THE SAUCER AND THE CATS

A famous art collector is walking through a small town when he notices a cat lapping milk from a saucer in the doorway of a store. He does a double take, recognizing that the saucer is extremely old and very valuable. Thinking quickly he walks casually into the store and offers to buy the cat for two dollars.

Fred the store owner replies, “I’m sorry, but the cat isn’t for sale.”

“Please,” the collector says, “I need a hungry cat around the house to catch mice. I’ll pay you twenty dollars for that cat.”

“Sold!” the store owner says, and hands over the cat.

The collector continues, “Hey, for the twenty bucks I wonder if you could throw in that old saucer. The cat’s used to it and it’ll save me from having to get a dish.”

“Sorry friend,” the store owner says, “but that’s my lucky saucer. So far this week I’ve sold 68 cats!”

Source: Slightly adapted from aish.com

CONSIDER THIS

A cat and a saucer are two different things. So are success and happiness: two different realities.

If we gently practice happiness, we will be happy. There’s no guarantee that we will be successful as well. Similarly, if we towards success, we will be successful but again, not necessarily happy.

If we desire to be both happy and successful we have to invest in both.

Remember: If you want both the cat and the saucer you need to pay for both!

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THE HERMIT AND THE MOUSE

Long ago, in a hermitage, there lived a great sage. One day, as he sat down to have his lunch, a mouse fell from the beak of a crow, on the ground near him. He picked the mouse up, took him inside the ashram and fed him some rice.

One day, the sage saw a cat chasing the mouse around the ashram. He was afraid that his pet mouse would be killed by the cat. By the power of his penance, he turned the mouse into a cat so that it could defend itself against other cats.

Soon a dog appeared on the scene and started barking at and chasing the cat. When the sage saw this, he changed the cat into a dog.

One day his dog was frightened by a tiger. The sage immediately changed his dog into a tiger, again by the power of his penance.

However, the sage always treated the tiger as if it was still his little mouse. Whenever the villagers who passed by the sage’s ashram saw the tiger, they would say, “Ha! That’s not a tiger! It’s just a mouse that the sage changed into a tiger. He won’t eat us or even scare us.”

When the tiger heard this, he was furious. “As long as the sage is alive,” he thought, “the truth about my real nature will never die. I must get rid of him for good.” The tiger decided to kill the sage.

But as soon as the sage saw him coming towards him, he knew what was going on in the tiger’s mind. He shouted, “Get back into your form of a mouse.” No sooner had he uttered these words than the tiger shrank and became a little mouse once again. The sage looked at him with pity and said, “Whatever one is, large or small, it’s good to be humble.”

Source | G.L. Chandiramani, The Hitopadesha: An Ancient Fabled Classic, page 230
See also: Marica Brown, Once a Mouse

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Whatever one is, large or small, big or little, a celebrity or not, it’s always goo to stay real, get off any sticky pedestal behaviour and be humble.