Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Cats and rats are natural born enemies. “Fight at first sight” is the policy of most of the cats when they encounter rats. In stories, rats have tried to bell the cats but failed miserably. The rats have always failed in the fight against cats.

A group of rats held a serious discussion about their futile fights against cats. Lack of real leaders was suggested as the major reason for their constant failure. So the rats decided to form a strong army. The strongest warriors were selected and conferred the title of ‘Generals’. As a mark of distinction and identification, the ‘Generals’ were crowned ceremoniously. Cracked shells of large nuts were stuck to the heads of the Generals using strong glue- the sticky gum of the jack fruit tree.

The crowned Generals were proud and glad. They gave commands to the ordinary warrior-rats and after several training sessions, organized their first major assault against the cats.

Filled with confidence in their new professional leadership, they marched forward to attack a group of cats resting nearby under the shade of a tree. The arrogant Generals adorned with the majestic crowns led the army. The cats instantly sprang upon the approaching rats and attacked them violently. The rats were scattered and ran in all directions. The frightened rats fled with full speed and quickly entered their narrow burrows to escape from the attacking cats. But the Generals who ran for their lives could not enter the narrow burrows. Their decorative crowns got stuck at the entrance and they were immobilized. All the Generals were killed and eaten by the rapidly advancing cats. The bulky crowns betrayed the boastful leaders and prevented their escape.

In the crazy race for wealth, power, position and prestige, many may lose the sanity and sanctity of life.

Jesus warned against the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees who wore royal robes but were full of hypocrisy and sins. “Do not imitate their actions, because they don’t practice what they preach…Look at the straps with scripture verses on them which they tie on their foreheads and arms, and notice how large they are! Notice also how long are the tassels on their cloaks!...The greatest one among you must be your servant. Whosoever makes himself great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be made great {Matthew 23: 1-12}.

“Watch out for the teachers of the Law, who like to walk around in their long robes and be greeted with respect in the market-place, who choose the reserved seats in the synagogues and the best places at feasts…Their punishment will be all the worse!” {Mark 12: 38-40, Luke 20: 46, 47}.

“Arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected” {Proverbs 29: 23}. “Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!”{Matthew 5: 5}.


By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

This is story No.115 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories.

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