The Crow and the Golden Trees

The liver of the crow is “medicine” for many pains and for sickness. On this account the Bagobo kills the crow so that he may get his liver for “medicine.” The liver is good to eat, either cooked or raw. If you see a crow dead, you can get its liver and eat some of it, and it will be “medicine” for your body.

The crow never makes its nest in low-growing trees, but only in tall, big trees. Far from here, the old men say, in the land where the sun rises, there are no more living trees; for the scorching heat of the sun has killed them.all, and dried up the leaves. There they stand, with naked branches, all bare of leaves.

Only two trees there have not died from the heat. The trunks of these trees are of gold, and all their leaves of silver. But if any bird lights on one of these trees, it falls down dead. The ground under the two trees is covered with the bones of little birds and big birds that have died from perching on the trees with the golden trunks and the silver leaves. These two trees are full of a resin that makes all the birds die. Only the crow can sit on the branches, and not die. Hence the crow alone, of all the birds, remains alive in the land of the sunrise.

No man can get the resin from these trees. But very long ago, in the days of the Mona, there came a Malaki T’oluk Waig to the trees. He had a war-shield that shone brightly, for it had a flame of fire always burning in it. And this Malaki came to the golden trees and took the precious resin from their trunks.