The Legend Of The First Crocodiles

Once upon a time, in a village by a river, there lived a loving couple whose names were Teban and Osang. They have been happily married for the last fifteen years but still they were childless. Yet they kept on wishing that one day soon they would have a child of their own. To while away their time, they raised many kinds of animals such as cats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and pigeons, which among others, provided them with a regular source of income.

Osang kept one of them as a pet. It was a White cat. She looked after her pet with loving tenderness and motherly affection. Day in and day out she would take care to see that the white cat was well provided for. She would make certain that the cat was well fed and given Water to drink. At night before going to sleep, She would put her pet inside around basket stuffed with pillows to keep her warm and then place it right beside her bed.

They kept on with their lives in this manner and were happy at it, though they never completely lost hope of having a child when going to church to hear daily mass or when travelling on pilgrimages, they kept praying for only one thing to have a child.

In their last pilgrimage in a distant town, Osang made a vow that if God would grant them their wish to have a child of their own, she would never allow the child to step on the ground lest the child be taken away from them in whatever manner it would happen. Not long afterwards, Osang found herself with child. In no time, She gave birth to a healthy baby girl whom they christened with the name of Rosario.

With Rosario around, life became a lot happier for the couple who gave their only daughter all the love and attention that she needed. They also educated her and raised her as a good Christian should be. It, made Teban and Osang proud to see Rosario now grown into a fine young lady. However in all these years of nurturing Rosario, Osang kept to her promise she made during the pilgrimage. Osang never allowed Rosario to go down the house nor step on theground and Rosario, being an obedient child followed her mother's instructions to the letter. On the other hand, the couple had the neighbors believed Rosario was a sickly child who easily catches cold or contracts diseases if she were allowed to play on the ground.

Mang Teban never questioned Osang all these. times why she would not let Rosario go down the house. He kept thinking Osang was trying to be over-protective as a mother. As it was time and Rosario is now fully grown, Osang herself revealed to Teban about the vow she made and lucky for Osang, Teban was understanding enough to accept the truth, Next, she ask Teban's opinion whether Rosario should know about it.

"Of course, we need to tell her," Teban replied. Together they approached their daughter, and said the would like to have a heart-to-heart talk with her and prayed Rosario would not hate then for what they are about to reveal to her. As soon as Rosario gave her word, Osang unloaded the burden in her heart, she had kept for a long time, and told Rosario about the secret they had been hiding from her since she was a child. Lucky enough for the couple, Rosario was kind enough to accept the truth, too. At this, Rosario came to understand why, as long as she could remember, she was prevented from stepping out of their house. The farthest she went was to sit by outside stairs leading to the entrance of the house.

Though Rosario never went out of the house, the neighborhood children would come to her house to play. Now that Rosario is a grown up lady, many young men who has seen how beautiful she has grown to be wanted to visit her. Antonio was one of her secret admirers. Rosario, too, had seen Antonio, and she, in fact, liked him most among her many suitors. Incidentally, Osang also often reminded Rosario not to entertain visitors when they are not around for fear she might forget and get down from the house.

One afternoon, Antonio thought of paying Rosario a visit. He wanted just to talk to her to get to know her better. Now, it so happened that Antonio was from out of town, and did not know as Rosario's neighbors knew about her problem of being rather sickly she never got out of the home.

When he reached the house of Rosario, he saw Rosario by the window. He was not aware that Osang and Teban, her parents, were out in the farm.

"You must be Rosario?" Antonio asked. "Yes, I am," was Rosario's casual reply. "May I come up and pay you a visit?" Antonio asked. "No, my parents aren't in. They'll be mad if I let you in without them around," Rosario answered.

"Then, could you come down?" Antonio insisted. "We could talk here in the garden."

At first, Rosario hesitated, Then it entered her mind that she would be worse off if her parents found Antonio inside the house that if she went down to the garden, since it was never clear to her what would exactly happen to her if she got out of the house. She consoled herself that if anything would happen to her, notwithstanding the vow, it wouldn't be anything terrible. Passing herself with such an excuse, Rosario finally agreed to come down.

Yet, the moment her feet touched ground, terrible things began to unravel. First the earth shook. Then a big torrent of water swept by swallowing up the house, the garden, and then towards the two of them. Trembling with fear, they held on to each other as they cried out for help. But no help ever came.

It was already late in the afternoon when Teban and Osang returned home only to find their house missing. What lay before their eyes was a river, and half submerged above the river were two scaly creatures they have never ever seen before in their lives. Moments later the two creatures swam back and forth looking in the way of the two old couples.

Teban and Osang did not know what to make of all of these until they found out that their daughter was also missing. Then when a neighbor told themt she saw Rosario went down the garden to meet a certain young man, ev- erything became clear. They gave the two creatures one more look. To their surprise they saw tears flowing out of the eyes of the two creatures, as if saying goodbye, before they swam away together.

Teban and Osang were likewise moved to tears know- ing they won't be seeing their daughter ever again. With heavy hearts the old couple held on to each other as they slowly walked away from river into town.

They were thought to be the first crocodiles couple though they were gentle and not wild like those of their later descendants as the old folks believed.