The Town Cats and Other Tales

Lloyd Alexander

The Town Cats and Other Tales

by Lloyd Alexander

Version 1.0 - Scanned, OCR’d and spellchecked

Never take a cat for granted!

Meet Baraka, the cat who play chess more cunningly than any human; Pescato, who becomes mayor for a day and dupes royalty; and other cats who befriend, aid, and outwit their human companions. Brought to life with all of Lloyd Alexander’s trademark wit and style, these felines will make sure that you never look at a cat in quite the same way!

Brilliant storytelling with an old-world flavor.Booklist, starred review

ISBN 0-14-130122-8

For cat-keepers, and others
wise enough to laugh at themselves

Contents

The Town Cats
The Cat-King’s Daughter
The Cat Who Said No
The Cat and the Golden Egg
The Cobbler and His Cat
The Painter’s Cat
The Cat and the Fiddler
The Apprentice Cat

The Town Cats

Valdoro was the smallest town in the farthest corner of the Kingdom of Mondragone. Its people being honest, sensible, and prudent, it boasted no great men of state, scholarship, or military glory. The town council once had given thought to raising a statue of its most distinguished citizen; but, as no accord could be reached on whom this might be, or if indeed there was one, the pedestal in the square stood empty. Valdoro, thus, for many years went happily unknown, unnoticed, and ignored.

One day, however, Ser Basilio, the mayor, received a document from the Directorate of Provincial Affairs. It stated that a Deputy Provincial Commissioner, one Ser Malocchio, would arrive that very afternoon to obtain permanent residence and to supervise all local activities. Henceforth, following the recommendations of the said Deputy Provisional Commissioner, the inhabitants of Valdoro would share the blessings and benefits enjoyed by their fellow subjects throughout the realm.

He’ll skin us alive with taxes!cried the cloth merchant, after Basilio had read the pronouncement to all the townsfolk gathered in the square.Better a visit from the seven year itch!

He’ll send all our lads into the army!wailed the barber’s daughter.

He’ll set lawyers, clerks, and notaries among us,” the baker cried.Rather a dozen pickpockets than one of them!

So, the folk of Valdoro, and Ser Basilio no less than anyone, bemoaned this evil day, sure that never again would they call their lives their own.