Tracey, Hugh. "The Cat Who Came Indoors" from The Lion on the Path and Other African Stories. New York: Praeger, c. 1967, 1968, pp. 115-17.
Ethnic Origin: African
Running Time: approximately 6-7 minutes
Power Center(s): Wild Catís final resting place with Woman
each instance of domestic upheaval (destruction of the illusion that she has found the bravest companion in the jungle)
Characters: Wild Cat, Wild Catís husband, Leopard, Lion, Elephant, Man, and Woman
Scenes: Wild Cat living alone in bush, Wild Cat meets and travels with another Wild Cat, other Wild Cat pommelled by Leopard with whom Wild Cat then decides to travel until he is devoured by Lion with whom Wild Cat then decides to travel. Lion is stomped by Elephant with whom Wild Cat then decides to travel. Elephant is shot by Man with whom Wild Cat then decides to travel. Man is thrown out of house by Woman. Wild Cat moves into house with Woman.
Synopsis: There was a Wild Cat who decided to find a companion. She travels a long way meeting up with various animals until she finally meets up with Woman with whom she decides to stay.
sound effects: "Swish," "Woosh," "Fu-Chu," "Pa-Wa," "Wara-wara-wara, yo-we"
special phrasing: "I see my ___________ is not the bravest in the Jungle. It is _______."
Audience (why is this story appropriate for the audience? developmental characteristics?
primarily 6-7 year olds; inquisitiveness/curiosity high at this age; Maslowís hierarchy says need for safety (Wild Cat wants to be safe); kids are at Piagetís Preoperational Stage where they are beginning accomodation/change to new patterns of thinking (Woman braver than Man); importance of repitition (I see... phrase occurs quite often).
Source(s) recommending this story/collection as good literature?
The Times Literary Supplement, December 14, 1967. p. 1225.
Source(s) recommending this story/collection as good for storytelling?
MacDonald, Margaret R. The Storytellerís Sourcebook. Neal-Schuman Publishers, 1982.
Pellowski, Anne. The Story Vine: a source book of unusual and easy-to-tell stories from around the world. Collier, 1984.
Bibliographic information on other versions/variants (at least two)?
Heady, Eleanor B. "Why Cats Live With Women" from When the Stones Were Soft. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1968. pp. 85-90.
Leach, Maria. "How People Got the First Cat" from How the People Sang the Mountains Up: How and Why Stories. New York: Viking, 1967. pp. 63-4.
Masey, Mary Lou. "The Cat, the Tiger, and the Man" from Stories of the Steppes: Kazakh Folktales. New York: McKay, 1968. pp. 84-7.
Brief comparison of all versions/variants in terms of language, rhythm, "tellability," "flavor," content, etc. Stress the differences in style rather than those of content.
Both "How the People Got the First Cat" and "Why Cats Live With Women" have proper names in them that I didnít feel I should change but that I had difficulty pronouncing since they are not in my native tongue (one is African and the other is Chinese)
"The Cat, the Tiger, and the Man" is almost all dialog most of which is necessary to the telling so I didnít feel that I could change it. It would not have been my "own" story because I would have had to memorize the dialog. The version I chose, "The Cat Who Came Indoors," I felt has a rhythm to it that is conducive to a good telling.
By Janice Webb