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How Friends Became Foes
by Ankita Kumar
This is a story about how the dogs became the enemies of cats and how the cats became the enemies of the rats.

Once there lived a dog and a cat. They were the best of friends and lived with their master who was not very kind. Their master gave them dried bread and leftovers. But both of them loved milk and wanted it  everyday. So one day they decided that they will have to persuade their master to give them milk. So they went to him and made their request. 

Their master flared up. "You ungrateful scoundrels. How dare you make demands on me? Do you realize how costly milk is? Now scram before I whack you."

They fled away. After some thinking they decided that they would try another strategy. They drew up an agreement in which it was written that if their master would not give them milk then they would not guard his house. 

They went to their master and showed the agreement to him. The master thought for some time and reluctantly signed the agreement. He warned them that they would have to show him the agreement everyday.

The dog suspected the sly master�s intentions. He told the cat to keep the agreement in such a place that their master would not be able to find it. On the first day the cat hid it under a cupboard. After that she kept changing the hiding place every day.

Now the cat was very forgetful. One day she forgot where she had kept the agreement. She could not find it although she searched everywhere. The cat knew that the dog would flare up so she went and climbed a tree and then very meekly said, "Oh! Dear friend, I have forgotten where I kept the agreement." 

The dog was furious. He went around looking for the agreement everywhere. 

Finally he noticed a movement in the store room and ran to investigate. He saw a rat leading a procession of his family, each person carrying a scrap of paper. He looked closely and saw to his dismay that the rodent and his family were carrying bits and pieces of the agreement. He ran after them but they disappeared into a hole, out of his reach. 

The dog went back to the tree and gritting his teeth in anger told the cat the entire story. "You wretched fool, wait till I get my hands on you, I�ll tear you to pieces for your carelessness," he growled.

At the first opportunity the cat went after the rats screaming, "You dirty scoundrels, wait till I get my paws on you....."

From that day onwards the dogs don�t leave any opportunity to chase after cats and the cats do not leave a single chance to gobble up the rats.

5-Oct-2000
 
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