#Folktale and #EngQuiz: Why cats bury their poo

In this article, we will share an interesting Indonesian #folktale in English.

Why #folktale? Because Indonesia is rich in local folktales and we think it’s good to share some of them to you all. While reading and knowing more about Indonesian folktales, you can also learn English at the same time. Isn’t that fun? :)

All folktales are taken from @Story4Children‘s site http://www.learn-english-through-stories.com/ (visit to see more). Or find them on our site.

The #folktale we will share this is about… drum roll cats! Do you like cats, fellas? Do you know cats bury their poo? Do you know why they do this? Well, you’ll know why soon after you read this #folktale. This story is from Lampung, Sumatera. Is anybody from or living in Lampung?

Why cats bury their poo

Once upon a time, animals could talk to one another. They talked just like humans. They lived peacefully in the jungle.

They had a king, and it was the cat. All animals chose the cat as their king because he had all the knowledge and the skills.

He was the wisest and the cleverest animal in the jungle. He was also generous and kind. Other animals became his students.

One of the cat’s students was the tiger. He was the most obedient student. He did whatever the cat asked him to do.

One day, the tiger wanted to master all the cat’s skills. He asked the cat to teach one skill that he didn’t have. What is it?

“Master, you are good at climbing trees. You haven’t taught me and I want to have that skill,” said the tiger to the cat.”

The cat did not believe in the tiger. He was afraid that the tiger would be a super animal if he mastered this skill.

“You have to wait. You are not ready to study how to climb the tree. Let me teach you how to sneak instead,” said the cat.

In a very short time, the tiger mastered the skill. This was actually the cat’s trick. He prolonged the tiger’s request.

“Teach me how to climb a tree,” said the tiger. “Wait, you haven’t mastered the skill how to swim,” answered the cat.

The cat hoped that the tiger could not swim, but he was wrong. The tiger was a great animal. He could swim in just a minute.

When the tiger became very tired, he felt his teacher did not want to teach him how to climb trees. He became very angry.

“Master, I’m your best and most obedient student. But why don’t you teach me how to climb trees?” begged the tiger.

The cat knew he had to tell the truth. “My student, I have a reason. I am afraid you will use the skill to do something bad.”

“What?!” the tiger burst into anger. “Teach me now! Otherwise I will kill you!” He attacked the cat. The fight was inevitable.

The tiger was bigger and had more strengths than the cat. The cat was cornered and had no other choice but to save himself.

The cat ran away. When he found a big tree, he climbed it. The tiger did not know how to climb, so he waited under the tree.

The tiger screamed, “Wherever you go, I will chase you. And not only that! When you defecate, I will eat your feces!”

Why would he do that? Because the tiger once heard that the cat’s power was in his feces. A little bit strang, isn’t it?

Well, however strange the #folktale might be, this happens until now. That’s why if cats defecate, they bury their feces with sand/soil.

Back to my question earlier: why do cats bury their poo? Well, according to the #folktale: they are afraid tigers will eat their feces!


Answer the questions based on the story above:

  1. Still remember “degrees of comparison”?(read: #EngClass: Degrees of comparison) Can you mention 3 superlative adjectives in the #folktale?
  2. “The fight was inevitable.” What does “inevitable” mean?
  3. Still remember “quoted/direct speech”? (read:  #EngClass: Quoted speech (Direct speech)) Can you count how many sentences use this?
  4. “When you defecate, I will eat your feces!” What does “defecate” mean?
  5. If both the cat and the tiger had the same chance to become a king, who would make the best king, and why?

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on Monday, July 16, 2012

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