A Cat Story…

On my workshops I often share with the attendees how much I like the Rudyard Kipling story, The Cat That Walked By Himself, from Oh So Stories. you can read it Here.

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This story is in a similar vein, but from Zimbabwe. It does encapsulate cats very well too… This is dedicated to all Women, Cats and Catwomen everywhere…

Once upon a time, there was a wild cat, who got tired of living alone and chose for herself a husband, another wild cat who she thought was the finest creature in all the jungle.One day, as they strolled together along the path through the tall grass, swish, out of the grass jumped Leopard, and Cat’s husband was bowled over, all fur and claws, into the dust.
“O-oh!” said Cat. “I see my husband is covered in dust and is not the finest creature in all the jungle. It is Leopard.” So Cat went to live with Leopard.
They lived together very happily until one day, as they were hunting in the bush, suddenly—whoosh—out of the shadows leapt Lion right onto Leopard’s back and ate him all up.
“O-o-oh!” said Cat. “I see Leopard is not the finest creature in all the jungle. It is Lion.”
So Cat went to live with Lion.
They lived together very happily until one day, as they were stalking through the forest, a large shape loomed overhead, and –fu-chu—Elephant put one foot on top of Lion and squashed him flat.
“O-o-o-oh!” said Cat. “I see Lion is not the finest creature in all the jungle. It is Elephant.”
So Cat went to live with Elephant. She climbed up onto his back and sat purring on his neck, right between his two ears.
The lived together happily until one day, as they were moving through the tall reeds down by the river—pa-wa—there was a loud bang, and Elephant sank down onto the ground.
Cat looked around and all she could see was a small man with a gun.
“O-o-o-o-oh!” said Cat. “I see Elephant is not the finest creature in all the jungle. It is Man.”
So Cat walked after Man all the way to his home, and jumped up onto the thatch of his hut.
“At last,” said Cat, “I have found the finest creature in all the jungle.”
She lived up in the thatch of the hut very happily and began to catch the mice and rats that lived in that village.
Until one day, as she sat on the roof warming herself in the sun, she heard a noise from inside the hut. The voices of Man and his wife grew louder and louder until—wara-wara-wara…yo-we! —out came Man, tumbling head over heels into the dust.
“Aha!” said Cat. “Now I do know who is truly the finest creature in all the jungle. It is Woman.”
She came down from the thatch, went inside the hut, and sat by the fire.
And that is where she’s been ever since.

~A Shona story from Zimbabwe, As originally told to folklorist Hugh Tracey in the Kanga tounge.

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