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How the dog and the cat became hostile

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 04.06.2006:

The following is a folktale noted down in Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century:

“The dog and the cat were not always the enemies we now see them. There was once a strong friendship between them. Their hostility arose from the following incident: –

Ages ago when the different kinds of animals in the world had their various duties assigned to them, the dog and the cat, though domestic animals, were exempted from slavery, the former for his fidelity, the latter for her cleanliness. At their special request they received the written document attesting and confirming this privilege. It was handed to the dog for safe-keeping, and he buried it where he kept his bones. Filled with envy, the horse, ass and ox purchased the services of the rat, who, burrowing, found and destroyed the charter. Ever since that time the dog has been liable, on account of his carelessness, to be tied or chained up by his master; and, besides that, the cat has never forgiven him. Both the cat and the dog hate rats and kill them when they can. The horse, ass and ox, on the other hand, permit the rats to share their food.”

Source: unknown

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