Chinese Zodiac Story

There is an interesting folktale about how the order of the 12 animals was determined. Once upon a time, the 12 animals quarreled about the order of the cycle. Because every one wanted to take the lead, no decision was made. Finally the animals agreed to ask the Jade Emperor, the ruler of all gods in Chinese mythology, to decide the order. The Jade Emperor decreed to hold a competition. The animals would run across a river, and each animal’s position in the cycle would be set by its place in the race.

At that time the cat and the rat were very close friends. The cat wanted to take up a position in the cycle, but he was a sleepy head. So the cat told the rat to wake him up the next morning. The rat promised to do so, but the next morning he was so excited about the competition that he forgot to wake up the cat.

All the other animals gathered at the bank of a river, and the race began. The rat jumped into the ox's ear without being noticed. Just as the ox was about to reach the opposite side of the river, the rat jumped out of his ear, won the race and became the lead sign of the cycle. The ox became the second, and the others also reached the bank one after another. The pig, lazy and slow, ended up last. The cat didn't wake up until the race was over, but it was too late, and he was not able to make it into the cycle. From then on, the cat and the rat became enemies. The cat hates the rat so much that every time they meet the cat chases and tries to kill the rat. That's probably the origin of Disney cartoon - Tom and Jerry(Just kidding!).