Maria And The Crab

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful
girl named Maria. Her mother died when she
was still young. Her father married again
to a widow with two daughters. The daughters
were envious of Maria's natural beauty. Forced
them to get Maria to do all the housework.
The poor girl was the last to eat and sometimes
even missed meals altogether.

One day, due to hardship, Maria
cried by a well. The girl had missed breakfast
and had just finished fetching water.
She was about to begin washing clothes
when a kind voice spoke to her saying.

"Don't cry Maria, here's some food.
Eat, my child." Maria saw some food but
there was nobody around. Then the girl
was shocked to see a big crab. It was the
crab speaking all along:

"Don't be scared, my child. I'm your
dead mother. From this day on my spirit in
this crab will take care of you."

When Maria left for the market the
big crab came to bring food for Maria.
The stepmother saw it and cooked and
ate it with her two daughters. When Maria
saw the shells that were left of the crab,
the pitiful girl cried. But she heard a voice
again, saying.

"Don't cry, just pick up the shells and
bury them in the yard." She did so, and
the next morning, Maria saw a full grown
tree on the spot where she buried the
crab's shells. The tree was laden with ripened
golden fruits. there was a handsome
man who saw the golden fruits and
asked Maria's two step sisters for some.
For some mysterious reason they could
not get close to the tree. Only Maria
could. when the man reached out and
saw Maria, he fell in love and asked her
hand for marriage.