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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

So she took no notice of the mouse until the next day, when she climbed down the tree and went to the roots in which she knew the mouse was hidden. There she began to purr as loud as she could, to show the mouse she was in a good humour, and called out, "Dear good little mouse, come out of your hole and let me tell you how very, very grateful I am to you for saving my life. There is nothing in the world I will not do for you, if you will only be friends with me."

The mouse only squeaked in answer to this speech, and took very good care not to show himself, till he was quite sure the cat was gone beyond reach of him. He stayed quietly in his hole, and only ventured forth after he had heard the cat climb up into the tree again. "It is all very well," thought the mouse, "to pretend to make friends with an enemy when that enemy is helpless, but I should indeed be a silly mouse to trust a cat when she is free to kill me."

The cat made a good many other efforts to be friends with the mouse, but they were all unsuccessful. In the end the owl caught the mouse, and the cat killed the lizard. The owl and the cat both lived for the rest of their lives in the banyan tree, and died in the end at a good old age.

11. Do you think it is ever possible to make a real friend of an enemy?

12. What do you think the mouse deserved most praise for in his behaviour?

13. Which of the four animals in this story do you like best and which do you dislike most?

14. Can an animal be blamed for acting according to its nature? For instance, can you call it cruel for a cat or an owl to kill and eat a mouse?

15. Is it always right to forgive an injury?

16. Can you give an example from history of the forgiveness of an injury?

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