The Story of Chinese Astrology and the Cat
A long long time ago, the Jade emperor declared for his birthday a large banquet would be held up on his glorious palace. He invited all 13 animals to gather for a night full of wonderful food and grand company before the emperor's final departure from the world.
All the animals were excited, especially the Cat. That night he was worried that he might oversleep (since he loved sleeping so much), so he turned to the Rat. "Rat," he said, "Could you please wake me in time to go to the banquet?"
The Rat complied and said he would. However in the middle of the night, the Rat snuck off down the path to the palace.
The Rat soon approached a large rushing river. He knew the river was much to strong from him to be able to swim. Luckily, an Ox trodded by, also on his way to the banquet, (the reason he left so early was since he tended to be a little slow). The Rat asked the Ox, "The river is so strong today. May I ride across your back?" The Ox, always kind, naturally agreed. So they crossed the river and upon shore, the Rat jumped off and thanked the Ox before parting on his way speeding ahead of the surely but steady speed of the Ox.
The Rat arrived at the palace where the Jade Emperor greeted him enthusiastically and one by one the animals came; the tired Ox, powerful Tiger, Lucky Rabbit, Noble Dragon, and so on. The animals at the party all celebrated with drinks and delicious food in the most beautiful room lit by red lanterns and fireworks in the sky.
At the end of the night, the Jade Emperor rose solemnly, "I thank all my friends for joining me before I depart and as a gift for my gratitude, I bestow you all positions to represent time." And so in the order they came they were forever symbolized; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey Rooster, Dog, and lastly Pig.
The Twelve Zodiac Animals.
What of the Cat, you ask? The poor Cat slept through it all and never forgave the Rat.
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