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The Legend Of The First Corn
The corn is a grain that is the staple food on some part of the world. It is also an ingredient on some dishes along with other vegetables.
And the favorite popcorn during movie times? That would be from the corn too. Even few Philippine desserts are made of corn. One in particular that I like is sweet corn with shaved ice and milk.
But this wasn't about dessert made of corn, some plants are just really interesting and intriguing on why it looks like that and why it has that and this amongst other things. And yes, the corn would be one of those plants. An interesting feature about the corn is the corn silk!
One legend explains the start of the very first corn on how the plant came to be the grain we enjoy. So how what is the legend of the corn?
A long time ago in a village, there was a couple whose main source of income and food is planting vegetables. They sell it on their neighbors or on the flea market.
The couple has a lovely young daughter they named Maita. Maita's hair was soft, and smooth that shines golden in color on the sun's rays. At a young age, Maita is obsessed with her beautiful hair. She would spend a great amount of time combing and fixing her soft hair, and she does it almost every minute, every day.
"Maita, stop combing your hair excessively," her father would tell her frequently. "Help on the house chores."
On the other hand, the young girl's mother found this rather amusing as her daughter already knows how to make or keep herself beautiful at an early age so she choose to let her be.
"She's still young, she would eventually change and will help at house chores when she grow up," she thought to herself.
But her mother was mistaken. When Maita became older, her amazement about her appearance and her soft, smooth hair intensified. While before she consumes minutes combing her hair, now she spends hours and sometimes a whole day!
One day her father got sick. Her mother needs to go to the market to sell vegetables they had harvested so the family can have money to buy foods and a medicine for the sick father.
Maita was sternly instructed by her mother to do household chores as no one could do it other than her. "Cook food as I surely would be home from town after dark. Keep an eye on your father and fed him so he will gain strength," she said before leaving.
"One more thing, water the vegetables at the yard as the ground is too dry," her mother's last instruction. Irritated, Maita agreed to all what her mother told her to do.
Maita was about ready to start doing the chores when she came passed by a mirror and saw her shiny, beautiful hair. She stop in a minute, reach for a comb and started combing her hair, "I will fix my hair first before I start the chores, it is still early," she thought to herself.
She comb and comb her hair and she got hooked on it! She didn't noticed the time passing by. She didn't even hear the soft voice of her father calling for her, asking for something to eat. She was too occupied of combing her hair.
The sun already sank and it is getting dark and her mother arrived home. She wondered what has happened when she spotted the withered vegetables at their yard. Looks like they hadn't been watered all day long. She look for her daughter and there she is! She spotted her busy combing her hair in front of the mirror.
The mother got so mad. She scolded Maita as she hadn't done anything at all from all she instructed her to do before she left that morning. And worst, her sick husband hadn't eaten anything!
"I wish your hair would get thinner so you don't have to spend so much time combing it," she said emphatically. "Early morning tomorrow, I'm going to have your hair cut."
Maita run out of the house that night, crying. But her mother didn't followed her as she got herself busy preparing meal for her sick husband who weakened more because of hunger.
When she cooled off a bit, she went and search for Maita outside the yard but she hadn't found her daughter. She asked the neighborhood if there's anyone who had seen her daughter, but no one did. Nobody knows where Maita is.
One morning while sweeping the yard, the mother noticed a new plant that had sprouted amongst the vegetables. It has long leaves and she watered it daily. After few weeks, the new plant bears a fruit.
And when they picked and peeled the strange fruit, the couple saw that the fruit has a yellowish grains. It also has a thin, fine, golden hairs that is smooth and beautiful.
The couple are teary-eyed as in this instance, they remembered their missing daughter, Maita. Her smooth, soft beautiful hair is just like this, with this strange plant.
Since that day, they both agreed to call the plant "mais" (corn.)
But whatever had happened to Maita that night when she ran out of the house crying, no one knows. All thanks to her thou, now we have this precious grain.
Today, the corn is one of the grains that serves as a staple food to some, usually cooked boiled and also made into desserts.
Even the husk is boiled and taken as tea.
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