Tale #12: The Old Woman Who Lived In The Woods

There was an old woman who lived in the woods.

“Are you a witch?” asked the crow.

“I am, my dear,” she said, and the crow cawed and shared with her its breakfast.

“Are you a witch?” asked the cat.

“I am, my dear,” she said, and the cat purred and shared with her its lunch.

“Are you a witch?’ asked the priest.

“I am, my dear,” she said, and the priest fell silent and kept for himself his dinner.

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Notes:

1. Written on August 9th, 2014

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Tale #4: To Follow A Cat

A priest was eating lunch one day in the seminary cloisters when a cat sauntered past his bench and made its way across the empty square without a care in the world. Curious as to where cats go when they travel around on their own, he decided to follow it on its perambulations. He hurried from his bench as it exited the churchyard and pursued it out into the town.

It was dusk before the priest returned. He went to bed without saying a word, and soon the priest went mad and died.

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Notes:

1. Written on July 15th, 2015
2. The phrase “soon the priest went mad and died” is taken from Japanese folk tale “The Emperor’s Finger”, translated by Royall Tyler, and found in the book “Japanese Tales”, which he edited and translated.
3. I’m pretty much convinced that every story ever written could be improved by using “Soon [the protagonist] went mad and died” as its final line.

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