Today’s Funny: Signs That You’re In The Wrong Religion

Signs That You’re In The Wrong Religion


  1. Prayer books contain nothing but show tunes.
  2. In church, they pass a “specimen plate.”
  3. Their main prophet is scamming on your girlfriend.
  4. You must kneel and pray five times a day facing Redmond, Washington.
  5. The *only* food that you’re allowed to eat is pork.
  6. “The first reading is from the Book of Newt…”
  7. Your position in the afterlife depends on how many cleaning products you sell here on earth.
  8. Larry King’s birthday is the High Holy Day for the year.
  9. Your new messiah claims to have fed the multitudes with a bucket of chicken, some fries, and a Big Gulp.
  10. Even though they taste heavenly, you’re pretty sure Malomars are not a sacrament.
  11. All the commandments begin, “You might be a sinner if…”
  12. “Sinner of the Week” eligible for valuable prizes.
  13. Constant fear that the elders will discover the laptop you’ve got squirreled away in the buggy shed.
  14. Frequency of circumcision increased from once in a lifetime to once a year.
  15. Communion performed with tortilla chips and a shot of Cuervo.
  16. A goat is involved in worship in any way.

 

Turok’s Cabana

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The Old Farmer’s Almanac: FULL MOON FOR DECEMBER 2018

 

FULL MOON FOR DECEMBER 2018

DECEMBER’S FULL COLD MOON
By The Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Full Moon for December 2018 rises on the 22nd—very near the winter solstice this year! It will close to full (95%) on Christmas eve. Traditionally, this Moon was called the Full Cold Moon. Read why—plus, see more Moon facts and folklore.

DECEMBER FULL MOON NAMES

In Native American cultures which tracked the calendar by the Moons, December’s Full Moon was known as the Full Cold Moon. It is fittingly associated with the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark.

This Full Moon is also called the Long Nights Moon by some Native American tribes because it occurs near the winter solstice—the day with the least amount of daylight.

MOON PHASES FOR DECEMBER 2018

All dates and times are ET.

New Moon: December 7, 2:20 A.M.
First Quarter: December 15, 6:49 A.M.
Full Moon: December 22, 12:49 P.M.
Last Quarter: December 29, 4:34 A.M.

 

BEST DAYS IN DECEMBER 2018

Below are the best days for activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in December.

Cutting hair:

  • 1, 3, 29, 30

Quit Smoking:

  • 5, 28

Traveling for pleasure:

  • 25, 26

MOON FOLKLORE

  • If a snowstorm begins when the Moon is young, it will cease at moonrise.

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Today’s Holidays Around the World: Wright Brothers Day

Wright Brothers Day

December 17

It was on the morning of December 17, 1903, that Wilbur and Orville Wright became the first men to fly and control apowered heavier-than-air machine. Orville Wright took his turn at piloting on this particular day and his historic 12-secondflight (120 feet) near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, was witnessed by only a handful of observers. It wasn’t until the brotherswent on to set additional flight records that they received widespread acclaim for their achievements. Their original plane(patented in 1906) can be seen today at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Although Wright Brothers Day has been observed in one way or another and under various names throughout the UnitedStates almost since the flight took place, the more notable observations include the annual Wright Brothers Dinner held inWashington, D.C., by the National Aeronautic Association. Celebrations are also held in North Carolina at Kitty Hawk and inDayton, Ohio, where the brothers were born and where they opened their first bicycle shop in 1892.
Events on December 17 traditionally include a “flyover” by military aircraft and a special ceremony held at the WrightBrothers National Memorial, a 425-acre area that features a 60-foot granite pylon on top of Kill Devil Hill, where the WrightBrothers’ camp was located. The flyover takes place at precisely 10:35 a.m.the time of the original flight in 1903.
week of special events in 2003 marked the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ flight. There were aviation exhibitsand programs, air shows and fly-bys, and visiting astronauts. An attempted re-enactment of the original flight, however, wasthwarted by bad weather.
CONTACTS:
Wright Brothers National Memorial, National Park Service
1401 National Park Dr.
Manteo, NC 27954
252-441-7430; fax: 252-473-2595
http://www.nps.gov
National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Independence Ave. at 6th St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20560

Today In History: US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists (1981)

US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists (1981)

James Lee Dozier (born April 10, 1931) is a retired United States Army officer. In December 1981, he was kidnapped by the leftist Italian Red Brigades Marxist terrorist group. He was rescued by NOCS, an Italian anti-terrorist force, after 42 days of captivity. General Dozier was the deputy Chief of Staff at NATO’s Southern European land forces headquarters at Verona, Italy. The Red Brigades, in a statement to the press, stated the reason behind kidnapping an American general was that the U.S. and Italian governments had enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations and the fact that Dozier was an American soldier invited to work in Italy justified their abduction. To date, General Dozier is the only American flag officer to have been captured by a terrorist group.[1]

Kidnapping
Brigadier General Dozier was kidnapped from his apartment in Verona at approximately 6 pm on December 17, 1981, by four men posing as plumbers. It was later reported that as many as four additional terrorists provided support with multiple vehicles. His wife was not kidnapped, but was held at gunpoint briefly to coerce General Dozier to comply and the terrorists left her bound and chained in their apartment.[2]

In Dr. Paul J. Smith’s (National Security Affairs professor at the U.S. Naval War College)[3] paper The Italian Red Brigades (1969–1984): Political Revolution and Threats to the State:

“For more than a month, Dozier’s right wrist and left ankle were chained to a steel cot, which was placed under a small tent. He was also forced to live under the “never-extinguished glare of an electric bulb.” Dozier’s captors also required him to wear earphones and listen to loud music. During Dozier’s captivity, the Red Brigades issued various communiqués to the government and the public generally, describing their demands or complaints. They issued the first communiqué only days after the kidnapping; it was striking for its lack of any ransom demand. Instead it dwelled on international matters of interest to the Red Brigades, including a tribute to the German Red Army Faction. Subsequent communiqués also failed to mention ransom demands and even lacked any particular reference to Dozier. The fifth communiqué, retrieved from a trash can in downtown Rome, contained a number of anti-NATO and anti-American statements but did not make any specific demands for Dozier’s release.”[4]
According to the book Secret Warriors, by terrorism expert Steven Emerson, the Italian government did not want to mount the rescue operation initially and would not allow the US to rescue Gen. Dozier either. Emerson reports that President Reagan contacted H. Ross Perot and asked him to rescue General Dozier using his private forces. Perot gladly accepted the mission and while his team was in the air between Texas and Italy the Italian government heard about the private rescue mission and was thereby convinced that in order to avoid severe diplomatic problems originating from the capture of several foreign armed mercenaries on its sovereign homeland they would launch their own rescue mission.[5]

The Red Brigades held Brigadier General Dozier for 42 days until January 28, 1982, when a team of NOCS (a special operations unit of the Italian police) successfully carried out his rescue from an apartment in Padua, without firing a shot, capturing the entire terrorist cell. The guard assigned to kill General Dozier in the event of a rescue attempt did not do so, and was overwhelmed by the rescuing force.

After Dozier’s return to the US Army in Vicenza, he was congratulated by telephone by President Reagan on regaining his freedom.[6]

Aftermath
Dozier was later promoted to major general and eventually retired from active military service.

Inspiration of the Day: Existing In Bodies

 

 

Existing In Bodies

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

We inhabit bodies for a reason – experiencing all the range of feelings and emotions that come with being present in a body.

The physical self can seem like an encumbrance at times. We have little control over its demands, we must monitor it consistently, and its relative fragility can be discomfiting. Many people, therefore, unconsciously long to escape the confinement of their bodies, and this longing can manifest itself as physical discomfort, difficulty adjusting to the rigors of day-to-day existence, or a tendency to shy away from all that is associated with the human earthly experience. Yet the lifetime of physical existence we each must endure represents a vital plateau in our progression as enlightened beings. We inhabit our bodies for a reason. There is much we can learn while coping with the challenges, sensations, and sensitivities of the human body that we could not have grasped had we remained in spirit form. When we leave our physical selves behind to return to our original state, we will enjoy a supreme sense of freedom – yet we will always value the time we spent on earth.

Being wholly present in your body can help you better understand how your time as a physical being is contributing to your development. There may be times when you feel that your consciousness is not grounded in your corporeal form. Your thoughts may seem scattered or spacey, or you may sense that your ethereal self is literally floating away. When this occurs, ask Mother Earth to ground you, or draw upon the potent grounding energy of mountains or trees. These powerful natural forces can help you reconnect with the earth by reminding you that living in a physical state can be a wholesome and enlightening experience. Wearing gemstones with grounding properties, bloodstone, for example, is another way to reaffirm your connection to the earthly plane.

Human beings are tied to the earth, but not wholly of the earth. We are each of us, for the time being, poised between the soil underneath our feet and the never-ending ethereal spaces around us. The unease we occasionally feel in our earthly bodies is merely a by-product of our innate understanding of our dual natures. But the time we spend in our physical bodies will not last and should thus be cherished. For one day, when our evolution is complete, we will return to the source of life to become beings of light once more.

 

Daily OM

Your Daily Horoscope for Tuesday, December 18

Your Daily Horoscope for Tuesday, December 18

By Kelli Fox

Aries

March 21- April 19

Your youthful energy bubbles up today. However, the universe is urging you to slow down a little and take stock of your situation. Remember to stay civilised as you mix and mingle with other people, especially if you’re rubbing elbows with your employer or potential clients. You want to give them a sense of your raw energy, but you don’t want to come across as overly brash or unrefined. This will require fine-tuned social skills. Try to move deliberately through the world instead of behaving impulsively.

Taurus

Creativity and culture are pulling at you. Let them. Surrender to the lure of the arts today, and don’t be shy about opening up your treasure chest. Start a far-reaching project. Maybe you’ll commit a month to this, or maybe you could set aside an even bigger block of time. But even if you’re just dabbling or doodling, you’re good on inspiration. Ask around for the materials if you don’t see what you want. You might end up with people as well as supplies, and imagine what you could do if you all joined forces.

Gemini

May 21-June 21

Thinking instead of doing — now, that’s something you shouldn’t find to be much of a hardship. Today, you’ll enter a cerebral space. This may be contrary to your usual energy levels, but wild activity and a full schedule wouldn’t be realistic right now. Today is far better suited for sitting back and finding solutions to a problem or analysing a situation, and giving it your full brain power. Since you’re intellectual by nature, it’s easy for you to get into this. You know you can think now and act later.

Cancer

June 22-July 22

Keep a firm grip on all those healthy habits and traditions. Practice good nutrition and personal cleanliness on all levels, even the ones where food or soap won’t realistically go. Because this isn’t just about taking care of your body. It’s part of something bigger, like not losing your social or spiritual cool in a tense situation. See where this is going? What someone else calls a figure of speech could easily become a way of life for you. Symbolism can work in the real world if you think about it.

Leo

July 23-August 22

Society is making demands on how you should be, and the voice of the majority is kind of loud. Maybe you’re following some of those prompts, although it’s hard to tell whether you’re any happier because of it. What’s just fashionable and what’s really you? How far will you go to fit in? What will it cost to stand up for your individuality and opt out of the system? It’ll be OK to withdraw while you figure these things out. And if you can avoid embarrassing yourself today, you’ll score a few extra points.

Virgo

August 23-September 22

It’s show time! So show off your stunning beauty. Give them another demo of your laser-like wit. Bring the opposition to their knees. You could probably do it in two minutes if you felt merciful, but where’s the fun in that? Yes, there’s a job you have to do today, but you also intend to have the ride of a lifetime while you’re doing it. As long as you’re sure about your place and purpose in the world, no one else will doubt you, either.

Libra

September 23-October 22

Anyone who says biological desires are unsophisticated doesn’t understand the elemental pleasure of human passion. You, on the other hand, understand it very well, and under normal circumstances, you’re a natural at handling your passions gracefully. Today, though, that could be a little trickier. You’re off balance, working at cross purposes with yourself, getting in your own way. Figure out how to balance elegance with satisfaction today. If anyone can do it, it’s you. Just try to stay calm if things don’t go your way.

Scorpio

October 23 – November 22

The truth is, sometimes you can be a negative force, especially when you’re feeling worried or vulnerable. That brooding, dark mood can be a real downer for folks around you. But today offers you a chance to heal, so make an honest effort to put positive energy out into the world. Staying calm and extending yourself to others will help you strike a much-needed balance between your own concerns and the needs of others. And people will really appreciate, and remember, your careful assistance.

Sagittarius

November 23-December 20

Indulging in a sense of superiority won’t get you far in this world, but that’s what you’re doing at the moment. It’s all so humdrum and mundane, and you’re so much more fascinating, aren’t you? Well, that may be true, but it doesn’t give you license to patronise other people. You’re human, too, after all. Besides, who you used to be doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the person you are now. Check in with who you’ve become today. This could be an effective, humbling exercise.

Capricorn

December 21-January 19

Any projects you have on your plate today should proceed smoothly. You’re a master of common sense and lord over your own ego. You’ll bring experience to the table and set strategies that benefit everyone, not just you. That’s good, because this is no time to be selfish. If you chance upon a golden opportunity at work, team up so you can all reap the benefits. You’ll find that plenty of doors swing open for you now, and you can afford to be gracious. Hold the door for someone else to pass through, too.

Aquarius

January 20-February 18

Enthusiasm is great, up to a point. Are you annoying people with all that cheerleading and sales talk? Don’t be so pushy. It won’t do a lot for your business, and it could harm you socially. If you want some real action, start a different kind of forward movement today. There has to be a better way of reaching out to friends, neighbours and random strangers on the street. Don’t incite them. Invite them. Make it worth their while with some kind of tangible payoff up front. If you feed them, they will come.

Pisces

February 19-March 20

Do possibilities loom threateningly? Are strangers making you uneasy? Maybe you’re thinking way too much about stuff you don’t actually know for sure. Under less happy circumstances this could be slightly crazy-making, but luckily you’ll be surrounded by familiar faces today. It’s like a big, friendly fence going up between you and the unknown. Take advantage of your privileged spot in this eye of the storm. Take your time, adjust your attitude, and hope for the best. You’ll be a lot more ready once you have to go out there again.

Sydney Morning Herald

How Magical Are You According to Your Sun Sign?

How Magical Are You According to Your Sun Sign?

by Troi G

Do you believe in real magic? And by magic we mean serendipity, messages, signs, odd happenings, mysterious manifestations, and getting what you want with the power of your mind. We’re all magical to some degree but how magical are you according to your sun sign?

Note:

  • Fire signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are really good at candle and sex magic.
  • Air signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are excellent at mind magic and communication.
  • Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces have really well-developed intuitive/feeling skills.
  • Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are very good at using the power of the earth.

Aries March 21 – April 19

Aries, your strongest abilities lie in your adventurousness and courage. Therefore, your magical abilities lie in these areas too. How many times do things work for you when they would not work out for anyone else? Your sheer willpower carries you through. Tip: when you really want something to manifest for you, think about it at that magical moment before orgasm. All that power will be focused on your desire. Have fun with that.

 

Taurus April 20 – May 20

Taurus, you are so connected to the earth that your power seeps up from the very ground. Earth magic is a powerful force. Draw upon it to create security, stability, and refuge. Love and money spells work well for you because you are already tuned into abundance and certainty. Tip: next time you are thinking of bringing something new into your life, imagine the energy pulsing up through your feet. Like a magnet it attracts exactly what you need.

Gemini May 21 – June 20

Gemini, your magical talent is in your ability to free up your mind. You are like an antenna, tuning into the wild network of thought and communication which surrounds us. You have a skill for picking out the important details, for anticipating what a person will say. This sensitivity can help you in all walks of life. Tip: This is a skill you can develop, don’t ignore it.

Cancer June 21 – July 22

Cancer, you are empathic and emotional. You know how someone feels instinctively. You can feel moods and tune into the atmosphere in a room. Therefore, you would be very good at tarot reading or other divinatory skill. Your ability to counsel someone through a difficult time is also part of your magical repertoire. Tip: Don’t underestimate your own abilities, you have magical skills that can help others.

 

Leo July 23 – August 22

Leo, your magical abilities lie in the realm of inspiration. You somehow always know what your next move is. It is as if you are guided by an invisible hand. Your personal charisma can be so magical that you always get your way. People always turn up when you need them. Tip: think about how you can use your magical abilities for good things. Giving leads to increased satisfaction.

Virgo August 23 – September 22

Virgo, you have a natural ability for healing. People calm down in your presence. You can call on that earth energy to give you all the strength you need to bring peace to any situation. You are the negotiator, the mediator, and the conciliator. Tip: if you haven’t already, explore the possibilities of becoming a professional healer. You will excel.

Libra September 23 – October 22

Libra, your magical skills lie in your ability to bring beauty, harmony, and balance. As an air sign, you are excellent at communication and you are able to see situations from both sides, including beyond the veil of life and death. You can even tune into messages from the past. Tip: Give yourself permission to listen to those soft, whispering voices.

Scorpio October 23 – November 21

Scorpio, you have a range of magical abilities. From knowing what other people’s true motives are, to communicating with the dead. The main downside is that you are drawn to the black arts as well as using your power for good. Tip: Stop, breathe, and think before you cast that curse. You are more powerful than you know.

Sagittarius November 22 – December 21

Sagittarius, your positive attitude brings what you want, even things you didn’t know you wanted. Your optimism means you are constantly pleased and surprised by these magical, spontaneous deliveries. Tip: If you set your mind to it, your manifestations could be even more deliberate and satisfying. Take time to learn how to manipulate energy.

Capricorn December 22 – January 19

Capricorn, abundance and manifesting your desire are your top skills. However, you have others. That strong pulsing earth energy means you are far more spiritual and magical than you ever thought. You just need to keep an open mind and be prepared to try new things. Tip: buy yourself a book on witchcraft and see what you can do.

 

Aquarius January 20 – February 18

Aquarius, you are probably among the most magical people on the planet. You have the ability to communicate with faery folk and entities hidden from the rest of us. You can see and hear beyond the normal realm. Aquarius, you can create anything you want when you focus your power. Tip: the magical world is your oyster, explore everything.

Pisces February 19 – March 20

Pisces, your abilities lie in the realm of imagination. If you can imagine it, you can create it. Like the other water signs you are also a healer, a visionary, and can empathize with any living soul. Tip: Your special skills are in your dreamworld. Study the language of dreams and develop the ability to lucid dream. A whole new universe of magical possibilities will open up for you.

We all have the capability to tune into the magical world, if we want to. Why live a mundane existence when you can delve into powers and skills you didn’t know you have? Be adventurous, live your life with a touch of magic. Discover how magical you really are.

 

LunarLife

Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit; The Story of a Cat, a Mouse, a Lizard and an Owl.

This is the story of four creatures, none of whom loved each other, who lived in the same banyan tree in a forest in India. Banyan trees are very beautiful and very useful, and get their name from the fact that “banians,” as merchants are called in India, often gather together in their shade to sell their goods. Banyan trees grow to a very great height, spreading their branches out so widely that many people can stand beneath them. From those branches roots spring forth, which, when they reach the ground, pierce it, and look like, columns holding up a roof. If you have never seen a banyan tree, you can easily find a picture of one in some dictionary; and when you have done so, you will understand that a great many creatures can live in one without seeing much of each other.

In an especially fine banyan tree, outside the walls of a town called Vidisa, a cat, an owl, a lizard and a mouse, had all taken up their abode. The cat lived in a big hole in the trunk some little distance from the ground, where she could sleep very cosily, curled up out of sight with her head resting on her forepaws, feeling perfectly safe from harm; for no other creature, she thought, could possibly discover her hiding-place. The owl roosted in a mass of foliage at the top of the tree, near the nest in which his wife had brought up their children, before those children flew away to seek mates for themselves. He too felt pretty secure as long as he remained up there; but he had seen the cat prowling about below him more than once, and was very sure that, if she should happen to catch sight of him when he was off his guard seeking his prey and obliged to give all his attention to what he was doing, she might spring out upon him and kill him. Cats do not generally attack such big birds as owls, but they will sometimes kill a mother sitting in her nest, as well as the little ones, if the father is too far off to protect them.

The lizard loved to lie and bask in the sunshine, catching the flies on which he lived, lying so still that they did not notice him, and darting out his long tongue suddenly to suck them into his mouth. Yet he hid from the owl and the cat, because he knew full well that, tough though he was, they would gobble him up if they happened to be hungry. He made his home amongst the roots on the south side of the tree where it was hottest, but the mouse had his hole on the other side amongst damp moss and dead leaves. The mouse was in constant fear of the cat and the owl. He knew that both of them could see in the dark, and he would have no chance of escape if they once caught sight of him.

CHAPTER II

The lizard and the mouse could only get food in daylight; but the lizard did not have to go far for the flies on which he lived, whilst the mouse had a very dangerous journey to take to his favourite feeding place. This was a barley field a short distance from the banyan tree, where he loved to nibble the full ears, running up the stalks to get at them. The mouse was the only one of the four creatures in the banyan tree who did not feed on others; for, like the rest of his family, he was a vegetarian, that is to say, he ate nothing but vegetables and fruit.

Now the cat knew full well how fond the mouse was of the barley-field, and she used to keep watch amongst the tall stems, creeping stealthily about with her tail in the air and her green eyes glistening, expecting any moment to see the poor little mouse darting hastily along. The cat never dreamt that any danger could come to her, and she trod down the barley, making quite a clear path through it. She was quite wrong in thinking herself so safe, for that path got her into very serious trouble.

It so happened that a hunter, whose great delight was to kill wild creatures, and who was very clever in finding them, noticing every little thing which could shew him where they had passed by, came one day into the barley-field. He spied the path directly and cried, “Ha! ha! Some wild animal has been here; not a very big one; let’s have a look for the footprints!” So he stooped down to the ground, and very soon saw the marks of pussy’s feet. “A cat, I do believe,” he said to himself, “spoiling the barley she doesn’t want to eat herself. I’ll soon pay her out.” The hunter waited until the evening lest the creature should see what he was going to do, and then in the twilight he set snares all over the barley-field. A snare, you know, is a string with a slip-knot at the end of it; and if an animal puts his head or one of his paws into this slip-knot and goes on without noticing it, the string is pulled tight and the poor creature cannot get free.

CHAPTER III

Exactly what the hunter expected happened. The cat came as usual to watch for the mouse, and caught sight of him running across the end of the path. Puss dashed after him; and just as she thought she really had got him this time, she found herself caught by the neck, for she had put her head into one of the snares. She was nearly strangled and could scarcely even mew. The mouse was so close that he heard the feeble mew, and in a terrible fright, thinking the cat was after him, he peeped through the stems of the barley to make sure which way to run to get away from her. What was his delight when he saw his enemy in such trouble and quite unable to do him any harm!

Now it so happened that the owl and the lizard were also in the barley-field, not very far away from the cat, and they too saw the distress their hated enemy was in. They also caught sight of the little mouse peeping through the barley; and the owl thought to himself, “I’ll have you, my little friend, now puss cannot do me any harm,” whilst the lizard darted away into the sunshine, feeling glad that the cat and the owl were neither of them now likely to trouble their heads about him. The owl flew quietly to a tree hard by to watch what would happen, feeling so sure of having the mouse for his dinner that he was in no hurry to catch him.

CHAPTER IV

The mouse, small and helpless though he was, was a wise little creature. He saw the owl fly up into the tree, and knew quite well that if he did not take care he would serve as dinner to that great strong bird. He knew too that, if he went within reach of the claws of the cat, he would suffer for it. “How I do wish,” he thought to himself, “I could make friends with the cat, now she is in distress, and get her to promise not to hurt me if ever she gets free. As long as I am near the cat, the owl will not dare to come after me.” As he thought and thought, his eyes got brighter and brighter, and at last he decided what he would do. He had, you see, kept his presence of mind; that is to say, he did not let his fright of the cat or the owl prevent him from thinking clearly. He now ventured forth from amongst the barley, and coming near enough to the cat for her to see him quite clearly, but not near enough for her to reach him with her claws, or far enough away for the owl to get him without danger from those terrible claws, he said to the cat in a queer little squeaky voice: “Dear Puss, I do not like to see you in such a fix. It is true we have never been exactly friends, but I have always looked up to you as a strong and noble enemy. If you will promise never to do me any harm, I will do my best to help you. I have very sharp teeth, and I might perhaps be able to nibble through the string round your beautiful neck and set you free. What do you think about it?”

CHAPTER V

When the cat heard what the mouse said, she could hardly believe her ears. She was of course ready to promise anything to anyone who would help her, so she said at once: “You dear little mouse, to wish to help me. If only you will nibble through that string which is killing me, I promise that I will always love you, always be your friend, and however hungry I may be, I will starve rather than hurt your tender little body.”

On hearing this, the mouse, without hesitating a moment, climbed up on to the cat’s back, and cuddled down in the soft fur near her neck, feeling very safe and warm there. The owl would certainly not attack him there, he thought, and the cat could not possibly hurt him. It was one thing to pounce down on a defenceless little creature running on the ground amongst the barley, quite another to try and snatch him from the very neck of a cat.

The cat of course expected the mouse to begin to nibble through the string at once, and became very uneasy when she felt the little creature nestle down as if to go to sleep, instead of helping her. Poor Pussy could not turn her head so as to see the mouse without drawing the string tighter, and she did not dare to speak angrily lest she should offend him. “My dear little friend,” she said, “do you not think it is high time to keep your promise and set me free?”

Hearing this, the mouse pretended to bite the string, but took care not to do so really; and the cat waited and waited, getting more miserable every minute. All through the long night the same thing went on: the mouse taking a little nap now and then, the cat getting weaker and weaker. “Oh,” she thought to herself, “if only I could get free, the first thing I would do would be to gobble up that horrid little mouse.” The moon rose, the stars came out, the wind murmured amongst the branches of the banyan tree, making the unfortunate cat long to be safe in her cosy home in the trunk. The cries of the wild animals which prowl about at night seeking their food were heard, and the cat feared one of them might find her and kill her. A mother tiger perhaps would snatch her, and take her to her hungry cubs, hidden away in the deep forest, or a bird of prey might swoop down on her and grip her in his terrible claws. Again and again she entreated the mouse to be quick, promising that, if only he would set her at liberty, she would never, never, never forget it or do any harm to her beloved friend.

CHAPTER VI

It was not until the moon had set and the light of the dawn had put out that of the stars that the mouse, made any real effort to help the cat. By this time the hunter who had set the snare came to see if he had caught the cat; and the poor cat, seeing him in the distance, became so wild with terror that she nearly killed herself in the struggle to get away. “Keep still! keep still,” cried the mouse, “and I will really save you.” Then with a few quick bites with his sharp teeth he cut through the string, and the next moment the cat was hidden amongst the barley, and the mouse was running off in the opposite direction, determined to keep well out of sight of the creature he had kept in such misery for so many hours. Full well he knew that all the cat’s promises would be forgotten, and that she would eat him up if she could catch him. The owl too flew away, and the lizard went off to hunt flies in the sunshine, and there was not a sign of any of the four inhabitants of the banyan tree when the hunter reached the snare. He was very much surprised and puzzled to find the string hanging loose in two pieces, and no sign of there having been anything caught in it, except two white hairs lying on the ground close to the trap. He had a good look round, and then went home without having found out anything.

When the hunter was quite out of sight, the cat came forth from the barley, and hastened back to her beloved home in the banyan tree. On her way there she spied the mouse also hurrying along in the same direction, and at first she felt inclined to hunt him and eat him then and there. On second thoughts however she decided to try and keep friends with him, because he might help her again if she got caught a second time. So she took no notice of the mouse until the next day, when she climbed down the tree and went to the roots in which she knew the mouse was hidden. There she began to purr as loud as she could, to show the mouse she was in a good humour, and called out, “Dear good little mouse, come out of your hole and let me tell you how very, very grateful I am to you for saving my life. There is nothing in the world I will not do for you, if you will only be friends with me.”

The mouse only squeaked in answer to this speech, and took very good care not to show himself, till he was quite sure the cat was gone beyond reach of him. He stayed quietly in his hole, and only ventured forth after he had heard the cat climb up into the tree again. “It is all very well,” thought the mouse, “to pretend to make friends with an enemy when that enemy is helpless, but I should indeed be a silly mouse to trust a cat when she is free to kill me.”

The cat made a good many other efforts to be friends with the mouse, but they were all unsuccessful. In the end the owl caught the mouse, and the cat killed the lizard. The owl and the cat both lived for the rest of their lives in the banyan tree, and died in the end at a good old age.

SOURCE: Title: Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit (1919); Author: S. M. Mitra and Nancy Bell, Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit, Translated by: S. M. Mitra; Adapted by: Mrs. Arthur Bell

Your Daily Horoscopes for Monday, December 17th

Your Daily Horoscopes for Monday, December 17th

By Kelli Fox

 

Aries

March 21- April 19

You have a devil-may-care attitude today that’s highly exciting and attractive for anyone you’re spending time with. Life is a game of Follow the Leader, with you in the head position, of course! You love the feeling of charging ahead, blazing a previously uncharted path for everyone who’s following in your wake. But if it’s just you on this spirited journey, that’s just as fun. You enjoy being independent.

Taurus

April 20-May 20

You’re a fierce competitor when you want to be. Today, that strong back of yours could stiffen into an aggressive edge. If you meet any type of obstacle or challenge in your activities, this tendency is doubly true. You’re not in the mood to look for an alternate route! But that calmer approach might be a really smart idea. Sometimes, forcing your way through opposition just leads to greater opposition.

Gemini

May 21-June 21

You’re moving fast today, which means careless mistakes are possible, or maybe even likely. But who cares? You’re having a great time, and if anyone can learn from their missteps, it’s you. In fact, a hasty approach to a generally madcap day might be your best bet. The universe currently favours those with the courage to push full-force ahead, regardless of the what-ifs. Use your head, and go with confidence.

Cancer

June 22-July 22

You can probably sense the heated edge life has today. Energies are running high, and passions are rising. That can be a great thing or a difficult one, depending on the situation. For you, there may be a little too much hotheaded attitude flying around for comfort! Spend time on your own if possible, and if you have to interact with others, do your best to keep a cool head.

Leo

July 23-August 22

Your independent nature comes out to play today. Right now it’s a lot of fun to test your skills and stand on your own two feet. You have a lot of confidence in yourself, and it’s well deserved! This is the kind of day when you can prove yourself in just about any arena you choose. Your willingness to take a chance makes success a sure bet.

Virgo

August 23-September 22

You’re especially motivated today. The energy of ambition fills you, making you extra determined to reach your goal. And if anyone or anything stands in your way, you aren’t afraid to get a little pushy! That’s how much this means to you. Still, it’s important to realise that some people may take determination as insensitivity. If you’re working on a team, make an effort to be gentle, especially when issuing feedback or direct commands.

Libra

September 23-October 22

Life is fresh, raw and unrehearsed today. That might excite you, but it could also make you nervous. On the one hand, you love being spontaneous, and you’re better than most at thinking on your feet. On the other hand, taking things a little more slowly gives you that all-important sense of harmony with your environment. Strike a balance between daring acts and ones that are planned.

Scorpio

October 23 – November 22

It’s important to be thick-skinned today. Otherwise, the world could really rub you the wrong way. Lots of folks are in competitive moods now; to you, their actions could seem downright ruthless. People might make insensitive comments without realising the impact of their words. But you may also be more sensitive than usual to slights both real and imagined. As much as possible, give people the benefit of the doubt.

Sagittarius

November 23-December 20

Welcome to a fun, energetic and passionate day. Your inner fire is blazing! Whatever you’re excited about, pursue it. You have the zany spirit to create your own destiny now — and it’s sure to be something good, because you’re feeling pretty spunky. With such daredevil enthusiasm, there’s really no limit to what you might accomplish! So go ahead and pull out all the stops. Be spontaneous, and see what develops.

Capricorn

December 21-January 19

Your ambitious streak takes centre stage today. This can be a good thing if you’re pushing toward a goal that’s going to be difficult to reach. But watch out for how you come across to others. Pushy behaviour is sure to be met with the same — meaning, you can create problems where none existed, simply by being overly aggressive. You’ll win others’ support if you stay kind and gracious.

Aquarius

January 20-February 18

Spur-of-the-moment changes in your plans develop quickly today. When that happens, run with it! There’s no reason not to follow your impulses now. You’re a logical person by nature, so just use your head when you’re trying to determine whether something is really a good bet. If something doesn’t add up, you’ll know it. Your independence is highlighted now, and it feels great to know you can rely on yourself.

Pisces

February 19-March 20

You could feel a little more sensitive than usual today, but it’s probably more that other people are currently a bit tactless. The current energy is impulsive in nature, which could make folks speak without thinking. It’s easier to step on people’s toes when you aren’t aware of your effect on them. Of course, considering your nature, you’re more likely to be the one who’s grabbing your foot and saying, ‘Ow!’

 

 

-The Sydney Morning Herald