Philippine Folklore Stories | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in September 2018 with all known ATU Classifications. SurLaLune Note: These tales have introductory passages that have been moved to the tale's end notes.

Light of the Fly, The


The King of the Air was in terrible rage,
     For some one had stolen his ring;
And every one wondered whoever could dare
     To do such a terrible thing.
He called all his subjects together and said,
     "To him that shall find it I'll give
Whatever he asks, and this bounty of mine
     Shall last while his family live."


Away went his good loyal subjects to search,
     And no one remained but a fly.
"Be off!" said the King, "go and join in the search;
     Would you slight such a ruler as I?"
Then up spoke the fly with his little wee voice:
     "The ring is not stolen," he said.
"It stuck to your crown when you put it away,
     And now it's on top of your head."


The King in surprise took the crown from his head,
     And there, sure enough, was the ring.
"No wonder you saw it, with so many eyes;
     But what is your wish?" said the King.
"O King," said the fly, "I work hard all the day,
     And I never can go out at night.
I should like to go then and be gay with my friends,
     So all that I wish is a light."


"You shall have it at once," said the gratified King,
     And he fastened a light to the fly,
Who straightway returned to his home with the prize
     That was worth more than money could buy.
So now you can see him at night with his light
     And from him this lesson may learn:
To keep your eyes open and see the least thing,
     And Fortune will come in its turn.


The firefly abounds everywhere in the Islands.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Light of the Fly, The
Tale Author/Editor: Miller, John Maurice
Book Title: Philippine Folklore Stories
Book Author/Editor: Miller, John Maurice
Publisher: Ginn & Company
Publication City: Boston
Year of Publication: 1904
Country of Origin: Philippines
Classification: unclassified

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