The third issue of our E-Reader Philozoe:

Is all "About Cat and Mice".

It's the ancient fight for justice: the fight of the oppressors and the oppressed. In all societies of all civilizations it has played a role in traditions to depict this struggle in literature and arts. Despite a seeming hopelessness, people are unceasingly sacrificing their own lives and the lives of others.

In the cultural imagery of the Persian language, big and fat cats are metaphorically described as the oppressors, and the mice are the multitude of a suffering people. Typically for fable-like storytelling human attributes are being associated with specific animals. Certain animals come to embody good or bad characters and are epitomes for strengths and weaknesses, pride and humility, compassionateness and cruelness.

We know animal tales or fables especially from the Greek and the Roman antique as moral scripts that sought to foster character development. In a similar way animals often appeared as an embodiment of human attributes in the old Middle Eastern teachings of wisdom and enlightenment. These stories were also used to portrait the political conditions of a people or a state, and helped to politically educate and sometimes empower the citizen and individual.

The situation of the humiliated people (mice) is told in the Persian story “About Cat and Mice” which was originally written by ‘Obayd Zakani. The mice experience the hypocrisy and brutality of their oppressors (the cats), and finally decide to declare war on the cats. The final stage of the battle between the sides is reached, and the mice heroically stand against their enemy. In the battle they even able to throw the leader of the of cats' troops from their horse to the ground and to bind him in chains. The triumphant mood does not last for long though, regretfully for the mice. The cat is able to tear the ties and to free him-/herself, and the troop of cats leaves the battlefield as the winners.

This story is not a prettily told Middle Eastern tale, it’s no fairy tale either and no Hollywood plot with a happy ending. It is a story such as the blatant links work in the repetitive chains of human history.<