Hallmark Connections Holiday Designed Paper
Two Bad Mice
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season
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FolkTails Puppets with a Tale
Why Rat Comes First
High above China long ago, the Sky Emperor invited 12 animals from the world below to his lofty abode. "There are 12 years in our calendar cycle," he declared, "and I wish to name one year after each of you."
"And which one of us should come first, my King," said Rat. "I am smart and can live anywhere; it should be me." "Why?" said Ox, "I am mighty and strong."
The Emperor decided to let the children of Earth choose. At first, the boys and girls delighted to ride on gentle Ox's back, and ignored Rat because she was so small. But Rat begged the Emperor to make her as big as Ox for a day, whereupon the children jumped up and down in excitement to see such a wondrous sight, and forgot all about Ox.
"You are the winner, Rat," said the Emperor. "You shall come first."
- a Chinese folktale
Last updated December 30, 1997
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