A long time ago in a quaint town by the mountains, lived a young couple named An-ananga and his wife whom he called his Princess. Such was the beauty of the woman that An-ananga was lovesick and could not bear to leave her for even just a second.
He would gaze at her all day long. He would marvel at every detail of her face. He was so infatuated with his radiant wife that he chooses to just sit by her side and feed on her looks.
The wife, being more pragmatic than the lovesick An-ananga implored, “My love, I welcome your affection but what will happen if we both stay at home all day long? Our pantry will not refill itself with rice and crops if you just sit beside me idly through the long summer days and rainy ones too.”
With hesitation, An-ananga agreed to go back to the fields to work. Heavy-hearted, he plowed the fields and was barely done with ten meters when he decided to go right back home to his Princess wife.
Surprised but very patient, the wife said, “Dear husband, maybe you can try again tomorrow. This time, bring my photo with you. Two of them. Nail one to one post and one to the opposite post. That way when you plow the fields back and forth, you will see my face and perhaps you will miss me less.” Seeing how the idea might possibly work, An-ananga agreed and thus he set forth the next morning with the two photos in hand.
True enough, he was more energized. He felt stronger and he was fast as he repeatedly made the back and forth trip from one end of the field to the other. The smiling face of his Princess on both sides of the field encouraged him.
Lo! The strong winds of the north came and tore a photo of the Princess from one post and blew it across the hills. It flew and fluttered until it reached the camp of weary but formidable soldiers and settled on the feet of no other than their fierce captain. He picked the photo and was instantly lovestruck.
He summoned his guards and commanded them to search for the face on the photo with the order to bring her and make her his bride.
Far and wide, the soldiers sought. They turned all the villages upside down till they reached the small town where An-ananga and his Princess lived. When they found the woman on the photo and learned she already belonged to another man, they were aghast. They believed it was not right to take a married woman to have her wed another man but at the same time they were scared of their fiery captain.
They bargained and reasoned with An-ananga until he at last agreed with the condition that he go with them, at least to join his Princess on her trip to see the Captain.
When they reached the camp, the Captain was in a hurry to get rid of An-ananga. But An-ananga was cunning. “If you want to take my wife, at least give me something in return.”
The captain, undisturbed said,”Anything you want, just say it so you can be on your way.”
An-ananga said,” Give me a bag of gold.” The captain laughed and willingly made the arrangements for wads of money and gold to be bagged.
“Take off your uniform and your medals. Give them to me.” Though puzzled, the captain did.
“Now with his uniform comes his title, I command you obedient soldiers to shoot this captain who is so vile as to take a woman who is already wed to another man, ” goes on An-ananga. Unhesitatingly, the soldiers obliged. They know their captain was in the wrong.
So with a bag of money and gold, a captain’s uniform and a woman of unparalleled beauty on his arms, An-ananga started his trek back home to his small town. With the bounty he unwittingly earned, An-ananga could afford not to work and he could just spend his days gazing at his wife’s beauty.
Writer’s Note: Narrative is based solely on recollections from an evening storytelling beside the dying embers of the ‘dapwan’. For any deviations that may in one way or another alter or debase the original, apologies in advance. Inputs are welcomed with gladness and enthusiasm. 🙂