Tales of the Supernatural
Tales of Laughter
Tales of Heroism

Pilandok and the Crocodiles
( Maranao )

The prankster Pilandok wanted to cross a deep river filled with crocodiles. But he had no boat, and no bridge was in sight. And then he had an idea. He called to the crocodiles underwater.

"What do you want?" they asked him irritably.

"Come up to the surface of the water," he commanded the crocodiles. "My master, the sultan, wants to know how many you are in the river."

"Why?" the crocodiles demanded.

"He is going to give you gifts. Many gifts, and he wants to know how many would benefit from his kindness."

So the crocodiles floated until they filled the surface of the river. Pilandok jumped on their backs as if they were stepping-stones, and pretended to count as he carefully picked his way to the other side of the river. When he had safely reached the bank, he turned back to the crocodiles and shouted:

"I fooled you! I came from no sultan – and whoever with such ugly faces would receive plentiful gifts?"

Then he ran away as fast as he could, so that the crocodiles never knew what a master prankster tasted like.