THE HALF ROOSTER

Once upon a time, there was an old man and an old woman. And all they had in the world was a cat and a rooster. They were very poor and they were very hungry. And they got into a terrible row and they decided to part from each other forever, and share the things she had. So the old woman had the cat, and the old man had the rooster.

Well, with the cat, the cat would catch small birds and the old woman would roast the birds and she had something to eat. But the old man had nothing to eat at all.

Time passed, and one day he went to the rooster and said, ‘I am sorry, I have no choice but eat you so I can live.’

And the rooster nodded. He cut the rooster in half. He saved one of the halves and from that day on it was called ‘Half Rooster’. So he roasted the other half, ate it and went to the bed to sleep. The half rooster saw the man go to sleep, so he soliloquized:

- If things will go like this, I have to go away. Maybe I will be lucky

So he set off hopping on one foot to make his way in the world. And along the way he met a frog in a pond. He invited her to join him, she thought for a while and accepted. She drank all the water around, then she jumped into his belly. He continued to hop until they met with a fox and the rooster said:

- May I trust you, dear fox?

- Surely. – the fox answered. -where are you going?

He told her his story and she accepted to join him and the frog.

The fox jumped into the half rooster’s belly, and he hopped until he met with a wolf:

- Where are you going? –the wolf asked.

- ‘I am making my way in the world.’ – the rooster answered. – are you coming with me?

The wolf joined the roast and jumped into his belly, and the half rooster hopped until he met with a little mouse: - Ha! Ha! –the whiskered mouse began to laugh and said:

- Is hopping on one foot overstraining you?

- Oh no! –the half rooster answered. – are you coming with us?

The mouse was convinced and jumped into the belly of the half rooster, that was so small you could barely look at it. But now his belly was rather full and he went into the gardens of the King’s palace. He crowed there in the cabbage patch as only a half rooster can. Well, the King came rushing out. He noticed the half rooster was laughing at him so he gave order to catch him.

And the King’s guards went looking through the cabbage patch for the rooster. He still was crowing in joy and they still couldn’t find him, so they cut the heads of the cabbages off until they came to the one he was hidden. So they caught the half rooster and they put him in the oven to roast him as a punishment. Then the half rooster called the frog:

- ‘Hey frog, get out here and save me!’

The frog jumped out of his belly, and all of the water that the frog had swallowed from the pond came whooshing out over that fire and put out the flames. Then the guards took him to the livery so that horses could trample him under their feet. So the half rooster called the wolf:

- Please wolf, come here and save me!

The wolf jumped out of his belly and strangled all the horses. So they put him among the geese. And the geese got ready to peck. And just as they started pecking, he called the fox and said... ‘Save me!’

So the fox jumped out of his belly and she ate up all of the geese.

So the King’s men put the Half Rooster into the stables and they closed the stable door and bolted the stable door and the horses reared up with their great hooves about to trample Half Rooster... ‘Save me!’

So the guards found it so hard to make the half rooster surrender, so they locked him tight in a great treasure chest. The treasure chest was full of gold coins, and half rooster pecked up those gold coins one by one by one until they were all inside his belly, then he called the mouse  ‘Save me!’

And out of his belly jumped the mouse and the mouse gnawed a hole in the side of the treasure chest. So the half rooster came out of the chest too and ran away hopping. On his way, there was only a coin that fell down. When he got back to the old man, he said: - Please feed me enough and give me something soft to sleep. Remember to beat me with a rod every day.’

Well, the old man beat the half rooster with a rod, and out of his beak dropped one gold coin. That happened every day. Well, the old woman was jealous when she found out that the old man had all these gold coins, so she sent her cat to find gold coins like the half rooster did. And the cat set off, and she found on her way that gold coin that had dropped from the half rooster’s beak. And the cat ate up that gold coin and continued. But after that she found no more gold coins, she just swallowed lizards and snakes. And when the cat returned to the old woman, she took her rod and beat the cat. And sure enough a gold coin came out of its mouth. She was happy... for a day. But the next days, when she beat the cat, what came out of her mouth were just lizards and snakes. And she became so angry that she strangled the cat to death.