“Who comes here?” he croaked. When Long-Ear saw the old Vulture, he was badly frightened, but as it was too late to run away he decided to take his chances, and came nearer. “My Lord,” he said, “I have the honour to salute you.”
“Who are you?” asked the blind Vulture.
“Please your Lordship, I am a Cat,” answered Long-Ear.
“Be off with you. Cat, or I shall slay you,” said the Vulture.
“I am ready to die, if I deserve death,” answered the Cat. “But first hear what I have to say. I am a good, pious Cat. I say my prayers, I bathe and I eat no meat. The birds who live in this tree are constantly praising you for your goodness and wisdom. Accordingly, I have come here to ask you to teach me philosophy and law.”
“Yes, but cats like meat, and there are young birds in this tree.”
“Sir,” said the Cat, “I have overcome my wicked desire for meat, and have learned the Golden Rule, that our first duty is to refrain from harming any living thing.”
Thus the Cat won the old Vulture’s confidence, entered the hollow tree, and lived there. And day after day he climbed the tree to steal some of the little birds, and brought them down into the hollow for his dinner. Meanwhile, the parent birds, whose little ones were being eaten, went searching for them in all quarters. Long-Ear becoming aware of this, and fearing detection, quietly slipped out of the hollow and made his escape. Afterwards, when the birds began to search nearer home, they found the bones of the young ones in the hollow of the tree, where the blind Gray-Pate lived. The birds at once decided that their nestlings had been killed and eaten by the old Vulture, and accordingly they executed him.