Why the Cow’s Skin is Loose on the Neck


A podcast series of Filipino folk tales for young people brought to us by Areté and the Ateneo de Manila Basic Education.

Listen to the story here or on Spotify.

Today’s podcast story is called “Why the Cow’s Skin is Loose on the Neck”, obtained from the Philippine Popular Tales by Dean S. Fansler, and read by Ma. Rossana Z. Maglalang.


Learning Guide
Prepared by Kristine Anne P. Valdellon and Ma. Rossana Z. Maglalang.

A. Discussion Questions

  1. The relationship between the poor farmer and his animals, the cow and the carabao, can be likened to a “master-slave” relationship.
    1. Based on the story, what characterizes a master?
    2. Based on the story, what characterizes a slave?
    3. Based on the story, what characterizes the relationship between the master and the slave?
    4. What other relationships do you see in your experience that can be likened to a master-slave relationship? Describe why you think so.
  2. Let us talk about changing the situation between the poor farmer and the animals.
    1. What can the poor farmer do to become a better master to his animals?
    2. What can society do to make poor farmers better masters to their animals?
    3. Which solution do you favor? Why?

B. Class Activity

Students can form groups of two or three to write their own legends that explain why certain animals or plants look the way they do. Some examples: Why do zebras have stripes? Why do giraffes have long necks? Why do roses have thorns? Why do cauliflowers have curly tops?

File Download

Read the full story

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Source: Dean S. Fansler, Filipino Popular Tales. Lancaster, PA. and New York: American Folklore Society and G. E. Stechert and Co., 1921. Available from Project Gutenberg.

Current Stories in the Series


The Monkey and The Turtle

Sun and Moon

Sagacious Marcela

The Story of Our Fingers

Why the Cow’s Skin is Loose on the Neck

The Lost Necklace


Ang Pagong at ang Matsing

Ang mga Paglalakbay ni Juan

Ang Pinagmulan ng Daigdig (Si Malakas at si Maganda)

Ang Unang Unggoy

Ang Alamat ng Palay

Ang Pinagmulan ng Lamok

Kung Paano Yumaman si Jackyo

Stay in tune for the other stories in this podcast series!

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