Once upon a time there lived a cat of exquisite beauty. His fur was as soft as silk and his wide green eyes were wise and glittering. His name was Gon. He belonged to a music teacher who was so fond and proud of him that he would not have parted with him for anything in the world.
Very near the music teacher's house there lived a woman with a lovely cat named Koma. Koma was a sweetheart and very dear to the woman. Her mistress smiled at her and said, "Oh Koma, Koma dear, what would I do without you?"
Now, Gon had long known that it was time for him to take a wife. But Gon was very shy.
Then one evening Gon was out for an evening stroll when he came upon dear Koma, sitting quietly beneath a blossoming cherry tree. He looked at her. She looked at him. And in one moment they fell madly, desperately, forever in love.But Koma bowed her head. She saw the difficulties in their way. She spoke to Gon about these. "We do not live together," said Koma, "and my mistress loves me so, I could never leave her."
"My master adores me," said Gon sadly. And then he came up with a plan. He returned to his master, the music teacher, and begged him to purchase the beloved Koma. The music master was agreeable, but Koma's mistress would not part with her.
"Sell me to the lady, then?" begged Gon, but the music teacher only shook his head. "I'll do no such thing," said he, and so everything remained as before, the adoring cats seemingly parted.
Months passed, and then the love Gon and Koma felt for each other grew to such a pitch that they decided they must please themselves. They met beneath the cherry tree and planned to run away. They would go off into the world together to seek their fortune.
Soon their homes were far, far behind them. The sun began to lower, and soon, toward evening, they discovered an enormous green park. By this time the two wanderers were hot and tired.
"How lovely this grass feels," purred Koma. "How inviting it is," said she.
But suddenly an ogre appeared in this paradise. He came in the shape of a dog! He sprang toward the cats. His mouth was open wide, and all his sharp teeth were showing.
Koma shrieked and dashed as fast as she was able up a tree. Gon boldly stood his ground. He arched his back, preparing to give battle. And he felt strong, for Koma's eyes were upon him.
From her perch in the tree Koma saw the battle, and she screamed with all her might, hoping that someone would hear. She screamed and screamed. "Come help, someone!" she cried.
Luckily a servant of the princess to whom the park belonged was walking by. He drove off the dog, picked up the trembling Gon, and carried the handsome, brave cat to his mistress.
The princess, Gon's new mistress, adored her new cat. She was delighted with his beauty and generous ways. But this did not console poor Gon. Oh, he was sad. But what could he do? There was no use fighting against fate, he thought. He could only sit and wait to see what would turn up.
Now the princess was so good and kind that everybody loved her. She would have been a happy woman indeed if not for a serpent who had fallen madly, deeply in love with her.
The serpent was constantly annoying the poor princess. She ordered her servants to drive him away whenever he appeared. But sometimes the servants were careless.
One day the princess was in her room playing her harp when suddenly she felt something slithery glide up her silk sash. Her enemy was just about to kiss her when she shrieked and threw herself backward.
Gon had been curled up on a stool at her feet. He heard his princess cry out, and with a single bound he leapt and seized the wicked snake by his neck. He gave him one bite and then a shake.
The princess took Gon in her arms and praised and caressed him. She spoiled him with delicacies and silken pillows and all the attention he could ever dream of receiving. And Gon would have been ever so happy, truly pleased. Except he had one wish. He wished to find Koma again.
Time passed. And then at last one morning Gon lay basking in the sun. He looked out at the world stretched before him when he saw in the distance a ruffian of a cat teasing a quiet, little one. He jumped up and chased away the fearsome cat. Then he turned to comfort the other and his heart nearly burst. "Koma!" he cried.
Paw in paw they appeared before the princess and told her the story of their lives and their sorrows. The princess promised they would never again part. "You will live with me until the end of your days," said she. And soon she too fell in love and brought a prince to dwell in the palace in the park, and he loved Gon and Koma too.