The Cat That Walked By Himself
by Rudyard Kipling
That evening when the Man and the Dog
came into the cave the Woman told them all the story of the bargain, and
the Man said, "Yes, but he has not made a bargain with me or with all
proper Men after me." And he took off his two leather boots and he
took up his little stone axe (that makes three) and he fetched a piece of
wood and a hatchet (that is five altogether), and he set them out in a row
and he said, "Now we will make a bargain. If you do not catch Mice
when you are in the cave, for always and always and always, I will throw
these five things at you whenever I see you, and so shall all proper Men
do after me."
Then the Man threw his two boots and his little stone axe (that makes three) at the Cat, and the Cat ran out of the cave and the Dog chased him up a tree, and from that day to this, Best Beloved, three proper Men out of five will always throw things at a Cat whenever they meet him, and all proper Dogs will chase him up a tree. But the Cat keeps his side of the bargain too. He will kill mice and he will be kind to Babies when he is in the house, as long as they do not pull his tail too hard. But when he has done that, and between times, he is the Cat that walks by himself and all places are alike to him, and if you look out at nights you can see him waving his wild tail and walking by his wild lone---just the same as before.