Folklore on the Iguana and the Turtle

Gullibility. It is one of the Filipino’s propensities even to this very day. This folklore teaches about the consequences of gullibility and failing its lessons.

Two long-time friends, an iguana and a turtle, went fishing together. According to this folklore the turtle invited the iguana to a pond he knew of. Then the pond’s owner, an old man, came along and became angry at what he saw the two friends were doing. The folklore says that luckily the iguana escaped, but the turtle was caught. The old man took the turtle home, tied a string around its neck, and fastened it under the house, the folklore adds.

The folklore says that in the morning the iguana went to look for his friend. He wandered around every where looking for him, to no avail. Finally, the folklore says, after more searches, he found him under the old man’s house tied to a post. When asked, the turtle told the iguana that the old man wanted him to marry his beautiful daughter. Why the old man would want that, the iguana didn’t bother to find out. He was so enthralled by the prospect of marrying a beautiful woman.

So the iguana, the folklore says, wanted to grab the chance and hoped to trade places with the turtle. So he asked the turtle the favor of being tied to the post so he could marry the daughter. The folklore says the wise turtle agreed and the iguana helped him escape and tied the rope around his own neck. Now the iguana was so excited to meet the old man’s daughter, the folklore adds.

But unfortunately, the folklore says, there was no beautiful daughter to marry—there was only the old man ready to make a delicious meal out of him. Luckily the noose he made around his neck was loose enough for his quick escape. On his swift retreat he came across the turtle again. The folklore says the wise turtle was listening to the sound of two bamboos rubbing together. The gullible iguana was curious again. “Be quiet,” said the turtle. “My grandpa’s up there making that sound.”

The folklore says that the iguana, curious of the grandpa, climbed up the two bamboos rubbing together. However, his mouth was badly pinched and, the folklore says, he fell down to the ground. The turtle meanwhile had disappeared.

A Filipino saying goes well with this folklore: tricksters abound where fools are.

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