Cat Gets a Reward


In a country called Gyilung Nyima Rangshar, there was an old man named Jimbaga, an expert farmer. Since he was an expert, he filled all his household’s granaries with grain. But since there were very many thieving mice, he bought a cat for a high price, and told the cat, “Hey Cat, from today on, if you catch one thieving mouse and give it to me, I’ll reward you for catching one. If you catch two, I’ll reward you accordingly.”

Cat went off happily and after it had waited, braving hunger and thirst at a mouse hole beside the granary, it caught a little mouse and gave it to its master. The old man was glad and said, “Since this is a skinny mouse, I’ll reward you in kind,” and he gave the cat a dry bone.

Then Cat got mad. He captured a live mouse and set it free in Master Jimbaga’s granary. In the granary, the mouse was able to eat as much wheat, barley and peas as it liked for several days. So it became the fattest oldest mouse anyone had ever seen.

One day Cat caught the fat old mouse, and gave it to its master. The old man Jimbaga said, “Since you’ve caught a fat mouse, I’ll give you a big reward,” and he gave Cat a piece of fatty mutton as a reward.

—Chab 'gag Rdo rje tshe ring, Qinghai Folk Literature 1, 1991