Mr. Katz, the family’s prize cat was having a quiet conversation with a Gnome called Gnardo on the other side of the screen door to the garden. Perfectly logical – gnomes are known for their ability to communicate with other creatures. However, cats have always treated them as if they were playthings and sometimes play too roughly with them. Fortunately for this gnome the screen door prevented the cat from harming him.
However, the gnome needed a favor from this cat. Gnardo had heard there was a single female gnome in a nearby forest. There was a long journey to make and he wanted the cat to give him a ride. So he summoned up his courage and decided to chance asking the friendly looking cat what he thought about the idea.
Mr. Katz, meanwhile, had spotted a tiny toad and was busily pursuing him. Gnardo the Gnome thought better of asking such an important question right then and patiently waited. Oddly, somehow the toad managed to escape and Mr. Katz returned to the spot where he had been before. And the gnome thought, â€œthis is my chance. I’ll ask him now!â€
â€œMr. Katz,â€ began Gnardo the Gnome, “I need a big favor.â€ He now had the cat’s attention, so he continued. â€œThere’s a lovely lady gnome living in a nearby forest, and I would really like to meet her. But it’s such a long way and I cannot travel that far on my own. Would you consider going there and letting me ride on your back? I would really appreciate it, and maybe one day I can return the favor.â€
To his surprise the cat replied, â€œI’ve always enjoyed talking with you in the garden. And, I haven’t been away in some time, so I’ll definitely think about it.â€
Mr. Katz ,wouldn’t you like to be able to explore the outside world?â€ the gnome asked. The cat answered, â€œYes, but what do I have to do to get out?â€ Gnardo replied, â€œJust be my friend.â€
“Surely you want more than that,â€ Mr. Katz replied.
Now, Gnardo the Gnome knew that cats liked the taste of mice. However, gnomes are vegetarians and don’t eat meat. The thought of the cat eating mice was repulsive. But Gnardo knew he must bargain with the cat, no matter how distasteful it might be. He was willing to do anything for love, because he was so lonely. He would tempt Mr. Katz but he had no intention of feeding mice to a cat. Besides some mice were his best friends.
The terms were then worked out. First, and most important, the cat agreed not to mistreat (or EAT) Gnardo. The second was that the cat would take the gnome to the other forest where the lovely female gnome lived. And then Gnardo would provide a nice mouse for Mr. Katz’s dinner.
Fortunately for the gnome, Mr. Katz was a purebred Siamese with a royal heritage that dated back to ancient times. This cat had learned to live according to a code of honor because of his background. In other words, when he made a deal, he stuck to it. (Gnardo had other plans.)
The gnome climbed up the door and unlocked it to let the cat escape. For about 5 minutes the cat eagerly explored the outside. He hadn’t been allowed outside and was so excited. Gnardo the Gnome‘s ladylove was far from his thoughts.
â€œAhem,â€ the gnome murmured. â€œOh, I almost forgot,â€ the cat replied. â€œJump on my back and we will begin our journey.â€ And so, the adventure began.
The trip proved long and perilous. At one point they crossed an open field and were chased by wild dogs who, luckily, spotted Gnardo astride the cat and gave up the chase..(it’s a well known fact that gnomes and dogs are friends.) During the journey they got drenched by rain. Mr. Katz hated getting wet, but Gnardo the Gnome liked the rain, appreciating the help the rain gave trees and flowers. About this time Mr. Katz was starting to have second thoughts about escaping from home. He missed his dry house and his master (mistress ???), the little girl who adored and fed him.
They both were astonished to discover that the forest where the lady gnome lived was surrounded by a moat filled with water. Mr. Katz insisted that he did not want to cross the water. The gnome argued that he had made a deal. â€œHowever,â€ Gnardo offered, “if you agree not to eat a mouse, I will forget about the rest of the deal.â€ The cat quickly concurred.
They were just about to part when the gnome noticed that the cat was sad and asked him why. The cat replied, â€œBefore, I was happy and well fed with a nice, dry place to sleep. I enjoyed being with the girl who too care of me.â€
The Gnome cried out, â€œWait here, I am going to make a raft. I’ll find the female gnome and bring her back. Then we’ll all return home.” And that’s exactly what happened.
Each creature was happy. Gnardo the Gnome was no longer lonely because he finally had a companion and Mr. Katz returned to living the life of a house cat, which as far as he was concerned was really the cat’s meow.
Written by Lawrence Ticotin and Elaine Ticotin and: