lay dead on the ground. He went away from the place crying very loud.

Now, his crying happened to disturb the patianac, who were trying to sleep. They went out to see what was the matter. When they found the poor helpless blind man, they were very much moved, and they gave him food and shelter for the night. They also gave him the tail of a pagui, which would help him find his fortune, they said. At daybreak they showed him the way out of the grove.

The blind man walked on and on, until he was hailed by a lame man resting under a shady tree. “Friend, carry me on your shoulders, and let us travel together!” said the lame man to the blind.

“Willingly,” replied the blind man.

They traveled for many hours, and at last came to a big, lonely house. They knocked at the open door, but nobody answered. At last they entered, and found the place empty. While they were searching through the house, the owner came. He was a two-headed giant. The blind man and the lame man were upstairs.

The giant was afraid to enter the house, but he called in a voice of thunder, “Who’s there?”

“We are big men,” answered the two companions.

“How big are you?” asked the giant.

“We are so big that the foundation of the house shakes when we walk,” the two replied.

“Give me a proof that you are really big men!” cried the giant again.

“We will show you one of our hairs,” they answered, and they dropped from the window the tail of the pagui.

The giant looked at it in wonder. He was immediately convinced that they were more powerful than he was. So, picking up the “hair,” the giant went away, afraid to face such antagonists in single combat.

So the prediction of the patianac came true. The house and all the property of the giant fell into the hands of the blind man and the lame man. They lived there happily all the rest of their lives.

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