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ABOUT A MOUSE, THAT WAS A CAT, DOG AND TIGER

IT IS SAID: THAT IF A TIGER HAS THE HEART OF A MOUSE, THEN IT
WOULD BE BETTER IF HE DIDN'T SEE OR MEET A CAT. ONE TIME, A CROW
WAS CARRYING A MOUSE IN HIS BEAK, AND FLYING OVER A FOREST WHEN HE
DROPPED IT. IN THAT FOREST LIVED A MAN THAT KNEW MAGIC. AND
THE MOUSE DROPPED DOWN BY THE MAN'S FEET. SEEING THE MOUSE,
THE MAN PICKED HIM UP AND CARRIED HIM INTO HIS HUT. MANY DAYS
THE MOUSE LIVED WITH THE MAN. THE MAN FED HIM, WATERED HIM
AND THE MOUSE WAS HAPPY. BUT ONE TIME, GOING OUT OF THE HUT,
HE SAW A BIG CAT NOT TOO FAR AWAY. HE RAN BACK INTO THE HUT,
CRAWLED INTO THE FARTHEST AND DARKEST CORNER AND SHOOK FROM FRIGHT.
SEEING THIS, THE MAN ASKED: "WHT'S WRONG? WHY ARE YOU SHAKING?"
"O MY GOOD MAN," SQUEEKED THE MOUSE, "NOT FAR AWAY FROM
OUR HUT I MET A CAT AND NOW I'M DYING FROM FRIGHT}" AFTER
THINKING FOR AWHILE, THE MAN SAID: "ALRIGHT, I'LL DO IT SO THAT
YOU'LL NEVER BE AFRAID OF CATS AGAIN} GO TO BED. IN THE
MORNING WHEN YOU WAKE UP, YOU'LL BE A CAT--NOT A MOUSE." THE MAN
DID AS HE PROMISED: THE MOUSE WOKE UP AS A CAT. "--NOW YOU DON'T
HAVE TO BE AFRAID OF CATS ANYMORE. YOU ARE A CAT YOURSELF,"
SAID THE MAN. HAPPILY, THE CAT-MOUSE RAN OUT OF THE HUT.
AND WHEN SHE WANTED TO TWIST AROUND IN THE SUN, SHE AGAIN SAW
THE CAT. THE POOR THING IMMEDIATELY FORGOT THAT SHE HERSELF WAS
A CAT, AND RAN BACK INTO THE HUT. "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?" ASKED
THE MAN. "HOW COME YOU'RE FRIGHTENED AGAIN?" THE CAT WAS
LIED. "I MET A DOG IN THE FOREST: HE STARTED CHASING ME AND I
BARELY MANAGED TO ESCAPE FROM HIM. THE MAN SAID AGAIN: "GO TO SLEEP.
IN THE MORNING YOU'LL WAKE UP AS A DOG, AND YOU WON'T HAVE TO
BE AFRAID OF DOGS ANYMORE." AND THAT'S HOW IT WAS: IN THE MORNING
THE CAT WOKE UP AS A DOG AND BARKING LOUDLY, RAN OUT OF THE
HUT. BUT NEARING A TREE SHE AGAIN SAW THE CAT. THE CAT ALSO
SAW THE DOG. SHE THOUGHT THAT THE DOG WAS GOING TO ATTACK,
SO SHE PREPARED TO DEFEND HERSELF, HISSED, LIFTED HER RIGHT PAW
AND LOUDLY MEOWD. HEARING THE CAT MEOWING, THE DOG RAN INTO THE
HUT FRIGHTENED. "WHAT FRIGHTENED YOU THIS TIME?" ASKED THE
MAN. THE DOG WAS ASHAMED TO ADMIT, THAT HE HAD BEEN FRIGHTENED
BY A CAT, SO AGAIN HE LIED: "O MY GOOD MAN, NOT FAR FROM
OUR HUT I MET A TIGER} UP TO NOW I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND
HOW I MANAGED TO GET AWAY ALIVE} "WELL, I'LL MAKE IT SO THAT
FROM NOW ON, YOU WON'T BE AFRAID OF ANYTHING. TOMORROW YOU
SHALL WAKE UP AS A TIGER." AND THAT'S HOW IT WAS: IN THE MORNING
THE DOG WOKE UP A TIGER AND DECIDED: "IT DOESN'T BEFIT ME,
RULER OF THE ANIMALS TO LIVE IN A MERE MAN'S HUT} I WILL GO INTO
THE FOREST AND LET THE OTHER ANIMALS TREMBLE AT MY POWER AND
BRAVERY}" THINKING THIS, THE TIGER STEPPED OUT OF THE HUT AND
HEADED FOR THE DARK JUNGLE. AND SUDDENLY HE SAW THE CAT. AND
THE CAT SAW THE TIGER. OUT OF FRIGHT, THE CAT'S FUR STOOD
ON END, BACK ARCHED AND EYES CRACKED FIRE. "NOW I'M DEAD}"
THOUGHT THE CAT. "FROM THE TIGER I WILL NOT ESCAPE}" THE TIGER,
IN WHOSE BREAST BEAT THE HEART OF A MOUSE, SAW THE CRACKLING
EYES AND IMMEDIATELY RAN OFF TO THE MAN'S HUT. HE SHOT INTO THE
HOUSE, CRAMPED HIMSELF INTO THE FARTHEST CORNER AND LAYED
THERE WITH TEETH CHATTERING OUT OF FRIGHT. THE MAN WAS
SUPRISED: "HOW COME YOU ARE TREMBLING AGAIN? IS THERE IN OUR
LAND AN ANIMAL STRONGER THAN THE TIGER?" "THERE IS..." WHISPERED
THE TIGER. "WHAT IS HE?" ASKED THE SUPRISED MAN. "A..A..
CAT}" THEN THE MAN UNDERSTOOD AND SAID: "A TIGER, IN WHOSE
BREAST BEATS THE HEART OF A MOUSE, IS WEAKER THAN A CAT. LET HIM,
THAT HAS A HEART OF A MOUSE, ALWAYS BE A MOUSE. HAVING SAID
THIS, THE MAN TURNED THE TIGER BACK INTO A POOR LITTLE MOUSE.

Submitter comment: (THIS IS THE TALE RETOLD AND ILLUSTRATED BY MARCIA BROWN
AS "ONCE A MOUSE"9)

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): TRANSFORMATION

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
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