Long, long ago,
on the top of a very high mountain…
…there lived a God
who was very fond of having fun.
It would soon be New Year’s
and this genial god was wondering
how best to celebrate the occasion.
There must be some way to have fun with this.
what is this?
When the god looked down
toward the base of his mountain,
he saw a gatering of many animals,
Ah, why not!
I’ll celebrate New Year with the animals!
What a great idea!
The god was very pleased with his inspiration.
a sign appeared at the base of the mountain.
To: All Animals,
On the morning of New Year’s Day,
please come to the top of the mountain.
The first twelve animals shall, in turn,
reign for one year each as King of the Animals.
It’s first come, first served, so be prompt.
Yours truly. God.
Wow! King of the Animals! Oh, boy!
The animals were quite excited.
Got to get up early on New Year’s!
Go ahead and see who wakes up first!
You won’t best me!
I just can’t wait till New Year’s Day!
The animals spoke
so excitedly they woke up the Cat,
who was napping. Its eyes popped open.
What’s all the fuss about?
Hearing that, the Mouse told the Cat a lie.
See, the day after New Year’s,
if you go to the top of the mountain
you can be King of the Animals.
The day after New Yea’s, huh?
The day after New Year’s, that’s the day!
In that case, I’ll just take a little nap.
The cat believed the Mouse,
and went right back to snoring.
Finally, it was New Year’s Eve.
The top of the mountain was bathed
in the red of the setting sun.
Well…I’m kinda slow, myself.
Maybe I better get off to an early start. Now.
The slow but serious Bull headed straight
for the mountain top.
Something feels itchy.
Maybe I imagined it.
Whee, what fun! This is the way to go!
All the way to the top, on the back of the Bull.
The Bull marched straight on through the night.
Before dawn, the other animals began to rise.
Npbody can beat my bounce for boing!
Well, tehn I’d best be off too soon.
And the tigar set off for the mountain
at a ferocious pace.
It wasn’t only the animals of the local foothills
who headed for the mountain top.
King of the Animals? Sounds interesting.
I’ll join the rase.
Flapping its wings,
the Dragon made off for the mountain
in a leisurely fashion.
The Horse and the sheep,
who were buddies, encouraged each other
on the way up.
How’d it get so late?
The hen was normally an early-riser,
but today of all days, he overslept.
The monkey and the dog started out
amicably enough, but…
…soon began competing furiously,
…into an all-out fight.
All right, enough of that.
No reason to fight!
we all have to be among the first twelve
who arrive on the mountain-top.
There. Happy New Year!
Oh, they’re here!
The Bull had finally made it to the top.
Lordy, lord, I’m first!
Ah, you’re the first, are you, Mouse?
All right then, you’re first,
and the Bull is second.
The Mouse is first? How did that happen?
I must’ve blinked.
Well, now. Who’ll be next?
Oh this is fun! Ah, someone’s coming!
Good. Third place is decided.
Whew. That was scary.
That Tiger is fast!
The Rabbit is Number 4.
Ahoy, there. I got here plenty fast.
So the Dragon came in fifth place.
And the Snake came in sixth.
And around then,
the sheep and the Horse were finally arriving.
Are there reallybghosts
on these mountain roads?
You’ll be fine. I’d kick `em with my hooves.
With the Horse’s encouragement,
the Sheep was at last able to
complete the climb.
Thank you, Horse!
You should cross the finish-line first.
Really? Well, here goes!
And thus the Horse became the seventh
to arrive; and the Sheep, the eighth.
Are you two still at it?!
If you two don’t stop,
I’m going on ahead!
I won’t lose out to you two!
We better get a move on, too.
So the Dog and the Hen arrived
at the summit together.
Well, you’ve arrived at the same time,
but let’s say the Monkey’s Number Nine…
Right, then the Hen’s Number Ten
and the Dog’s Number Eleven.
Can’t rank the Dog next to the Monkey
or they’ll fight again, right?
So the god knew all about the fighting
between the Dog and the Monkey.
Well, are we all here yet?
One more to go? Soon, soon.
Sorry. Went up the erong mountain first.
I guess yup.
So now we have all 12 gathered together, right?
The first is the Mouse…
Then the Bull.
And the Tiger.
After that, the Rabbit.
Then the Dragon.
Next, the, uh, Snake.
Then the Horse.
And the Sheep.
Next, the Monkey.
Next the Hen.
And the Dog.
And last, the Wild hog.
You will all take turns, with each of you serving
as King of the Animal for one year at a time.
And with teh new King installed on
New Year’s Day
-that’s today! -let’s celebrate!
the soundly sleeping cat finally woke up.
That was a nice nap.
Now it’s time to go to that god’s place.
if we don’t get going, we’ll be late!
Who are you kidding, Cat?
That finished long ago.
I just decided it was too much of a bother
so I’ve been pretending to sleep.
But that Mouse said
it was the day after New Year’s.
So you were fooled by the Mouse.
What the god said was New Year’s Day,
in the morning.
The morning of New Year’s Day!
That Mouse! I’ll never forget this!
the Zodiac begins with the Year of the mouse,
then there’s the Bull,
Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake,
Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Hen, Dog,
and Wild hog.
That’s how the Zodiac got its start.
And that is also why, to this day,
whenever a cat sees a mouse,
it gives chase,
remembering the trickery that prevented it
from joining the Zodiac.
And the reason cats are always cleaning
their faces with their front paws is
so he will never oversleep again.
Or so it is said.