One day, a long time ago, some men went to the mountains to hunt deer and wild pig, and among them was one named Sogsogot.
They all went into the thick forest to look for game, but after a while Sogsogot called his dog and withdrew to an open spot near by, where he waited for the deer to come out.
While he stood there eagerly watching, a big bird swooped down, caught him in its claws, and carried him away. Far off over the mountains the bird soared, until finally it came to a big tree where it had its nest, and here it left the man and flew away.
Sogsogot’s first thought was to make his escape, but he found that the tree was so tall that he could not get down, and after a time he ceased his attempts to get away and began to look over his companions in the nest—two young birds and three little pigs.
By and by he became hungry, so he cut up the three little pigs, and after he had eaten all he wished he fed the two birds. When this meat was gone the mother bird brought more pigs and deer, and the man had all he could eat. Then he fed the little birds, which grew very fast and soon were able to fly. One day when they were standing on the edge of the nest Sogsogot caught hold of the birds’ legs, and they fluttered down and carried him safely to the ground.
He hastened home as fast as he could go and told the people of his wonderful trip. They made a ceremony for the spirits, and all the people rejoiced that the lost man had returned.
Some time after this Sogsogot went to a hostile town to fight, and while he was gone his wife died. On the way back to his town he met the spirit of his wife driving a cow and two pigs, and not knowing that she was a spirit he asked her where she was going.
“I am not a person any more,” she answered him; “I am dead.” And when he wanted to touch her hand, she gave him only her shortest finger. He begged to go with her so she said, “Go first to our home and get a white chicken; then follow the footmarks of the cow and pigs.”
He did as she commanded him, and after a while he came to a place where she was bathing in the river. She said to him:
“Now you may come with me to our spirit town. I shall hide you in the rice-bin and shall bring food to you every day. But at night the people in the town will want to eat you, and when they come to the bin you must take some of the feathers of the white chicken and throw at them.”
The man went with her, and when they arrived at the spirit town she hid him in the rice-bin. At night the people came to eat him, as she had said they would; but when he threw the chicken feathers at them they were frightened away.
For two weeks Sogsogot lived in this place, but when the feathers were nearly gone he was afraid to stay any longer, for every night the spirits came to eat him. He begged his wife to allow him to go, and finally she showed him the way home, giving him rice to eat on his journey.
As soon as the man arrived home and inquired for his wife, the people told him that she had died and they had buried her under the house. Then he knew that it was her spirit that had taken him to the strange town.
Notes: This book features 61 folktales from the Philippines.
Author: Mabel Cook Cole
Publisher: A.C. McClurg & Co., Chicago