Story No. 76 – Cats and roosters
Once upon a time in Africa, roosters ruled cats. The cats worked
hard all day and at night they had to bring all they had gathered for
the roosters. The king of the roosters would take all the food for
himself and for the other roosters.
The roosters loved to eat ants. Thus, every cat had a purse hung
round its neck, which it filled with ants for the king of the roosters.
The cats did not like the situation. They wanted to rid themselves of
the king so that the food they gathered through hard work and great
difficulty would be their own. But they were afraid of the roosters.
The roosters had told the cats that rooster’s combs were made out of fire and that the fire of their
combs would burn anyone who disobeyed them! The cats believed them and therefore worked from
early morning until night for the roosters.
One night, the fire on the house of Mrs. Cat went out. She told her kitten, Fluffy, to bring some fire
from Mr. Rooster’s house. When Fluffy went into the house of the rooster, she saw that Mr. Rooster
was fast asleep, his stomach swollen with the ants he had eaten. The kitten was afraid to wake the
rooster, so she returned home empty handed and told her mother what had happened.
Mrs. Cat said, “Now that the rooster is asleep, gather some dry twigs and place them near his comb.
As soon as the twigs catch fire, bring them home.”
Fluffy gathered some dry twigs and took them to the rooster’s house. He was still asleep. Fluffy
fearfully put the dry twigs near the rooster’s comb but it was no use, the twigs did not catch fire.
Fluffy rubbed the twigs against the rooster’s comb again but it was no use they would not catch fire.
Fluffy returned home without any fire and told her mother, “The roost’s comb does not set twigs on
fire.” Mrs. Cat answered “Why can’t you do anything right! Come with me I’ll show you how to
make fire with the rooster’s comb.” So together they went to the house of Mr. Rooster.
He was still asleep. Mrs. Cat put the twigs as near to the rooster’s comb as she could. But the twigs
did not catch fire. Then, shaking with fear, she put her paw near the rooster’s comb and gently
touched it. To her surprise, the comb was not hot, it was very cold, and it was just red colored.
As soon as Mrs. Cat realized that the roosters had lied to the cats about their combs, she joyfully
went out and told the other cats about the rooster’s tricks. From that day on, the cats no longer
worked for the roosters.
At first, the king of the roosters became very angry and said to the cats; “I will burn all of your
houses if you do not work for me!”
But the cats said, “Your comb is not made of fire. It is just the color of fire.
We touched it when you were sleep. You lied to us.”
When the king of the roosters found out that the cats knew that he had
lied to them, he ran away. Now, whenever roosters see a cat, they scurry
away, because to this very day they are afraid of cats.