The cat has always and everywhere been the rat’s enemy, and according to Madagascan legend it was the rat who started it.
Once upon a time the cat and the rat lived in peace. One day, however, a great famine overtook them. There was nothing to eat, so they set off for a more fertile country. On the journey they came to the banks of a river too wide for them to swim across. Finding no driftwood to use as a raft, they dug up an enormous yam. The rat set to and hollowed it out with his teeth, making a canoe.
When the boat was ready they embarked, the cat paddling and the rat navigating from the stern. But the rat, having been born with an eternal hunger, soon began to eat the edges of the yam. The cat knew nothing of this until the canoe shipped water and began to sink. Then, too late, he realized that the rat had foolishly put both their lives in danger. He meditated on revenge. In the water the rat, weak with hunger and fatigue and about to drown, begged the cat for help.
“I will only help you,” said the cat, “if you agree to let me eat you when we reach land.”
Always having a trick in reserve, the cunning rat consented. When they reached the bank the rat said to the cat, “Wait till I am dry. While I am saturated you will not find me good to eat.” The cat believed him, and the rat used the delay to dig out a hole among some tree roots and hide. “Now I am dry,” he cried.
In vain the cat struggled, digging furiously, but the rat was safely out of reach deep in the earth. And so it was that the rat escaped and that the entire race of cats, duped, declared eternal war on the entire race of rats.
Found at: Moggycats Cat Pages
It was once generally believed by British fishermen that it is unlucky to take a woman to the fishing grounds, allow a woman onto a fishing boat or even to meet a woman on the way to sea. In some places this taboo extends even to mentioning a woman. This superstition persists in a few areas.
Once there was a gentleman had a beautiful daughter who was bad at heart. It was said that she knew more than a Christian ought and the people thereabouts wanted to swim her. This meant they wanted to test her as a suspected witch by casting her into the water to see if she floated – if she floated it was proof she was a witch, if she sank then she was innocent.
However, no one dared swim the suspected witch because of her father. The girl put a spell on a poor fisherman, and he became so in love with her that he followed her wherever she went. Even though he was engaged to be married that week, he deserted his bride-to-be and ran away to see with the gentleman’s daughter. She did this to spite her proud father, but her father thought himself well rid of the spiteful maid.
The fishermen unwittingly took her out with them to the fishing grounds; the only one that knew she was in a fishing boat was her lover who had hidden there. A great storm blew up and the whole fishing fleet were lost and every man drowned. It was said that she had whistled up the storm. She had even drowned her own lover out of spitefulness. Afterwards, she turned into a four-eyed cat and she continued to haunt the fishing fleet. This is why fishermen will never cast their nets before cock-crow (half-past three) and why they always throw a bit back into the sea to appease the cat.
Found at: Moggycats Cat Pages
Wowsers! Who brought the cat?
Borrowed from: More Cool Pictures