Once upon a time, Bathala tasked the very first cow and carabao to be the famer’s aides in the farm. Just like their boss, the cow and the carabao are industrious workers. They don’t mind the weight of the plow nor the heat of the sun. The two do their daily task without any complain. The only rest they have is at night when they retire.
After work one night, all the farm animals had a get together. They chatted about they did for the whole day.
The cow and the carabao learned, based from the stories they heard, that it’s only the two of them that work hard. The other animals do nothing but play or eat the whole day. Just like chicken who does nothing but roam around the farm looking for worms to eat, or duck who waddles around the pond the whole day long or even goat who does nothing but graze on the grass.
The next day, the two friends decided that they will their rest for that day. Instead of working in the rice field, they would sneak in the river to bathe. They waited for the farmer to take his usual afternoon nap, and quietly removed the plow and made their way to the river.
The two removed their skins and hanged onto the low branch of a tree then jumped into the river. Not long after, the farmer woke up and saw that his two aides were missing. He went looking for them and saw them basking happily in the river.
The farmer took out his whip and went towards the animals. The cow and carabao were surprised to see the famer walking towards them. The two got up and scrambled to get and put their skins on. However, in haste to get dressed, the two got their skins mixed up. Because cow was thinner, carabao’s skin on him was loose. While cow’s skin was too tight on carabao.
The two asked for forgiveness from their angry master. The farmer forgave them however as punishment for what they did, they were forbidden to exchange their skins. It was to remind the two to do their tasks and to never be lazy again,