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p. 129

The Cat and the Monkey

AMONG the Yaquis there was one who had as curious pets an educated cat and a very intelligent monkey. The man's name was Oname'a. He understood the language of the animals. One day the cat and the monkey were quarreling.

The monkey said to the cat, "You aren't worth anything. You don't divert the master. You don't play with him. I amuse him with my intelligence and he pets me."

The cat replied, "Well, I take care of his house. When I am about, the rats don't come into the kitchen. And those which do come never leave, because I kill them."

In the middle of this talk a rat came out of a hole and stopped near a table, wanting to get up on top of it. The cat jumped. But the rat escaped. It ran around the table and benches a few times and hid under a stone in the corner.

The monkey laughed and made fun of the cat, telling him that he was stupid and incapable.

"All right, let's see if you are any better."

The monkey went over to the corner where the rat was hidden and moved the rock. The rat ran out and up on top of the table. The monkey pursued it. The rat ran around a water jug and some pottery plates, and ran into a hole.

p. 130

The monkey circled all of the dishes but so stupidly that he knocked them all over with his tail, breaking them all. He didn't catch the rat, and he was very ashamed.

Then the cat said, "You think yourself more lively than I. You want to catch the rat, but you don't. Instead, you break all of the plates and the water-jug from which my master drinks. When he comes home and sees this, then you will get the punishment you deserve!"

The monkey could not answer. All he could do was bite his nails.

Señor Oname'a came in. He saw things spread all over the floor. "What went on here?" he asked.

The cat was stretched out watching the hole where the rat had disappeared.

"Well, who broke the dishes on the table?" asked Oname'a.

"I broke them," said the monkey. But he didn't lift his head.

"So you were playing around with the cat? Is that it?"

"No, Sir," said the cat, "We weren't playing. A rat came out but I couldn't catch him. Then the monkey called me stupid and incapable. So I said to him, 'You catch the rat if you think that you are better than I am.' He couldn't, but he tumbled over all the plates."

The monkey was punished for making fun of the cat. Later the rat came out and the cat gave him a blow with his left paw and killed him. He took the rat to his master who gave the rat back to the cat for his supper.

This fable is finished.

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