The Story of Pusa and Muning

When I was in kindergarten and first grade, I went to a school in the Philippines called Stela Maris. I will always remember this school for its magical playgrounds and its wonderful story books. This was one of the stories I read from such books.

P.S. I used several different kittens to tell the story, because it was hard to choose just one pair, as you will soon see. 

      Once upon a time, there were two adorable kittens named Pusa and Muning. They were the best of friends. They frolicked around the neighborhood all day and played cat-and-mouse games all night. They took cat naps together and even dreamed the same dream, of finally catching that little goldfish swimming  in the tiny bowl.

They caterwauled in perfect harmony, one purring while the other one would meow. These two did everything together, and never had any catfights, except for that one afternoon when they did not act like the best friends that they were supposed to be…

      That day, Pusa and Muning agreed to meet at the corner by the marketplace as they usually do. This was their favorite spot, as this was where all the good stuff was found. Leftovers from restaurants, discarded bits and ends from fish vendors, and all sorts of treats were lying around, waiting to be discovered.

      Pusa got there first. She smelled some good fish somewhere, but, hard as she tried, she could not find it. Muning arrived from the opposite direction a few minutes later. As soon as she got there, she sniffed and poked around, then triumphantly dragged something out from inside a foil-lined bag. It was a rare treat, a whole fried fish that someone had accidentally dropped.

      “Look, Pusa. Look what I found,” Muning said excitedly to her friend.

      Pusa was upset that Muning easily found what she had tried so hard to locate. “Actually, Muning, that is my fish. I was looking it for it way before you did. Please give it to me.”

      Muning did not like Pusa’s tone of voice. “No, Pusa. I’m sorry. I found the fish, therefore, it’s mine. Finders, keepers, remember?”

      Pusa did not like Muning’s tone of voice either. If Muning was going to be catty about this, then she won’t stand for it. “Muning, I got here first and I smelled the fish first, so it is mine, not yours.”

      “No, it’s mine.”

      “No, it’s mine.”

      This would have gone on forever if a dog named Bantay had not happened to pass by.

      “Hey, what’s this noise all about?” growled Bantay. He was an older dog who did not like youngsters at all. Still, Pusa and Muning were happy to find a third party. They immediately tried to tell him their side of the story, both speaking at the same time. Bantay listened to the two as patiently as he could, then he raised a paw and said, “Stop. Seems to me like there would have been no problem if the two of you had just shared the fish in the first place.”

      When Pusa and Muning heard this, they looked at each other and sighed. Bantay was right. How silly they were to fight over this! They hugged each other happily and promised never to let something like this ruin their friendship again. When they looked at Bantay to thank him, they were shocked to see him biting into their fish.

      “What are you doing, Bantay?” they shrieked in unison.

      Bantay replied, “I am dividing the fish so that the two of you will get what you deserve.Then there will be no more fighting. Hopefully, we can get some peace and quiet around here for a change.”

      Pusa and Muning were not sure that was a good idea, but Bantay kept working on the fish anyway.

      After he split the fish into two, Bantay looked at the fish halves. “My, oh, my. Just as I thought. One side is bigger than the other. Let me fix that.”

      Before Pusa and Muning could say anything, he took a bite out of the larger half. Pusa and Muning looked at him helplessly.

      Pusa purred, “Thank you, Bantay for helping us but…”

      “Don’t you have other things you need to do? ” mewed Muning, hoping that Bantay would get the hint and leave.

      “Glad to be of service,” growled Bantay. He got up like he was ready to leave, but then he suddenly said “My, oh,my. Just as I feared. Now the other side is smaller than this one. I cannot leave without fixing that.” The two kittens watched in dismay as Bantay bit off another chunk of the fish. 

      “Bantay, we don’t need your help anymore. We can handle this ourselves. We promise not to fight anymore,” the two said piteously as they watched their fish getting smaller and smaller.

      “I am glad to hear that but I never leave a job unfinished. See, now this side is bigger than the other.” Pusa and Muning could not do anything but watch as the much bigger, older and wiser dog helped himself to the fish in the guise of doing them a favor. This went on and on, until alas, nothing was left of the fish but the bones.

      Finally, Bantay looked up at them and barked, “Now my job is done. You two got the part of the fish that you deserve: the bones. You were both selfish. You were willing to give up your friendship for a piece of fish. Let this be a lesson to the two of you.” With that, Bantay left.

      Pusa and Muning looked at the bones and felt like crying, but in their heart, they knew Bantay was right. Nothing was worth breaking up a friendship over. They shed a few tears, but pretty soon, they were chasing each other around, having fun again like before. They looked so cute together that people in the marketplace couldn’t help but toss them juicy morsels of food to eat. That incident with the fish and Bantay soon became a distant memory. From that time on, Pusa and Muning shared everything and kept their promise to remain the best of friends.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. montecarpa
    May 04, 2013 @ 14:06:31

    I love the story!


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