The Cat and The Cock

A Cat caught a Cock for a meal but first asked for excuses as to why it crowed so early. The Cock answered it was to help man. The Cat wasn’t impressed.

Tyrants need no excuse.

A Cat caught a Cock and thought about reasonable excuses for eating him. He accused him of being a nuisance by crowing at night; not letting men sleep. The Cock defended his action by saying this was for the benefit of men, as it wakes them for labor. The Cat replied, “you abound in apologies, but it’s time for breakfast.” At that he made a meal of the Cock.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A Cat caught a Cock, and pondered how he might find a reasonable excuse for eating him. He accused him of being a nuisance to men by crowing in the nighttime and not permitting them to sleep. The Cock defended himself by saying that he did this for the benefit of men, that they might rise in time for their labors. The Cat replied, “Although you abound in specious apologies, I shall not remain supperless”; and he made a meal of him.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A Cat one day caught a Cock, and resolved to make a meal of him. He first asked him, however, what defence he had to make.” What reason can you give,” said he, “for your screaming at night so? No honest body can sleep for you.” “Nay,” answered the Cock, “I only crow in the service of man, to tell him when it is time to commence his labours.” “What nonsense you talk!” said the Cat; “you are mistaken if you think that such an excuse as that will do me out of my breakfast.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

It was the hard fortune once of a cock, to fall into the clutches of a cat. Puss had a months mind to be upon the bones of him, but was not willing to pick a quarrel however, without some plausible color for’t. Sirrah (says she) what do you keep such a bawling, and screaming a nights for, that no body can sleep near you? Alas, says the cock, I never wake any body, but when ’tis time for people to rise, and go about their bus’ness. Nay, says the cat, and then there never was such an incestuous rascal: why, you make no more conscience of lying with your own mother, and your sisters — In truth, says the cock again, that’s only to provide eggs for my master and mistress. Come, come, says puss, without any more ado, ’tis time for me to go to breakfast, and cats don’t live upon dialogues; at which word she gave him a pinch, and so made an end, both of the cock, and of the story.

Moral

‘Tis an easie matter to find a staff to beat a dog. Innocence is no protection against the arbitrary cruelty of a tyrannical power: but reason and conscience are yet so sacred, that the greatest villanies are still countenanc’d under that cloak and color.

1001Catus et Gallus

Catus, cum gallum cepisset, criminare coepit quod esset animal turbulentum, qui noctu clamitando non permitteret homines quiescere. Gallus se excusabat quod id ageret ad eorum voluptatem, cum ad opera facienda illos excitaret. Rursum catus ait, “Impius es, qui nec a matre nec a sororibus te abstineas, sed per incontinentiam illis te commisceas.” Gallus se defendebat dixitque quod, ex huiusmodi coitu, gallinae pariunt ova. Tunc inquit catus, “Quamvis excusationibus abundes, ego tamen te missum facere non intendo.”

Perry #16