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  • Why Cats and Dogs Always Quarrel1

    'Why do dogs and cats always fight, papa?' we used to say.

    And he used to answer, 'I'll tell you why;' and we all stood round listening.

    'Once on a time dogs and cats were very good friends, and when the dogs went out of town they left their cards on the cats, and when the cats went out of town they left their cards on the dogs.'

    And we all sat round and listened and laughed.

    'Once the dogs all went out of town and left their cards as usual on the cats; but they were a long time gone, for they were gone on a rat-hunt and killed all the rats. When the cats heard that the dogs had taken to killing rats, they were furious against the dogs, and lay in wait for them and set upon them.

    '"Set upon the dogs! at them! give it them!"'2 shouted the cats, as they flew at them; and from that time to this, dogs and cats never meet without fighting.'

    And we all stood round and laughed fit to split our sides.

    1 'Perchè litigano sempre i Cani ed i Gatti.'
    2 'Dàlli! Dàlli ai cani!'

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    Busk, R. H. Roman Legends: a Collection of the Fables and Folk-lore of Rome. Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1877. 421-422

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