The Cat Who Could Eat So Much

Fairy Tales illustration The Cat Who Could Eat So Much
The story of a cat who literally eats everything in sight, even the moon!
The Cat Who Could Eat So Much

This is a vintage fairy tale, and may contain violence. We would encourage parents to read beforehand  if your child is sensitive to such themes.

Fairy Tales Symbol

ONCE upon a time there was a man who had a cat, and she ate so very much that he did not want to keep her any longer. So he decided to give her away; but before he did so she was to have something to eat just once more. The woman offered her a dish of mush and a little potful of fat. These she swallowed, and then jumped out of the window. There stood the man on the threshing-floor.

“Good-day, man in the house,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat,” said the man. “Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?”

“O, only a little, but my fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat, and I am thinking over whether I ought not to eat you as well,” said she, and she seized the man and ate him up. Then she went into the stable. There sat the woman, milking.

“Good-day, woman in the stable,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat, is that you?” said the woman. “Have you eaten your food?” she asked.

“O, only a little to-day. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you as well,” said she, and she seized the woman and ate her up.

“Good-day, cow at the manger,” said the cat to the bell-cow.

“Good-day, cat,” said the bell-cow. “Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” “O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you as well,” said the cat, and seized the bell-cow and ate her up. Then she went up to the orchard, and there stood a man who was sweeping up leaves.

“Good-day, leaf-sweeper in the orchard,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat,” said the man. “Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?”

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she, and seized the leaf-sweeper and ate him up.

Then she came to a stone-pile. There stood the weasel, looking about him.

“Good-day, weasel on the stone-pile,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat,” said the weasel. “Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?”

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you as well,” said the cat, and seized the weasel and ate him up.

After she had gone a while, she came to a hazel-bush. There sat the squirrel, gathering nuts.

“Good-day, squirrel in the bush,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat! Have you already had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the squirrel.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she, and seized the squirrel and ate him up.

After she had gone a little while longer, she met Reynard the fox, who was peeping out of the edge of the forest.

“Good-day, fox, you sly-boots,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the fox.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you as well,” said she, and seized the fox and ate him up too.

When she had gone a little further, she met a hare.

“Good-day, you hopping hare,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the hare.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she, and seized the hare and ate him up.

When she had gone a little further, she met a wolf.

“Good-day, you wild wolf,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the wolf.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the hopping hare, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she, and seized the wolf and ate him up, too.

Then she went into the wood, and when she had gone far and farther than far, over hill and dale, she met a young bear.

“Good-day, little bear brown-coat,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the bear.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little pot of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the hopping hare and the wild wolf, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she, and seized the little bear and ate him up.

When the cat had gone a bit further, she met the mother bear, who was clawing at the tree-stems so that the bark flew, so angry was she to have lost her little one.

“Good-day, you biting mother bear,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the mother bear.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow[160] at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the hopping hare and the wild wolf and the little bear brown-coat, and I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you as well,” said she, and seized the mother bear and ate her, too.

When the cat had gone on a little further, she met the bear himself.

“Good-day, Bruin Good-fellow,” said she.

“Good-day, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” asked the bear.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel in the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the hopping hare and the wild wolf and the little bear brown-coat and the biting mother bear, and now I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you as well,” said she, and she seized the bear and ate him up, too.

Then the cat went far and farther than far, until she came into the parish. And there she met a bridal party on the road.

“Good-day, bridal party on the road,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?”

“O, only a little. My fast is hardly broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the hopping hare and the wild wolf and the little bear brown-coat and the biting mother bear and bruin good-fellow and now I’m thinking whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she, and she pounced on the whole bridal party, and ate it up, with the cook, the musicians, the horses and all.

When she had gone a bit farther, she came to the church. And there she met a funeral procession.

“Good-day, funeral procession at the church,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the funeral procession.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the hopping hare and the wild wolf and little bear brown-coat and the biting mother bear and bruin good-fellow and the bridal party on the road, and now I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she, and pounced on the funeral procession, and ate up corpse and procession.

When the cat had swallowed it all, she went straight on up to the sky, and when she had gone far and farther than far, she met the moon in a cloud.

“Good-day, moon in a cloud,” said the cat.

“Good-day, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the moon.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the wild wolf and little bear brown-coat and the biting mother bear and bruin good-fellow and the bridal party on the road and the funeral procession at the church, and now I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she, and pounced on the moon and ate him up, half and full.

Then the cat went far and farther than far, and met the sun.

“Good morning, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the sun.

“O, only a little,” said the cat. “I have had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the hopping hare and the wild wolf and little bear brown-coat and the biting mother bear and bruin good-fellow and the bridal party on the road and the funeral procession at the church and the moon in a cloud, and now I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she, and pounced on the sun in the sky and ate him up.

Then the cat went far and farther than far, until she came to a bridge, and there she met a large billy-goat.

“Good morning, billy-goat on the broad bridge,” said the cat.

“Good morning, cat! Have you had anything to eat yet to-day?” said the goat.

“O, only a little. My fast has hardly been broken,” said the cat. “I had no more than a dish of mush and a little potful of fat and the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the hopping hare and the wild wolf and little bear brown-coat and the biting mother bear and bruin good-fellow and the bridal party on the road and the funeral procession at the church and the moon in a cloud and the sun in the sky, and now I’m thinking over whether I ought not to eat you up as well,” said she.

“We’ll fight about that first of all,” said the goat, and butted the cat with his horns so that she rolled off the bridge, and fell into the water, and there she burst.

Then they all crawled out, and each went to his own place, all whom the cat had eaten up, and were every one of them as lively as before, the man in the house and the woman in the stable and the bell-cow at the manger and the leaf-sweeper in the orchard and the weasel on the stone-pile and the squirrel in the hazel-bush and the fox, the sly-boots, and the hopping hare and the wild wolf and little bear brown-coat and the biting mother bear and bruin good-fellow and the bridal party on the road and the funeral procession at the church and the moon in a cloud and the sun in the sky.

Fairy tale written by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe

Illustration by Pixabay, with thanks.

Let’s Chat About The Stories ~ Ideas for Talking With Kids

Greed, Truthfulness

1. The cat became very greedy eating all those people and animals, and eventually burst. What do you think the story tells us about being greedy?

Truthfulness

1. When the cat was asked what it had eaten that day, it spoke the truth. This eventually caused the billy-goat to butt the cat with his horns! Why do you think the cat was honest about what it had eaten?

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