Category Archives: Literature Around the World

The Cat and the Mouse

The Cat and the Mouse

England

The cat and the mouse
Played in the malt-house.

The cat bit the mouse’s tail off.

“Pray, puss, give me my tail.”

“No,” says the cat, “I’ll not give you your tail, till you go to the cow, and fetch me some milk.”

First she leapt, and then she ran,
Till she came to the cow, and thus began:

“Pray, cow, give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again.”

“No,” said the cow, I will give you no milk, till you go to the farmer and get me some hay.”

First she leapt, and then she ran,
Till she came to the farmer, and thus began:

“Pray, farmer, give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again.”

“No,” says the farmer, I’ll give you no hay, till you go to the butcher and fetch me some meat.”

First she leapt, and then she ran,
Till she came to the butcher, and thus began:

“Pray, butcher, give me meat, that I may give farmer meat, that farmer may give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again.”

“No,” says the butcher, “I’ll give you no meat, till you go the baker and fetch me some bread.”

First she leapt, and then she ran,
Till she came to the baker, and thus began:

Pray, baker, give me bread, that I may give butcher bread, that butcher may give me meat, that I may give farmer meat, that farmer may give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again.”

“Yes,” says the baker, I’ll give you some bread,
But if you eat my meal, I’ll cut off your head.

Then the baker gave mouse bread, and mouse gave butcher bread, and butcher gave mouse meat, and mouse gave farmer meat, and farmer gave mouse hay, and mouse gave cow hay, and cow gave mouse milk, and mouse gave cat milk, and cat gave mouse her own tail again!


  • Source: James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps: Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales: A Sequel to the Nursery Rhymes of England (London: John Russell Smith, 1849), pp. 33-34.
  • Footnote by Halliwell-Phillipps: This tale has been traced back fifty years, but it is probably considerably older.
  • Aarne-Thompson type 2034.
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Cinquain

I saw my old notebook for my major subjects in Teaching English.

A Cinquain (pronounced as sing-cane) is a five line stanza poem or a 5 line verse form with the following structure:

* The first line has 1 word that gives the title or topic of the poem;

* The second line has 2 words that describe the title;

* The third line has 3 words that express an action related to the title;

* The fourth line has four words that express a feeling; and

* The fifth line has 1 word that is synonymous to the title.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Here are my own examples of cinquain (edited version) found in my compilation of children’s literature from around the world:

sun

home

Rabindranath Tagore

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Indians though I may seem to be speaking in general terms. One of my brothers-in-law is an Indian national from Bangalore. I look up to him not just a professional individual but as a person with  a great compassion and profound spirit.

For four months, I have been in a workplace where there are more Indians than any other nationalities. I didn’t like them much because they were too serious at work whilst, in fact, they were not producing good results. I hate their smell and I don’t find humour in their superflous remarks.

While I was browsing the fb posts yesterday, one video caught my attention. It was entitled “Unending love.” I kept watching related posts only to find out it was almost 1am, which means that I had to go to bed immediately for I had to go to work the following morning.  I realised that i was wasting much time watching videos so I decided to search for plain texts so I could read more. First I read some information about the author, Rabindranath Tagore, and I was surprised to know that he is from India and the first non-Western widely acclaimed author and artist in the world. Confirming the fact that he is an Indian is of no surprise because I am aware that India has one of the richest cultures and heritage.

I found the following lines from BrainyQuotes meaningful on my part:

A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.

Age considers; youth ventures.

Beauty is truth’s smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.

Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it.

By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.

Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance.

Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.

Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.

Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree.

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.

Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on.

Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.

Facts are many, but the truth is one.

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

From the solemn gloom of the temple children run out to sit in the dust, God watches them play and forgets the priest.

Gray hairs are signs of wisdom if you hold your tongue, speak and they are but hairs, as in the young.

He who is too busy doing good finds no time to be good.

I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

If you shut the door to all errors, truth will be shut out.

In Art, man reveals himself and not his objects.

Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.

Life is given to us, we earn it by giving it.

Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.

Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it.

Love is not a mere impulse, it must contain truth, which is law.

Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation.

Music fills the infinite between two souls.

Nirvana is not the blowing out of the candle. It is the extinguishing of the flame because day is come.

The burden of the self is lightened with I laugh at myself.

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.

The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous.

The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.

The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.

Those who own much have much to fear.

To be outspoken is easy when you do not wait to speak the complete truth.

Trees are Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.

Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.

We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.

We gain freedom when we have paid the full price.

We live in the world when we love it.

What is Art? It is the response of man’s creative soul to the call of the Real.

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.

Your idol is shattered in the dust to prove that God’s dust is greater than your idol.

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
~Joyce Kilmer, “Trees,” 1914

Pabula

Ano ang pabula?

Ang pabula (fable) ay isang maiksing kuwentong kathang-isip na kinatha
nuong unang panahon. Eto ay ginagampanan ng mga hayop na nagsasalita
at kumikilos na tulad ng tao. Ang pabula ay tumatalakay sa mga kilos at
pag-uugali na nangangailangang ituwid o baguhin dahil sa pagiging hindi
mabuti o makatarungan.

Itinuturo sa atin ng pabula ang tama, patas, makatarungan, at makataong
ugali at pakikitungo sa ating kapwa. Ang mga pabula ay lumaganap dahil
sa mga magagandang aral sa buhay na ibinibigay nito.

Bakit mga hayop, at hindi tao, ang pangunahing gumaganap sa pabula?

Ang isang dahilan ay ang mga hayop (animals) ay may kanya-kanyang likas
na katangian na madaling isalarawan upang mas maging malinaw ang
paglalahad ng kuwento. Mga katangian na tulad ng pagiging maamo (tupa),
mabagsik (lobo), masipag (langgam), mapanlinlang, at marami pang iba.

Ang isa pang dahilan ay nuong unang panahon ay magkakasama ang mga
tao bagamat sila ay mula sa iba’t-ibang lipi at antas ng lipunan. Sa
pamamagitan ng paggamit ng mga hayop bilang pangunahing tauhan sa
pabula ay naiiwasan ang pagkakagalit at pagtatalu-talo ng mga tao sa
maaaring maging maling pag-aakala na ang kanilang lipi, o antas sa
lipunan, ang tinatalakay at pinupuna pabula,

Sino si Aesop?

Si Aesop ay isang Griego (Greek) na namuhay nuong panahong 620-
560 BC at itinuturing na ama ng mga sinaunang pabula (ancient fables)
Si Aesop ay isinilang na kuba at may kapansanan sa pandinig. Siya ay
unang lumaki na isang alipin subalit sa kanyang ipinakitang sipag,
katapatan, at talino ay pinagkalooban siya ng kalayaan ng kanyang amo at
hinayaang maglakbay at makilahok sa mga kilos pambayan. Dito lumabas
at nakilala ang kanyang talino at pagiging makatarungan. Siya ay lumikha ng
mga pabula upang turuan ang mga tao sa tamang pag-uugali at pakikitungo
sa kapwa. Tinataya na siya ay lumikha ng mahigit sa 200 pabula nang siya
ay nabubuhay pa.

Ano ang kahalagahan ng pabula?

Nuong unang panahon, nang ang pamumuhay ng mga tao ay simple pa
lamang, ang pabula ay ginagamit upang turuan ang mga tao sa tamang
pag-uugali at pakikitungo sa kapwa.

Sa paglipas nang panahon ang pabula ay ginawang kuwentong pambata
na karaniwang isinasalaysay sa mga bata bago sila patulugin (bedtime
stories) ng kanilang mga magulang.

Sa panahon ngayon ang pabula ay muling binalikan at muling sumisikat
sapagkat eto ay ginagamit sa ibang paraan upang kapulutang ng mga aral.
Halimbawa sa larangan ng negosyo ang pabula ay ginagamit ng pamunuan
ng mga kumpanya upang turuan and kanilang mga manggagawa sa wasto
at karapat-dapat na pakikitungo sa kanilang mga kalakalan, sa mga kapwa
empleyado, at maging sa kanilang mga katunggali sa kalakalan.

Source: http://www.katig.com/panitikan_01.html