Posts Tagged ‘cat’
Shmuck had always thought he was the most likely to succeed in his class. When he graduated with distinction he went to work for a gnome in Zurich. He slaved like a donkey to make the House of Black Friars the biggest bank. But one day he was shown the door. When he went out the portier feeling sad asked if he had thought of singing for his supper. Shmuck was an expert at it and he said, ‘Show me the color of money I will make my guitar weep.’ Finally he said, ‘I shall go to Bremen that lies at the end of the rainbow.’
That was how Shmuck hit the road. With a song in his heart and without a care except his severance pay and it weighed heavily in his pocket. Before long he met a fellow who sang only one tune and his imitation of Elvis Presley was fantastic. When he sang the number ‘Hound Dog’ even late king turned in his grave to say in sepulchral tone, ‘I am stoned, man!’. Poor ‘Bulldog’ Drummond was a private eye but the Eye in the Sky made his position redundant. ‘Technology stepped on my blue suede shoes.’ he confided in his new friend. ‘I am done in, friend.’
‘No you are not.’ said Shmuck.
Mr. Shmuck added, ‘We shall conquer Bremen!” Mr. Drummond didn’t know what was special about Bremen but the way Shmuck, the donkey described it,’ It was Graceland prim and proper’.
A little further the two came across a drag queen. ‘I am Meeow’ and asked them to follow the rules if they expected to conquer Bremen.’I am It to you but Alley Cat to others.’
The two were surprised that there were such rules for one who played coy and played like a jerk in next. ‘Meeow likes to purr!’ said It cheerily.
‘Can you sing?’
‘O I sing flat like no other!’ replied It coyly.
‘Just me and my Jewish harp!’
‘You will do’ said the other two.
In the town they came next was a popinjay and he strutted while they were supping in a roadside diner. They saw his outlandish dress and exaggerated manners and asked him to join them.’ I came to this town hoping to buy a suit most sober for an undertaker.’ He said, ‘I wanted this gray suit that I saw hanging in a shop window. Since buying it I got a funeral parlor as if I had pressed some magic button.’ He added how it got into his head to strut about like a rooster since every wish began coming true. He ended saying,’ I lost it all since townsfolk thought a high kicking undertaker who had a joke for every wake was giving death a bad name.’
‘Call Me Dude, the rooster.’ Dude wasn’t in the least bothered by his losses. As he said he intended to make his loss add to his personality. ‘But can you sing? They anxiously asked him. He said he was a rapper.
‘Some times I am adenoidal, but mostly I prefer off-key’ replied he.
‘I take the rap/ for the sick/ that so-ciety yiee yiee is,/Of course I am the sim-simp-tom!’
The three immediately took him. They didn’t know what he meant but it sounded very musical to them.
Thus the four went to a town and they said they should sleep early since they would be wowing the folks of Bremen next morning.
“All the more reason we should paint the town red.’ insisted Dude the rooster.
So they let Dude to arrange a card party. The inn-keeper said ‘you play but I take my cut’.
They agreed. Ten thalers a point they played for high stakes. The four musicians were losing like a roller coaster that had missed rail some hours earlier. The donkey whispered in between to ask Meeow if It knew what was going on. The drag queen threw Its hand and said,’ Even the folks from Bremen have come pouring to take us on.’ It was true. The news went around about four musicians who were hell bent to lose. ‘Ah this is the lowest form of self-advertisement,’ one worthy gent observed,’ they are bent on making the city of Bremen to sit and take note.’
The game was in full swing. He directly put a duffel bag full of money to play against the four.
The fellows of Bremen took turns to play against these four and in the end the four owed the city of Bremen 6 million thalers not counting the sundry losses the four had incurred in playing against other guests in the inn. Only the innkeeper seemed to be pleased. He had his cut while the four musicians played a losing game.
The Mayor after a week’s game stood up and demanded the four musicians to make good of their losses. ‘We won good and proper.’
Mr. Dude the rooster let out a cry ‘cock a doodle doo.’
When asked what he meant he said, ‘Nothing’ that will stand up in a court of law.’
The other three pointed to each other and said, ‘We shall sing for your suppers, considering you shall be kicked out of the City Hall for gambling away the reputation and assets’.
The folks of Bremen looked at each other angrily while the four musicians smiled. They knew all along they gambled for nothing. The good folks of Bremen were disappointed and angry.’ They surrounded the Mayor and their councilors saying, ‘You all are a bunch of crooks!’
In the end the four musicians of Bremen formed an association of sorts. They would help those who were thrown out of their office. They sang for their suppers at inns and the customers invariably paid up before they warmed up before tables. One thought their heart was in the right place but their sounds caterwauling.
The Four musicians survived in spite of this.
Years later they became the stuff legends are made of, but somewhat altered in the real facts. There is a famous statue commemorating the four in the city of Bremen.( based on an old German Tale)
(Posted here earlier-and in Elves Bells.)
Puss in Boots ©
The Chairman of Gridlocks Corporation retired and his town house together with liquid assets he willed to his eldest son; his home situated in the suburbs he gave the middle son and Randolph, the third son got his tortoiseshell cat.
Compared to what his brothers received the value of a cat was almost nothing. After the will of Pilkington senior was read and his earthly goods divided up his brothers thought their youngest ought to have received more. Directly they set out to make amends. Randolph got part of the furniture earmarked for disposal, some pots and pans and a pair of calf-leather boots. Having done this the two shut the door on the face of young Randolph and the cat.
Young Randolph had to think of a roof over his head. He moved temporarily to the house of a friend. Luckily Baron Balderdash had a castle and some hectares of ground. Before leaving for a long cruise around the world this baron was certain that he would amuse himself in his estate.
‘Worthington Castle is a pile of ruin. But what a ruin!’ the baron said as he handed over keys to it. Randy thus found himself in a castle where every stone was a slice of time chipped out and halls laid out with fan vaults an antiquarian’s dream. While his brothers moved to the suburbs to live in houses with two carports he had a castle moat with drawbridge. The only advantage he could think of was it would discourage bailiffs from coming in, if it came to that..
Worthington Castle was grand but drafty; its demijohn dark and musty. Randolph Pilkington found the wine cellar bare and the larder empty. The cat checked the buttery while the master found some linen to furnish the sleeping quarters. The young master had no choice but settle his few belongings in one room that later he found was the boudoir of Lady Worthington. Looking through the Norman window he had to agree the lady could look at some pleasant vistas while she sulked. He made it his home in transit as it were.
What money he had was quickly spent in food and fuel. Next day a shivering Randy looked morosely about him. He was all alone but his cat purred as if he was purposed to bring some warmth into his life. He asked his cat, ‘How are we going to survive this?’
Puss said, ‘It is a four letter word. But in a time like this I cannot soft pedal.’
‘Is it some riddle?”
‘No, master’ replied the cat, ‘Only work can help you now.’
‘Puss I didn’t know you could speak?’
‘Your mistake master,’ the cat said matter of factly, ‘May I remind you I have nine lives?’
Poor Randy groaned and lay in his bed. ‘If I don’t sleep migraine attack is sure to come,’ and he slept.
On the third day the cat came up to his master and purred, ‘I have one request.’
‘Well what is it?”
“I would like to wear a pair of boots.”
‘Mine or my fathers?’
The puss said he had his heart set on his father’s unbroken boots. Randy laughed his heart out. His migraine was gone and he saw a glint in the eye of his cat. It was queer of course. Then he realized a cat who wished to break a new pair of boots must be prince among cats. He threw the pair of boots with a laugh towards him.
‘You break this new boot, ‘he said, and let hell loose for all I care.’
The cat dug his paws into the boots.
Presto! The puss transformed himself into a man and the wonder of it was he was the spitting image of Randy Pilkington! The size was right and also the wave of his hair and mustache. The cat stroked the tuft of hair below his lips and silkily murmured, ‘mon panache.’.
‘Call me RP,’ said he trying his master’s best coat.
‘It fits me like a shot,’ said the body double after checking himself in a mirror. He admitted the only misgiving of his change was what to wear for an occasion. ‘Do I enroll myself in a suit or casuals?’ He asked his master whether he recommended a pinstripe or a mauve shirt for the morning. The master whose shock had still not died down jabbed his finger to a sober gray. RP had some reservations. ‘I am going to the university of Runnymede’, said he.
Not wanting to jump him needlessly he explained that he had rummaged through his papers and was sure a bachelors degree in computer application and information systems was right up his alley.
‘But I am dud in mathematics or in working out figures.
‘But I feel strong about the subject’
‘Well it is your funeral,’
RP thought his master needed to know a few matters between their relationship. ‘I intend to work and bring home the bacon.’
RP was sure from careful deliberation that he was right to say and say he did,’ Some people take to work like a duck to water and some don’t.’ His conclusion was his master would be a disaster in any workplace.
‘The more I see I know you will thrive only on your supine position.’
Young Randy knew his cat was all industry and eager to get ahead.
‘Trust me, master’ the cat announced as though he had read his thoughts.’I take your place from here and now.’
Before it sank in RP had all the papers in his briefcase and wallet.
‘What is your password?’
Ralph’s jaw dropped.
‘I have the bank statements social security number and other particulars.’ RP said and his confidence was awesome. Perhaps he was born to fill his dad’s boots, so thought Randy. So the master quietly clued him in.
‘But there is a heavy cutback and Tories are out to rub your nose on the gravel if you intend to work your way in?’
The cat gave a laugh that was tinged with diabolical cunning. He purred and said, ‘I am going to give work an altogether dimension. You need to learn how and what, from my example.’
There was something strange in the way he said it.
That evening RP came home and said he had to hang out with some students in a pub.
His observation was that picking all the loose information was good for the career. But he was reticent to answer questions in detail.
RP was good at his word. Everyday he went out and bought food from the supermarket swept the hall clean and polished his boots and cooked breakfast and it was quite a treat. Randy could on the strength of it bear life and the ghostly air of a castle as though he were in the Bahamas. The bleak countryside in his mind had brightened up thanks to his incomparable puss in boots.
Two months later a constable knocked at the door and demanded admittance.
PC. Potts the constable on duty said there was an armed robbery in the neighborhood. From several witnesses the law was trying to piece together the identity of the bandit. The law didn’t like the look of things. The young master burst out laughing, ‘And you come to me to solve it?’
The constable explained gravely a security van was waylaid and a bandit in boots had decamped with money. Randolph laughed and explained, ‘I didn’t go anywhere, I didn’t see anything or heard anything.’ The constable looked at him and his innocent face betraying no emotions hit him that he was wasting his time. Only that he asked in his line of duty if he could produce one who stood alibi. Alas the young master admitted he was alone in that castle and it made him feel very despondent to keep on with a conversation that was to no purpose.
The constable went off. His sixth sense said, ‘Master Randolph could not have even got away robbing old lady of her purse if he wanted to. But his experience tweaked him to consider two pairs of boots that stood innocently in one corner of the room. One had a peculiar cut and evidently made to order by some nob. He filed his suspicion away and went to the police station to report.
Meanwhile Randy did not observe the cat who had just ambled in his tail swishing and he silently jumped on to the cill to take in the back of a constable moving away.’ Well the caller drew a blank, didn’t he?’ he asked conversationally.
The young master wanted to ask how his study was getting on. ‘Application, application is the watchword, ‘he observed.
‘In what sense?’ Ralph asked.
‘Attending lecture is fine but applying it in real situation makes it all the more fruitful.’
Ralph had to observe, ’Work makes you take a moralizing tone as easily as baring your claws.’ Rather peeved he said, ‘I pefered you purr than drop pearls of wisdom. Coming from you it smacks of fish oil. ’
Strangely RP was not to be drawn in and he stealthily went out into the night.
PC Potts the constable went back to the police station made his report.
Five months later there was arson and an ATM was blasted. Money was found missing. Again witnesses found the culprit was seen moving in suspicious circumstances. Some witness could swear whoever it was intended mischief. Some swore the culprit carried dangerous stuff to blast open the ATM. None however could be sure of the height or his color. But all of them agreed on one point. His boots were very distinct. The detectives also thought there was something in it. PC Potts immediately unlocked his mental file and informed his colleague about seeing something similar in the Worthington Hall. He was sure it could help them crack the case.
Meanwhile the sergeant in charge of the case found the shoe imprint. Photographs revealed all the more strange feature. The sole of the boot merely imprinted a cat’s paw in the debris of plaster and mortar. The evidence of boots was shooting beyond the realm of probability!
It so happened Randolph Pilkington had to do some business in the city. He took a taxi and called on his bank and checked his account. His cash balance of Pounds 82 s.12 had overblown as though by magic into 3 million! His hand trembled as he pored over the statement. Below he saw a debit entry and it had drawn the entire amount leaving pounds 1000 in his balance. He could from the transaction understand his unknown beneficiary had created a special account for College education.
He probed the manager who was sure that he had come four days earlier and had an interview with him. In order to make sure he referred to his diary and showed the day and the hour. The manager asked if he had any doubts as to it. Quivering inside Randy shook his head and said everything was in order.
Randy took leave of the manager and all of a sudden scales fell from his eyes. There was no unknown benefactor but a criminal mind who had taken over his life.
That night Randy wanted to have a show down with RP but at that precise moment a team of police constables descended from a van. The sergeant who led them was to the point. Politely but firmly he showed a warrant and searched the premises. One had directly swooped in and collected the two pairs of boots. One pair was identical to the description but the sole was as ordinary as any boots of a man size 10.
The sergeant pointed to the sole to his subordinate and hissed, ‘There is no imprint of a cat’s paw.’
One took down the details and photographed the pair. He asked, ‘Whose boots are these?’
‘Mine of course!” Randolph said without blinking. He knew he had to brave it out with them.
They also understood there were none in the castle but a man and his cat.
As soon as the van drove away Randolph confronted the cat and said, ‘You robbed a ATM off Soho and waylaid a publishing form in the middle of the street. Do you deny this?’
‘It all depends,’ the cat asked,’ are you asking RP or to your cat?’
Randy sank into his sofa dejected. ‘Have you ever thought of loss of name or honor if this crime is found out?’
‘Ah,’ exclaimed the cat ,’this crime shall never be laid at my door.’
Randolph could appreciate the gravity of his situation. He sighed and there was a painful silence such as one got to have a machete to part it. Randy knew no rancor at what happened and also at the awful realization that nothing would undo the damage. He said controlling his mixed up emotions, ‘RP don’t you think we need to make a fortune for living in style and have the best address in town? Perhaps I could have an escutcheon at the entrance with a cat en rampant? ‘
The cat just purred and went around his pair of boots swishing his tail lovingly around it.
‘Tomorrow I have a test. I must read well into night.’ he said. He meowed and went to his corner.( based on Charles Perrault’s tale)
(Reprinted from ben4ben.wordpress.com-Elves Bells)