The Boy Who Drew Cats – Japanese Tale

The boy who Drew Cats is the story of a boy who loved nothing but draw pictures of cats on anything plain – on books, on text books, on walls, on canvases, anywhere. Because his parents were poor and he being too weak to do any work to help his farmer parents, they sent him to a temple to be trained to become a priest. However, the boy did not follow the instructions of the priests, so, the priest sent him home. The boy, anyway, did not wish to go home!

Once out of the temple, the boy went away from his home and went to the direction of another temple on the hill-top to get admitted there. It was night and the boy did not know that a goblin was the only inhabitant of that temple. He called out but no one came to welcome him. After some time, finding that the door was not locked from inside, the boy got in. Before sleeping he drew a number of cats on the screens inside the temple.

Suddenly he remembered an advice that the priest had given him when he left the previous temple. ‘Avoid large places keep to small!’ So the boy found a little cabinet, with a sliding door, and went into it, and shut himself up. Then he lay down and fell fast asleep.

Very late in the night, he was awakened by a most terrible noise, a noise of fighting and screaming. It was so dreadful that he was afraid even to look through a chink of the little cabinet: he lay very still, holding his breath for fear.

The light that had been in the temple went out; but the awful sounds continued, and became more awful, and all the temple shook. After a long time silence came; but the boy was still afraid to move. He did not move until the light of the morning sun shone into the cabinet through the chinks of the little door.

Then he got out of his hiding place very cautiously, and looked about. The first thing he saw was that all the floor of the temple was covered with blood. And then he saw, lying dead in the middle of it, an enormous, monstrous rat, a goblin rat, bigger than a cow!

But who or what could have killed it? There was no man or other creature to be seen. Suddenly the boy observed that the mouths of all the cats he had drawn the night before, were red and wet with blood. Then he knew that the goblin had been killed by the cats which he had drawn. And then also, for the first time, he understood why the wise old priest had said to him, ‘Avoid large places at night, keep to small.’

Afterward that boy became a very famous artist. Some of the cats which he drew are still shown to travelers in Japan.

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  • Question of

    Where did the farmer’s family live?

    • In a small country-village in Japan
    • In a small country-village in China
    • In a small country-village in India.
  • Question of

    Why did the farmer and wife find it hard to feed all their many children?

    • They didn’t like many children
    • They were poor
    • They didn’t like to waste food
  • Question of

    The farmer-couple had at least ___ daughters:

    • 3
    • 4
    • 2
  • Question of

    The farmer-couple had at least ___ sons:

    • 4
    • 2
    • 3
  • Question of

    The farmer-couple let their elder son to help his father when he was ___ years.

    • fourteen
    • fifteen
    • sixteen
  • Question of

    Why did the priest expel the boy from the temple?

    • He was bad at studies
    • He had no interest in studies
    • His cats came out of the screens


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Grade 1 Numbers 1

Lines Written in Early Spring – William Wordsworth