The Passing Of Loku





The tale of Loku is applied to a large, ugly lizard which climbs

to the rafters of houses and gives the peculiar cry that suggests

its name. This lizard, although hideous, is harmless; it lives on

centipedes. Its strange cry may be heard everywhere in the Philippine

Islands.



Hundreds of years ago a very wicked king named Loku ruled the

Philippines. He was cruel and unjust, and condemned to death all who

refused to do his bidding. He had vast armies and made war on all

until his name was feared everywhere.



His power was very great. He conquered every nation that opposed him

and killed so many people that the god, viewing the slaughter from

his throne above, sent an angel to order him to cease from warfare

and to rule the land in peace.



Loku was in his palace, planning an assault on his neighbors, when

a soft light filled the chamber, and a beautiful angel appeared and

delivered the mandate of the master.



The cruel king paid no heed, but dismissed the holy messenger

in scorn. "Tell your master," said he, "to deliver his message in

person. I do not deal with messengers. I am Loku. All fear my name. I

am the great Loku."



Hardly had he spoken when the palace shook to its foundations and a

mighty voice thundered, "Is it thus thou Slightest my word? Thou art

Loku. All shall indeed know thy name. From every crevice thou shalt

forever cry it in a form that suits thy ill nature."



The courtiers, alarmed by the shock, rushed to the king's chamber,

but Loku was nowhere to be found. The royal robes lay scattered on

the floor and the only living thing to be seen was an ugly lizard

that blinked at them from among the plans on the table.



They searched far and wide, and when no trace of the king could be

found the courtiers divided the kingdom and ruled so wisely and well

that there was peace for many years.



As for Loku, you may still hear him fulfilling his punishment. From

crack and crevice, tree and shrub, he calls his name from dark till

dawn: "Lok-u! Lok-u! Lok-u!"



And he must cry it forever.





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