By – Marina Bonomi

There was a monk, so long ago
Living in Gotokuji
The temple had been so great and big
But now was falling in.

There was a cat, who lived there
Together with the monk
She was a stray with patched fur
Of white with black and gold.

Late one night, a leaden sky
Unleashed a thunderstorm
A great, high lord, with all his train
Took shelter under a bough.

In  flashing light, a curious sight
Attracted the highborn lord
A patched cat under a bush
Beckoning with its paw.

‘What wants she, there?’ Asked his heir
Rain running down his brow
So lord and heir, and all their train
Went following , bent low.

A blinding flash, and with a crash
The bough came falling down
But lord and heir, they weren’t there
Nor was their loyal crowd.

All safe and sound, they sat around
A merry, blazing fire
And the old monk  he brew them tea,
With leaves from yesteryear.

After a week, they were asleep
The monk and the she-cat
Sweet  in the rain, they heard the strain
Of flutes, drums and brass.

“Where’s the monk, where’s the cat”
An herald then cried out
“Who saved my lord from killing storm
When he was  here-about?”

They came outside, the cat yawned wide
At seeing all the crowd
Who gaped at the food and riches
Servants were putting down.

And from that day, there’s a say
That goes around the world
Beckoning cat, she knows the path
To luck,  friendship and gold.

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