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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "The Story of a Cat, a Mouse, a Lizard and an Owl"

The Story of a Cat, a Mouse, a Lizard and an Owl

5. What would you have done if you had been the mouse, when you saw the cat in the snare?

6. Was the owl wise or foolish to wait before he caught the mouse?

Chapter IV

The mouse, small and helpless though he was, was a wise little creature. He saw the owl fly up into the tree, and knew quite well that if he did not take care he would serve as dinner to that great strong bird. He knew too that, if he went within reach of the claws of the cat, he would suffer for it. "How I do wish," he thought to himself, "I could make friends with the cat, now she is in distress, and get her to promise not to hurt me if ever she gets free. As long as I am near the cat, the owl will not dare to come after me." As he thought and thought, his eyes got brighter and brighter, and at last he decided what he would do. He had, you see, kept his presence of mind; that is to say, he did not let his fright of the cat or the owl prevent him from thinking clearly. He now ventured forth from amongst the barley, and coming near enough to the cat for her to see him quite clearly, but not near enough for her to reach him with her claws, or far enough away for the owl to get him without danger from those terrible claws, he said to the cat in a queer little squeaky voice: "Dear Puss, I do not like to see you in such a fix. It is true we have never been exactly friends, but I have always looked up to you as a strong and noble enemy. If you will promise never to do me any harm, I will do my best to help you. I have very sharp teeth, and I might perhaps be able to nibble through the string round your beautiful neck and set you free. What do you think about it?"

7. Do you think there was any chance of a cat and a mouse becoming real friends?

8. Can you give two or three instances you know of presence of mind in danger?

Chapter V

When the cat heard what the mouse said, she could hardly believe her ears. She was of course ready to promise anything to anyone who would help her, so she said at once:

"You dear little mouse, to wish to help me.

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