The Carabao and the Cow

This is a retelling of one of my favorite animal stories. Inspired by my recent trip to the province, I think I will be telling you my favorite Filipino fables and legends.


This concerns the cow and the carabao. In those early times, animals can take off their skins at will, like we do our clothes. They can also talk with each other and with man.

The carabao and the cow both work for a strict and cruel farmer. The carabao pulls the plow across the field in order to prepare the hard soil for the planting of rice. He also pulls the sled for his master to haul supplies and crops all year round. Compared to him. the cow has an easier life. She produces milk for the master and his family to drink and sometimes, to make into cheese. Despite their differences, the two beasts are the best of friends.

One hot day, as the two friends sit under the shade of the mango tree, they noticed that their master left them for an errand to the market.  The two decided to go for a quick swim in the nearby river. They removed their skins and left these on the grassy bank. They forgot their worries and ate ripe mangoes while floating in the river.

All of a sudden they heard an angry shout! Their master had returned! The two friends had no time to argue who should have watched for their master or who should have kept the time; they scrambled on shore for their skins. In their haste, the cow put on the carabao’s skin, which was large for her. The carabao was left with the cow’s skin, which fit tightly.

This is why the cow has loose skin, and the carabao needs to have a bath often. It is very hot inside the cow’s skin.


Moral deleted. 🙂

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