Bride Groom For A Cat

King Vijay had just one daughter, Princess Chandra, who was very beautiful, but being an only child, she was severely spoilt.

Nevertheless, her beauty and being the daughter of a powerful ruler brought many suitors for her hand in marriage. Prince Jayant, the future ruler of the Kingdom of Padmapur, was the most outstanding of all the suitors. Apart from his good looks, he had already proved himself a capable statesman.

Princess Chandra was undoubtedly very fond of Prince Jayant, and King Vijay had implored the Princess many times to accept Prince Jayant so that the wedding could take place that same year.

But alas, there was a problem, and the problem was Princess Chandra’s pet cat. It was a delightful female cat that seemed to spend its days lapping cream and reclining on a velvet cushion. The Princess was very fond of her pet cat but refused to marry anyone until her cat was married too.

King Vijay was inclined to lose patience with his daughter’s spoilt attitude over the cat, but the Princess was as obstinate as lovely.

The King decided it was time this nonsense ended, so he sent for the Princess: “Look, my child, as soon as your betrothal is announced, there will not be the slightest difficulty in finding a companion for your pet cat.”

“My cat is not going to marry any ordinary cat,” retorted the Princess, stamping her foot. “Let it be proclaimed that I will marry the man who brings me a cat, that my pet will accept on sight.”

The King decided there was nothing he could do to make the Princess change her attitude, so he sent for his Chief Minister. Having explained the problem, he told the minister he must find a solution without giving the slightest grounds for the offence to Prince Jayant.

The Chief Minister pondered for a while, then smiled. “Your Majesty, this is a simple problem to solve. I ask that you invite Prince Jayant to visit you immediately.”

That evening a proclamation was read throughout the capital, announcing that Princess Chandra would be pleased to marry any young man who found her a suitable bridegroom for her female cat.

Every young man thought there was a golden opportunity to marry an actual princess by producing a tomcat. Those who did not have a cat stole the first one they saw, and the following morning there was a long line of enthusiastic young men coming through the palace gates, each carrying a cat. There were black, grey, white, and ginger cats; some were fat and thin, but you could hear their miaowing for miles around.

All the young men were taken into the great hall and given refreshments. Then the Chief Minister walked in and announced, clapping his hands for attention. “I welcome you all to the palace. In a few minutes, the King will inspect your cats to see if one of them is suitable for the Princess’s cat. Now I am afraid the proclamation failed to say that everyone who brought a cat found unsuitable will be beheaded in the palace yard.”

Hearing these ominous words, every young man quickly picked up his feline specimen and scampered out of the palace as fast as their legs could carry them.

The Chief Minister went to the chamber. The Princess. “Your Highness, all the cats brought to the palace were most unsuitable. But do not worry, my men, are scouring the kingdom for a fitting bridegroom.”

A few days later, Prince Jayant arrived at the palace and asked to see the Princess. Meanwhile, the wily Chief Minister had found a good-looking tom cat which he kept secreted in his chambers. Servants spent hours grooming this cat and feeding it tasty morsels till it was fat and placid. But before taking the cat to the Princess, the Chief Minister rubbed rich dairy cream into its fur.

Just before Prince Jayant was to see the Princess, the Chief Minister, followed by a footman bearing the tom cat on a silken cushion, entered the Princess’s chamber.

As soon as the tom cat was in the room, the Princess’s cat smelt the cream and purred away; it was quickly licking the tom cat’s fur.

The Princess clapped her hands in great glee and cried, “At last, my cat has got a husband.

Whilst the Princess was fussing over the two cats, Prince Jayant, who had been told the story of the Bridegroom’s cat, was announced.

When the Prince entered, the Chief Minister turned to the Princess. “Your Highness, I should inform you that Prince Jayant was responsible for finding your cat’s husband.”

The following day the wedding of Princess Chandra and Prince Jayant was announced.

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