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Everyday, a red apple seeks the company of knights and other forest dwellers. Join her in this journey with her friend, Robin, as they discover the true meaning of friendship and home. This book is recommended for children ages 8-10.


by

Mary Joyce Tan

HEIGHTS 2008-2009


aklat ni / this book belongs to ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________


The Poisoned Apple Story by Mary Joyce Tan Illustration by Natasha Ringor, Selene Sarmiento, Alyza Taguilaso, Eliana Laurice Javier, Miguel Mercado, and Katherine Denise Yap Layout by Denise Yap Copyright Š 2009 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced in any means whatsoever without the written permission of the copyright holder. This publication is not for sale. Correspondence may be addressed to: Heights, Publication Room, MVP 202 Ateneo de Manila University, P.O. Box 154, Manila Tel. 426-6001 local 5088 www.Heights-Ateneo.org Heights is the official literary and artistic publication and organization of the Ateneo de Manila University Translated by EJ Bagacina, Brandon Dollente, Walther Hontiveros, and Rachel Marra. Printed in the Philippines by LSA Printing Press Inc.


by

Mary Joyce Tan

HEIGHTS


O

nce upon a time, in a faraway forest, was an old tree that bore much fruit, and hanging on its highest branch was the reddest one of them all. She was truly beautiful and for that, all the forest creatures admired her.

N

oong unang panahon, sa isang liblib na kagubatan, may isang punong hitik sa bunga. Sa tuktok nito matatagpuan ang pinakamaganda at pinakamapulang mansanas. Dahil sa taglay niyang kagandahan, hinahangaan siya ng lahat ng hayop sa kagubatan.

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But then came a day when men from the village gathered all her brothers and sisters until she was left alone. Although she was beautiful, she was too high up for the people to reach. From there she could see knights riding by on white horses, and watch the small animals scamper on the forest floor. She observed little girls, with hoods as red as she was, skip their way through. Days came and went, and all were the same.

Dumating ang araw na tinipon ng mga taga-bayan ang lahat ng kanyang kapatid. Siya lamang ang naiwan. Napakataas kasi ng sanga kung saan siya kaya walang makaabot sa kanya. Mula sa kanyang kinalalagyan, nakikita niya ang mga kabalyerong nakasakay sa kanilang mga puting kabayo. Pinanonood niya ang mga hayop na naglalaro sa kagubatan. Pinagmamasdan niyang lumulukso-lukso sa daan ang mga batang babaeng may balabal na kasimpula ng kanyang balat. Lumipas ang mga araw na walang pagbabago. 7


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She longed to be with every passerby. “How wonderful it must be to travel and see the world!” she exclaimed. Then out of a bush flitted a little bird. He perched himself right beside her. He was called Robin, and his breast was as red as her skin. “From up here you can see all the wonders of the forest. Why choose the troubled world where evil longs to destroy the good?” the charming bird said. “Do stay here and be safe. I will sing to you all day long and eat the worms that threaten you.” Robin continued to stay with her and sing. He paused only to eat the worms that had come to harm her. At last, the reddest fruit of the forest found a friend to love, but although she rejoiced in this, she continued to long for the world below her.

Sa kanyang pag-iisa, ninais niyang makasalamuha ang lahat ng dumaraan sa kagubatan. “Kay saya sigurong maglakbay at tuklasin ang mundo!”sabi niya. Mula sa isang palumpong, may lumabas na munting ibon at dumapo sa kanyang tabi. Nagpakilala itong si Robin na may dibdib na kasimpula ng mansanas. “Dito sa tuktok, makikita mo ang lahat ng kagandahan ng gubat. Bakit mo pipiliing bumaba sa kung saan naghahari ang kasamaan?” sabi ng ibon. “Dumito ka na lang para ligtas ka. Aawitan kita buong araw at kakainin ko ang mga uod na lalapit sa magdudulot sa ‘yo ng panganib.” Sa wakas, nakatagpo ang mansanas ng isang kaibigan. Patuloy siyang inaalagaan ni Robin ngunit hindi ito naging sapat para sa kanya. Nangarap pa rin siya sa mundong nasa ibaba niya.

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As the sun was about to set, two black crows came rushing, cawing loudly and frightening the small animals below. “Miss, would you like to come with us and see the world?� asked the cunning crow.

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Nang palubog na ang araw, dalawak uwak ang mabilis na dumating. Nakagigimbal ang iyak ng mga ito na siyang ikinakatakot ng maliliit na hayop. “Magandang hapon, binibini. Nais mo bang sumama sa amin at makita ang mundo?� tanong ng tusong uwak.

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“Do not be afraid. We will stay in the skies, safe from all evil,” the other continued. What a proposal that was for the red fruit. It was her lifelong dream after all. “Please listen to me,” insisted Robin, “you cannot trust the crows.”

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“Wag kang matakot. Mananatili tayo sa kalangitan kung saan ka ligtas.“ Isa itong kaaya-ayang paanyaya para sa pulang mansanas. Matagal na niya itong pinapangarap. “Makinig ka sa ’kin,” giit ni Robin, “Hindi mo mapagkakatiwalaan ang mga uwak.”

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The two crows cawed violently and attacked the little bird. Robin was trying to fight back when the crows said to the fruit, “Can’t you see that this robin only wants you to stay so he could eat the worms that come to you? Come with us, see the world.”

Sinugod ng dalawang uwak si Robin at habang nanlalaban ang munting ibon, sinabi ng isang uwak, “Kaya ka lang gustong makasama ng ibong iyan ay para may uod siyang makain. Sumama ka nalang sa amin, makikita mo ang mundo.“

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She came to doubt her only friend. Was it true that Robin only stayed for food? She felt betrayed, and so, she agreed to go. Before Robin could stop her, the crows had picked the fruit from the tree and taken her away. Pinagdudahan ng mansanas ang nag-iisa niyang kaibigan. Totoo kayang uod lang ang nais ni Robin sa kanya? Pakiramdam niya’y naloko siya kaya’t sumama na lang siya sa mga uwak. Bago pa man siya mapigilan ni Robin, nailayo na siya ng mga ito.

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They flew for hours. It was cold and dark. “Where are you taking me?” she asked the black birds but there was no reply. All she could hear were the strong rhythmic flapping of their wings. She began to feel afraid. Soon enough, they approached a hut hidden deep in the forest, and they flew through an open window. Ilang oras na silang lumilipad at bigla siyang nakaramdam ng takot. “Saan ninyo ako dadalhin?” tinanong niya ang mga uwak ngunit hindi siya sinagot ng mga ito. Ilang sandali pa, sa di kalayuan, nakita niya ang isang kubong nasa gitna ng kagubatan. Bumulusok sila paibaba at dali-daling lumusot sa bintana ng kubo.

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An old woman with a pointed hat and a crooked nose welcomed them with a smile that showed her awful yellow teeth. She examined the beautiful fruit that the crows had laid on the table. “What a precious, precious, little fruit this is. Come, my dear, you shall make my wish come true,” said the evil witch. She then seized the beautiful fruit and dropped her in a bubbling cauldron.

Sinalubong sila ng isang matandang babaeng may matulis na sombrero at baluktot na ilong. Ngumiti ito at lumantad ang kanyang naninilaw na mga ngipin. Kinuha niya ang mansanas na ipinatong ng mga uwak sa mesa. “Kay gandang prutas! Ikaw ang katuparan ng aking pangarap.” Kinuha niya ang mansanas at inihulog sa isang palayok ng kumukulong itim na likido. Nanuot sa kanyang balat ang itim na likido.

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The fruit was terrified, floating painfully in the witch’s brew. She could see the witch smiling at her from above. The witch continued to chuckle. The fruit began to feel dizzy; her world seemed to swirl and everything grew dark.

Takot na takot ang mansanas habang lumulutang-lutang siya sa palayok. Kitang-kita niya ang naninilaw na mga ngipin ng bruha habang humahagikgik ito. Hindi nagtagal, nahilo at nagdilim ang paningin ng mansanas.

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Hours later, the fruit woke up and found herself in a basket. The witch was taking her somewhere. She noticed that the witch was talking to a beautiful young woman as white as snow.

Nang muling magkamalay ang mansanas, nasa loob na siya ng isang basket. Tila dadalhin siya ng bruha sa kung saan. Napansin na lang niyang kinakausap ng bruha ang isang dalagang simputi ng niyebe.

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“Would you like an apple?” offered the witch, “it is the reddest of them all.” “Why, thank you! How kind of you! It looks so delicious,” Snow White politely accepted. She held the fruit in her hands and took a bite.

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“Baka nagugutom ka. Ito ang isang mansanas – ang pinakamapula sa lahat ng mansanas sa gubat,” alok ng bruha. “Maraming salamat! Mukhang napakasarap nito,” malugod na pagtanggap ni Blanca Niyebe. Kumagat ang binibini mula sa mansanas.

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The fruit rolled on the ground, aghast. She ached and wept. What had she done? Never did she mean to do harm, let alone kill!

Gumulong ang mansanas sa lupa. Nasindak at napaluha siya. Ano’ng ginawa niya? Hindi niya ninais manakit ng kapwa, lalo na’t pumatay!

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“Snow White!” called the seven dwarves as they rushed to the lady that was already lying on the ground. The red fruit longed for the tree she once called home and the only friend she ever had. She wanted to hear Robin sing again. She also remembered the days when he would stay with her even when there were no worms around. “This would not have happened had I listened to Robin,” the fruit thought. She spent her days in regret. Time no longer mattered, and she hardly paid attention to the world around her. “What will become of me?” she wondered. “Will I rot in the soil and be forgotten?”

“Snow White!” iyak ng mga Pitong Unano habang patakbong nilapitan ang binibini. Tinanggal nila ang kanilang mga sumbrero at nagluksa sa pagpanaw ng kanilang kaibigan. Nakaramdam siya ng pangungulila sa punong dati niyang tinitirahan. Gusto niyang marinig muli ang mga kanta ni Robin. Naalala niya ang mga araw na nananatili ang ibon sa kanyang tabi kahit na walang uod sa paligid. “Hindi ito mangyayari kung nakinig ako kay Robin,” inisip niya. Lumipas ang mga araw, linggo, buwan at taon na nabuhay ang mansanas sa pagsisisi. Nagsimula siyang magtanong. “Ano nang mangyayari sa akin ngayon? Mabubulok na lang ba ako at tuluyang mababaon sa lupa?”

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As time passed unnoticed, she felt herself being lifted from the ground. She watched herself grow branches, and how leafy they became! She could feel that she was growing roots that were piercing through the soil. Her arms danced with the wind as her feet stretched deeper into the ground to nourish her. Matapos ang napakahabang panahon, tinubuan siya ng mga ugat. Nagkaroon din siya ng mga sanga, na di kalaunan ay tinubuan ng malalagong mga dahon. Tila sumasayaw ang mga ito sa ihip ng hangin habang lalong bumabaon ang kanyang mga paa sa lupa.

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She finally transformed into a tree planted deep into the very earth that she had longed to be a part of, but though her dream had come true, the fruit—now a wonderful tree—was still unhappy. Sa wakas, siya ay naging isang napakagandang puno at naging bahagi siya ng mundong matagal na niyang pinanabikan. Natupad na ang kanyang pangarap – bilang isang nakabibighaning puno – ngunit hindi pa rin siya masaya.

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One morning, a little gray bird landed on her. “What a beautiful tree you are! May I build a nest on your branches?” the creature asked. Isang umaga, may abuhing ibong dumapo sa kanya. “Kay ganda mo namang puno! Maaari ba akong gumawa ng pugad sa iyong sanga?” tanong ng ibon. 32


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“You may, little bird, I am glad to give you shelter,� answered the tree. Soon after, the bird weaved twigs and grass into a nest and laid her eggs.

Hindi tumanggi ang puno at pinanood niyang maghabi ng pugad ang ibon na ‘di kalaunan ay pinangitlugan nito.

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Weeks passed and three featherless hatchlings pecked and pushed their way out of their shells, twittering with joy. “How will you feed all of them on your own?” the tree asked. “There is nothing to worry about,” the bird explained, “their father shall come with food as well.” Lumipas ang ilang linggo at napisa ang mga itlog kung saan tatlong mga sisiw ang lumabas. “Paano mo pakakainin ang mga supling mo?” tanong ng puno. “Huwag kang mag-alala,” paliwanag ng ibon, “darating ang kanilang tatay na may dalang pagkain.”

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Moments later, another bird landed beside the nest. He had a breast as red as the fruit had been before. The tree watched as he came and went, feeding his three hatchlings with the insects he had caught. Ilang sandali pa, may dumapo pang isang ibon - kasimpula ng mga balahibo nito sa dibdib ang puno noong siya’y isa pa lamang mansanas. Pinanood ng puno ang tatay habang pinakakain nito ang tatlo niyang bulinggit.

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The beautiful tree spent the rest of her days blissfully watching over Robin’s family. Although her old friend did not recognize her, the beautiful tree, once a bright red fruit, knew that she was finally home.

Mula noon, masayang namuhay ang napakagandang puno kasama ang pamilya ni Robin. Kahit na hindi na siya nakikilala ni Robin, alam niyang natagpuan na niya ang kanyang tunay na tahanan.

The End

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About The Author Joyce thinks of herself as an art appreciator. She loves collecting the masterpieces of her artist friends. Perhaps she also considers herself as an artist for her sheer love of music (that includes her handsome piano of course), writing, and photography. Joyce dearly believes in the magic of things and that is the very reason why she is fond of writing stories for children. She is currently in her senior year as an AB Communication major and is looking forward to the fulfillment of her musical dream.


dStafff Character Design: Alyza Taguilaso Colors: Natasha Ringor, Denise Yap, Miguel Mercado Backgrounds: Erica Sarmiento Layout: Denise Yap Translation: EJ Bagacina, Brandon Dollente, Walther Hontiveros, Rachel Marra Operations: EJ Bagacina, Walther Hontiveros, Eliana Laurice Javier, Rachel Marra

dThanksf Ms. Christine Belen Mr. Hubert Fucio

The Poisoned Apple and the Place She Calls Home  

Kuwentong Pambata 2008-2009. Heights is the official literary and artistic publication and organization of the Ateneo de Manila University.

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