Friday, January 3, 2020

Microstory 1270: The Bird and the Cat

When a cat’s owner first brought home a new pet bird, the cat was hungry. He eyed the bird up in her cage, and dreamed of chomping down on her meat. The bird showed no fear, but did not antagonize the cat either. Over time, the bird and the cat became friends. The cat always had plenty of food to eat, and there was no need for them to be enemies. She would sing him sweet songs, and he would tell her fun stories. The cunning cat even figured out how to open the bird’s cage, so she could fly free when their owner was not home. One night, the owner left some chestnuts to roast under the fire. “Oh, how we would like those chestnuts,” tweeted the bird.

“They would be mighty tasty,” purred the cat. “But we could never get them.”

“You could,” the bird said to him. “You are quick and sly. Pull them out one at a time.”

“They are too hard for my teeth,” the cat lamented. “The owner cracks them open for me, and lets me have a little every year.”

“If you get us the chestnuts,” suggested the bird, “I will crack them open for us.”

“You promise to share?” the cat asked.

“I promise,” said the bird.

And so the cat reached into the fire, and retrieved the savory nuts with his fast paws. As he did this, the bird cracked them open with her mighty beak. All told, they were able to secure nearly two dozen chestnuts between the two of them! The bird ate eleven, and the cat ate eleven. They then buried the remaining nut into the rug, hoping to spring a new chestnut tree, because they were animals, and they didn’t know any better. But they were full animals, and happy, and together.

This story was inspired by, and revised from, an Aesop Fable called The Monkey and the Cat.

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