Stories play a very vital role in the growth and development of children. The characters that the children read in books and stories become like friends to them. Reading books also inculcates among children the usefulness of the information and reading skills that become the key to success in their future lives. Reading not only helps children boost their confidence level but also helps in coping with language, feelings, and learning.
Stories are also a great way of inculcating new ideas and different languages among children. Therefore, it is very important to start with picture books at a very young age and work up to more complex novels for teenagers. Stories also help in building up various concepts among children, such as shape, size, colour space, up and down, inside and outside, numbers, and names of the objects. It also trains them on their daily essential activities, such as taking care of animals, brushing their teeth, cleaning and tidying themselves, and the importance of preparing food. It also teaches more complex ideas, such as the importance of sharing the passage of time and compassion for others.
The story tells us about the importance of being a master of one art rather than being the jack of all trades. The plot starts with a fox who brags about knowing hundreds of tricks to escape dog hunters. But the cat only knew one trick and so on listening to the fox and his hundred tricks to save themselves from the dogs, she started feeling inferior and asked the fox to teach her the tricks. But as soon as the dogs appeared in a herd, he got confused and couldn’t decide on what trick to use while the cat with just one trick of survival quickly climbed up the tree. Finally, the dogs hunt him down and the end result was a disaster for the fox.
The fox and the cat fable is a mixture of eastern and western analogues involving different animals that address the difference between the multiple resourceful expediencies and one master strategy. It is the 605th index in the collection of the fables of Aesop that started since the beginning of European printing. Thus, the fables of Aesop with its variants in the story that has gained popularity worldwide describe the contrast of the fate of two animals where one had multiple options to defend himself and still falls prey to its hunters and the other with just one trick save herself from the same fate. Thus, it elaborates on the fact that in times of danger, only one trick is more efficient than multiple options
Once upon a time, there was a fox and a cat who were discussing multiple ways to save themselves from the dogs who were their common hunters. The fox who was so full of himself started boasting about how clever and intelligent he was. Why, ‘I know at least a hundred tricks to get away from our mutual enemies, the dogs’, she said. Listening to this, the cat felt insecure and inferior to herself and confessed that she only knows one trick to save herself from the dogs, the hunters. ‘I know only one trick to get away from dogs’, said the cat. ‘You should teach me some of yours!’, ‘Well, maybe someday, when I have the time, I may teach you a few of the simpler ones,’ replied the fox in a serious voice.
Just when they were in conversation with each other, they heard a pack of dogs who were barking at a distance. Slowly the barking grew louder and louder as the dogs started approaching them. They came very close to the fox and the cat. Seeing that the cat with just one trick she knew climbed up the tree which was out of reach of any dog. She then saw the fox who was actually boating about the hundred ways he knew to defend himself from the dogs and got confused as to which trick to use. She called down to the fox asking ‘Which one of your hundred tricks are you going to use?’. But the poor fox sat down under the tree thinking about which trick to use to protect him. Before he could make up his mind, the dogs arrived. They fell upon the fox and tore him to pieces.
Illustration of the cat and the fox story
The moral of the fable compiled by Aesop is “it is better to have one plan that you have tried than to have hundreds of plans that you have not tried at all.”
1. What was the fox boasting about?
The fox was boasting about hundreds of plans that he knew to save himself from the hunter dogs and his enemies.
2. What does the cat do at the end?
The cat who just knew only one trick of climbing up the tree actually climbed onto a tree nearby to save herself from the dogs who could not reach her on the tree.