Myths
Narrative

Pineapple origin

Background Information: Vanessa is a Filipino American who grew up in Texas. She learned this story in English from her twin sister, who had heard it from their grandmother in Tagalog.

Vanessa: “Um, so my grandma told me this story about the origin of the pineapple. Well, she told my twin sister, and then my twin sister told me, and, the… basic origin of it is that there’s this little girl, who is really lazy, and her grandma keeps asking her to do stuff… So she’ll be like, “Pinya, could you go… could you go, um, wash the dishes”, and like she’ll find later that the dishes haven’t been done and Pinya is playing. And her grandma will be like “why didn’t you do it?”, and Pinya will be like, “I didn’t see them… I couldn’t see the dishes”. And that’ll happen over and over again until her grandma’s finally like, “fine, since you keep saying you, um, you have no eyes, you’ll have hundreds of eyes all over you from now on.” And she left and when she came back she found her granddaughter had turned into a pineapple with a lot of eyes all over it.”

Thoughts: Interestingly, this story seems to serve two functions. On one hand, it is an origin story. According to Vanessa, the story is part of a larger, widely known but unofficial collection of similar Tagalog origin stories known as alamat. On the other hand, the story seems to also have a lesson. It was told by Vanessa’s grandmother to her sister, so it seems the message here for children is to not be lazy, and to complete the tasks assigned to them. 

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