COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in September 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Why does the cat eat mice more than any other creeping thing?

Q. Why does the cat eat mice more than any other creeping thing?

R. In the beginning the cat and the mouse were friends. At one time the mouse went and accused the cat falsely before God, and said, "Lord of the Universe, the cat and I are companions and we have now nothing to eat." God replied, "Thou hast brought a false accusation against thy friend in order to be able to eat him. Now the reverse is to happen, the cat will eat thee and thou shalt serve her as food." The mouse replied, "Lord of the Universe, what have I done?" And God said, "O thou unclean creature! Hast thou not heard what happened to the sun and moon which originally were of equal size, but because the moon brought a false accusation against (slandered) the sun, I have reduced its size and made it smaller than the sun? So also hast thou slandered thy companion in order to eat him, and he therefore will eat thee." "If that be so," the mouse replied, "then the cat will surely utterly destroy me." And God replied, "I will leave thee a remnant as I have done to the moon."

               Then the mouse went, and springing on the head of the cat began to bite it. The cat then threw the mouse on the ground and killed it.

               From that time on, the fear of the cat fell upon the mice, and for this reason does the cat eat the mouse (f. 25b).

               (The Hebrew word used for cat is khatool which originally means weasel!)

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Why does the cat eat mice more than any other creeping thing?
Tale Author/Editor: Sira, Ben
Book Title: Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories
Book Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1915
Country of Origin: Hebrew
Classification: unclassified

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