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The Giant Rat 
County Galway
    A POOR MAN in Galway had a wife and four children. One morning, as they sat down to breakfast, the largest rat any of them had ever seen came into the kitchen. It jumped up on to the table and ate the breakfast - and the family was much too frightened to stop it. 

    When the rat had finished eating it jumped off the table and went out. It returned when the man came home for his supper, jumped up on to the table as before, and ate the food. 

    'God help us!' cried the man. 'We shall starve to death.' 

    Next day he bought a cat that was known to be a good ratter. When the rat came in, it saw the cat sitting by the fire and sidled up to her. Then the fight began. 

    The cat just managed to escape with her life. The rat calmly jumped up on to the table and ate 
    the food. When it had eaten its fill, it left the house as usual. 

    The cat licked her wounds by the fire and drank some milk. Then she, too, went out. 

    The cat stayed out all night, and when the man came home from work the following evening, she still hadn't returned. 

    'We're finished now,' he said. That thieving rat will kill us for sure" 

    The rat came in to supper, ate the food and left. It kept coming back for three nights and three days, but there was no sign of the cat. On the fourth morning she returned and with her was the biggest cat that anyone had ever seen. 

    The big cat sat by the hearth and the small cat sat on a chair. 

    'Bring in a quart of milk for the cats,' the man. said to his wife. 

    The cats drank their milk and the man sat down to his breakfast and, as usual, in came the rat. When it saw the big cat it paused. Then they both sprang at each other in the centre of the room. 

    They fought in the kitchen all morning, and they fought up and down the yard all afternoon. At sunset, the huge cat finally managed to kill the giant rat. 

    Both cats then drank their milk and left the house together and neither was ever seen again.
     

     

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