Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Cat, A Dog and Some Birds

Once there was a cat sitting on a fence watching several birds play in the trees. The cat was thinking, “They are having a lot of fun and they are so cute, but I want to eat one of them.” Cunning as cats can be he pondered how the birds could be captured and turned into a meal.

But as most cats are this particular feline was lazy, which was evident by the fact that he was laid-out across the top of the wooden fence watching the birds. The cat was so lazy that he fell asleep just looking at the birds and when he woke up there were 10 birds flitting around the tree limbs. There was also a big, burly hound-dog at the bottom of the tree; watching and jumping and barking.

The cat listened intently to the words of the dog. “Hey birds! All these years, and for many of you it’s been an entire lifetime, I have looked out for you. Everyone needs to come over to my house where many of us animals are gathered. We have learned that there’s danger in this world and the more of us that are sticking together, the safer we all will be.” The birds continued to fly through the limbs, jumping from limb-to-limb, as birds are known to do.

Now, the cat continued his observations while the dog talked. Several minutes afterward the cat remained stretched-out on the fence, still watching the birds. During this time he came up with an idea that was sure to provide him a fine feast of bird. Standing-up on the fence (which was not an easy thing for a lazy animal), the cat meandered across the top of the fence, jumped down to the ground and pranced over to the bottom of the tree (but continued to watch the larger dog since dogs and cats don’t get along).

Speaking in his most feline tones the cat said, “Excuse me, excuse me please dear birdies. I have been listening to this hound speak with a conniving tone in his voice and wanted to make you aware of something.”

At that very moment the birds stopped flying and stood perfectly still. You see, birds know that dogs can’t climb trees. Birds also know that cats can climb trees and jump in the air. In fact little birdies are taught by their parents, since hatching from their egg, that birds are not safe around cats.

But this cat had a nice sound to his voice and was speaking bird, which made it most appealing to the birds. This caused the birds to stop flitting and feel safe while they listened.

The cat continued with his deceptive scheme, “Dogs can not be trusted, they are big and strong. A little bird would not stand a chance to live if led by such a big dog. And consider this; the dog does not speak the language of bird well. Can you really trust him if you are not sure what he is saying?”

Momentarily several birds chimed in, “But the dog says he will take care of us if we only come together as a group of animals; that being bird, or cat, or dog does not matter when we are all together. Besides, he has taken care of us for many years.”

Just looking at the birds caused the cat to lick his mouth. Everyone knows that looking at a future meal will cause a cat to salivate uncontrollably. The cat continued, “But he does not know how it is to be a bird, I do.”

“I can even speak bird, and he does not really care about you. I do!” (It was obvious that the cat was not a liar, cats study birds all their lives, do care that birds get fat, and love to eat the creatures.)

The dog seemed to be interested while the cat and birds talked, however he did not speak cat well. But since cats eat birds and birds study cats all their lives (it is a survival skill), the dog employed a bird skilled in cat-speak to translate what was being said between the cat and birds.

The birds were twitter-patted with the idea a cat that naturally enjoys a good bird meal would care about them so much that he would protect each of them. “Maybe…” the birds thought, “…this is a changed cat; one that has seen the error of his ways and will protect us from the dog. Like the cat said, we do not really understand dogs.”

Continuing, the cat told the birds, “Fellow birds, we are alike – one in the same. You live in the trees, I can climb trees. You speak bird, I speak bird. I do not like dogs and you do not like dogs. If you come to my house I will take care of you and we will eat the best food available.”

One bird told the group, “We should have a bird town-hall meeting.” The birds immediately flew higher in the tree and had this meeting for about 15 seconds (after all birds have small bird brains and can’t remember a single thing for a long period of time).

The bird leader said, “If we go with the cat he will take care of us and give us the best bird food. We will live healthy, our brains will be bigger, our bodies will grow stronger and there will be no dangers.” Several of the birds chirped-in, “We agree, let’s go with the cat.”

As support for the cat’s plan grew with a ground-swell of bird converts, a small bird group remained which doubted safety exist with the cat. However this small bird group started to feel as if its members might be in danger to remain on their own. Of course the cat had already convinced this group of birds that the dog was bad and had never really cared about birds. All of the flying fowl no longer had faith in the dog. It had to be true, the cat and bird leaders had already announced the dog was no longer safe or supported by any bird.

Moments later an assembly of birds could be seen on the upper-most limbs, tweeting quietly how they feared the cat (after all, “Cats eat birds” one bird was heard telling the gourp). Another birds could be heard when he said, “But what can we do? Our bird leaders seem to endorse the cat and if we say anything contrary to popular belief we will be known as mischief-makers, instigators, or maybe even revolutionaries. Our families will be in danger!”

Several members of this bird group decided to go along with the bird leaders and see how things would develop, but a smaller, more minuscule portion of that bird group decided it would not join the cat and it could not come to a conclusion as to whether the dog was safe (after all, the birds and cats had tried to confuse and trick all birds).

So that day the largest bird group went away with the cat and the dog went home alone.

The small bird group that had decided to stay on its own heard many stories of parties and good times at the cat’s house. Rumors were heard that all kinds of food existed and the “cat-birds” as the cat titled the group were promised safety and that each member of the group would have a home and weapons in case the cat faced any danger. But the birds that did not join the cat ate seed, bugs and other types of regular bird food.

There was also rumor that a large portion of the “cat-birds” had left to join the dog. After all, a bird may have a bird-sized attention span but never forgets what it’s Mother and Daddy have taught it about the danger of a cat.

The dog provided his birds with the finest bird food, but one day the cat came to his home and ate all of his birds, they became ‘bird food’. After all, the cat did not want to eat his own birds. The dog barked and barked, then ran to the cat’s home and told the ‘cat-birds’ of the danger. While there the dog noticed that all the birds must have been eating well, because they all seemed much fatter than when he spoke to them before. Eating good food must have changed their minds about cats because all the little birds laughed at the dog.

The dog curled his tale between his legs and went back home.

The birds that had remained alone learned how the dog lost his bird following and mumbled amongst themselves (as birds will do) how they were proud to have stayed home alone.

Some time later the birds heard that the cat had joined a cat group and shared his birds with the cat membership, this group of birds and their way of life did not survive. The new group of cats had eaten the fattest group of birds ever known to have existed. Cats everywhere had heard of the feast which consisted of birds that were plump, tender, and delectable; a story that would be passed on from generation-to-generation. But the rumors also described the birds as being afraid to fight for bird survival.

The small group of birds that had remained alone heard their brothers’ and sisters’ demise and lamented the loss, but there was yet more news. The dog, from a distance had watched the cat turn on his bird followers and eat them. But while this was happening, and considering that a dog can only be a dog, he crept up behind the cat and ate him.

The small group of birds that remained reflected back on the day the dog and cat tried to persuade all birds to follow them. Then one bird who was not a leader recalled how the cat promised all would eat the best food, and the dog had promised they would all have the best food.

But neither had promised the best bird food.

Each received the food promised. The birds that followed the cat ate the best bird food and in-turn became the best ‘bird food’ for the cat, and the dog had the best food a dog could have, the cat and all the consumed birds.

The moral of this story: Listen carefully. What you have been told may not be what you heard and what you were told may not be what was meant when you were told.

Author's Additional Thoughts

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on my first "SHUT-UP!" video attempt; this entry has my second attempt at adding a video of me reading. This new story was written in the style of a fable or parable. There is an apparent story line, but several underlying concepts, and behaviors are included in the tale. Each person may interpret this story differently, but the moral is the same no matter who reads or views the video. Feel free to leave me a comment by clicking the word COMMENT just below the video box; I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Thanks again for following my blog and/or subscribing to my YouTube account. Have a nice day! ~ Andy


  1. This story reminds me of politics... each party trying to convince the "tweeties" to choose a side. The "tweeties" who listened to their intuition, lived to tweet another day:)
    Nature has much to teach, we just need to listen and go with our hearts:)
    Great Story Andy, Thanks for sharing!

  2. Good day GrapeChick, I enjoyed reading your comments. Your right, this story can definitely reflect the political world of promises and "re-promising" later. It can also be reflective of government commitments. Thanks for taking the time to read my efforts and posting your thoughts.

  3. Good story. I love the Aesop's fable feel of it all. Important moral too.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog; I really appreciate your review and comments. ;-) Take care!

  5. K.M. pinpointed it exactly! It does remind one of an Aesop's fable of old. I still have my Aesop's Tales book from when I was small. It's a valued book in my collection. Great story and thanks for sharing them all with us!

  6. Hello Anonymous, thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a valued comment. It is exciting to read yours and K.M.'s thoughts; being in the same sentence with Aesop's Fables is a sweet experience. Take care!