Once upon a time there was a Siamese cat who pretended to be a lion and
spoke inappropriate Zebraic.
That language is whinnied by the race of striped horses in Africa.
Here now: An innocent zebra is walking in a jungle, and approaching from
another direction is the little cat; they meet.
Hello there! says the Siamese cat in perfectly pronounced
Zebraic. It certainly is a pleasant day, isnt it? The sun is shining, the
birds are singing, isnt the world a lovely place to live today!
The zebra is so astonished at hearing a Siamese cat speaking like a
zebra, why, hes just fit to be tied.
So the little cat quickly ties him up, kills him, and drags the better
parts of the carcass back to his den.
The cat successfully hunted zebras many months in this manner, dining on
filet mignon of zebra every night, and from the better hides he made bow neckties and wide
belts after the fashion of the decadent princes of the Old Siamese court.
He began boasting to his friends he was a lion, and he gave them as
proof the fact that he hunted zebras.
The delicate noses of the zebras told them there was really no lion in
the neighborhood. The zebra deaths caused many to avoid the region. Superstitious, they
decided the woods were haunted by the ghost of a lion.
One day the storyteller of the zebras was ambling, and through his mind
ran plots for stories to amuse the other zebras, when suddenly his eyes brightened, and he
said, Thats it! Ill tell a story about a Siamese cat who learns to speak
our language! What an idea! Thatll make em laugh!
Just then the Siamese cat appeared before him, and said, Hello
there! Pleasant day today, isnt it!
The zebra storyteller wasnt fit to be tied at hearing a cat
speaking his language, because hed been thinking about that very thing.
He took a good look at the cat, and he didnt know why, but there
was something about his looks he didnt like, so he kicked him with a hoof and killed
That is the function of the storyteller.
©Spencer Holst. From THE
ZEBRA STORYTELLER, Station Hill Press (914-758-5840);
with permission of the publisher.